Austin Blues Festival 2024 Returns and Adds Late Show Programming at Antone’s

The Blues have always been more than just melodies to me-it’s a connection to my roots, to memories of warm Saturday mornings in Corpus Christi with my grandparents. I can still vividly recall waking up to the sound of my grandmother filling the house with Gospel music, while outside, my “Pawpaw” would be in his element, beer in one hand, cigar in his mouth, and the soulful tunes of Blues playing from his car. He used to say, “Gospel is for the holy rollers and saints. Blues is for the sinners.” Perhaps, those moments were the building blocks of my rebellious soul. This April, the stage is set for all the memories and feels to return as the  Austin Blues Festival returns for 2024 and includes additional shows and programs.

Austin Blues Festival April 27 – 28, 2024

Rooted in a rich history of musical heritage, the Austin Blues Festival traces its origins back to 1999, when Clifford Antone, the legendary figure behind Antone’s Nightclub, envisioned a platform to showcase the brilliance of blues artists too large to confine within the walls of his downtown venue. Thus, the Antone’s Blues Festival was born, gracing Waterloo Park with the likes of Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, and Ray Charles during its initial three-year run.

Now, over two decades later, the spirit of blues is being reignited as Antone’s Nightclub and the nonprofit Waterloo Greenway collaborate to revive the tradition with the Austin Blues Festival. Following the resounding success of its one-day debut in 2023, the festival returns for its second year, promising an unforgettable experience for music enthusiasts and soul-seekers alike.

Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park, the 2024 Austin Blues Festival will unfold over two days, from April 27th to April 28th. With a lineup that reads like a “who’s who of blues royalty”, attendees are in for a treat that will stir their spirits and move their feet.

Reflecting on the genre’s impact and the lineup’s diversity, I can’t help but express my excitement for the established legends and emerging talents on the bill. I’m particularly thrilled to see Buddy Guy, the OG of Austin Blues Fest, and local legend, Soul Man Sam. This will be my first time seeing Dumpstaphunk or Blind Boys of Alabama with Bobby Rush live. I’m also looking forward to discovering new artists like The Altons & Thee Sinseers as well as headliner Brittany Howard. It speaks volumes about how artists have incorporated and infused the genre, making it their own.

Musician Big Freedia

Robert Glasper, an Austin favorite, is returning and will perform following the recent loss of Robert Glasper Experiment bandmate and all-around creative genius, Casey Benjamin. Another Austin frequenter, Big Freedia, will perform as well. Hailing from New Orleans, she will be accompanied by several other New Orleans natives on the lineup.

Late Show lineup at Antone’s Nightclub April 25 – 27, 2024

The late show kicks-off on Thursday, April 25th, featuring Texas blues-rock artist and guitarist Ally Venable, joined by her band and the renowned Charles Ray “Gypsy” Mitchell. Mitchell, a Dallas native, is celebrated for founding the pioneering gospel funk ensemble, The Relatives, alongside Rev. Austin. Following this, on Friday, April 26th, The James Hunter Six, a Grammy-nominated rhythm and blues ensemble, will grace the stage, joined by Robert Finley, the incomparable blues and soul singer/songwriter from Louisiana. Concluding the late shows on Saturday, April 27th, are The Altons and Thee Sinseers, delivering a dynamic blend of retro soul and brass from Los Angeles, accompanied by The Original Pinettes Brass Band, New Orleans’ sole all-female brass band. This lineup offers a captivating alternative for those unable to attend the festival performances.

Seeing the broadly stroked swath of “Blues” reveals the dedication and intention in the Festival planning. Indeed, the Austin Blues Festival transcends mere entertainment-it’s a journey through time and space, a celebration of resilience and joy, and a testament to the enduring legacy of blues music in all its forms.

For more information, visit, and follow along on Instagram for live updates. @austinbluesfestival.


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