Hartwood Acres

July 24 – 26
Various times

This weekend, the best place to rock out, help end hunger and enjoy the great outdoors is at the 21st annual Pittsburgh Blues Festival.

Buddy Guy.
Buddy Guy.

Celebrating some 10 million meals provided, the three-day festival at scenic Hartwood Acres features an impressive lineup of internationally renowned and locally loved blues acts.

Kicking off the festivities on July 24 (gates open at 4 p.m.) will be blues guitarist and vocalist Duke Robillard, vocalist Billy Price and singer and actress Dana Fuchs.

Don’t forget that admission on Friday is free with a bag of non-perishable grocery items. The Food Bank’s largest annual event, the festival has raised more than $2 million to fight hunger in our region over the past two decades.

On Saturday (gates open at 1:30 p.m.), don’t miss legendary American blues guitarist, six-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Buddy Guy. Ranked 30th in Rolling Stone‘s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” Guy got his start playing with Junior Wells and Muddy Waters, and went on to influence a generation of rock and blues guitar titans, from Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Also performing on Saturday will be New Orleans’ own New Breed Brass Band—which infuse funk, rock, jazz and hip-hop into brass band traditions—and gifted blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, Jarekus Singleton.

Sunday’s final day lineup ((gates open at 1:30 p.m.) is packed with performances by Grammy-nominated Blues Hall of Famer Bobby Rush, singer and pianist Marcia Ball, high-energy Nola band Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers and rising star guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Selwyn Birchwood.

New Breed Brass Band.
New Breed Brass Band.

In between sets, be sure to visit the festival’s on-site food and merchandise vendor area, featuring everything from handmade jewelry and home renovation products, to delicious locally made desserts and eco-friendly resources.

Bringing the entire family? Pop into the family-friendly KidZone to participate in imaginative hands-on art, craft and music activities, educational workshops and live art geared to children ages 3 to 11. Make butterfly trail mix with Giant Eagle, play engaging nutrition games and stop by the wishing well to help make a dream come true for hungry children. Next, explore the rich world of music through rhythmic movement, singing and creative physical response with Duquesne University’s City Music Center, and join Winchester Thurston School educators to create colorful musical instruments using cardboard, cans, string, plastic bottles and more.

View a complete Pittsburgh Blues Festival schedule.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.