Since the redevelopment of Overton Square kicked into high gear a few years ago, blues has been a major component of the area's public entertainment.
This weekend, the genre will be given an even greater focus as the Memphis Blues Society presents the first Bona Fide Blues Festival. The fest, which features 28 different acts, will take place today and Saturday in and around Overton Square. The event will be dedicated to the recently departed Ruby Wilson, the "Queen of Beale Street."
The lineup of performers includes a number of familiar Memphis, Mid-South and Mississippi names. Those scheduled to appear include Watermelon Slim, John Németh, Sons of Mudboy, and Southern Avenue, as well as Hill Country stars Cedric Burnside, Kenny Brown, Leo "Bud" Welch, and Sharde Thomas and the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band.
Shows at Overton Square's outdoor stage will be free and open to the public. There is a cover charge for each of the concerts at individual venues. However, the festival is offering all-access wristbands for $25 in advance, $50 at the gate. VIP passes are also available for $100.
To purchase tickets and for the full schedule, go to bonafidebluesfest.com.