“Blues Appetizer” Concert

Friday, Nov. 30, 2018

The “Blues Appetizer” Concert is a free event on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, from 6–9 p.m., at the Event Pavilion on the Bradenton Riverwalk. Bring your chairs or blanket and find a spot in the grassy lawn and enjoy music by the Memphis Rub Band and the Bridget Kelly Band.

Even though it’s a free event, don’t forget to bring your wallet! Our specialty food vendors will have delicious dinners and tasty snacks available to purchase until the end of the show. Craft beer and wine will also be available. Specialty blues vendors will also be at the festival, so be sure to pick up a t-shirt or gift for a friend.

On the same big stage as the Bradenton Blues Festival, this free show is made possible by Mojoe Productions, Inc. and Realize Bradenton.

The “Blues Appetizer” Concert is located at the Bradenton Riverwalk Event Pavilion: 452 3rd Ave. West Bradenton, FL 34205.

Bradenton Blues Festival

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018

The Bradenton Blues Festival, presented by BMO Harris Bank, brings musicians of national and regional acclaim to the big stage on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, from 11 a.m.–8p.m., representing a variety of blues styles.

This year’s lineup includes the Welch-Ledbetter Connection, who are combined seven-time Blues Music Award (BMA) winners; Mr. Sipp, winner of 2016 BMA Best New Artist Album; Shakura S’Aida, International Blues Challenge runner-up; Chris Cain, nominated for four W.C. Handy Blues Awards; Harper and Midwest Kind, winner of 14 separate awards in four different countries; Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, 2015 R&B Hall of Fame Robert Johnson Rising Star Award winner; and Kelley Hunt, who’s commanding, passionate stage presence and superior vocal, keyboard and songwriting skills she has earned the respect of critics and fans across North America and Europe.

Buy your general admission ticket, and bring your favorite lawn chair or blanket and find yourself a set on the grassy lawn near the big stage, or reserve yourself a front-of-stage chair! Either way, you’re going to have an amazing view, and you’re going to hear the best sound coming from the big stage.

Bring your appetite! Our specialty food and drink vendors will be have lunch, dinner, and tasty treats for you to purchase until the end of the show. Imports, domestics, and locally-brewed craft beer will be available, as well as red and white wine. Specialty blues vendors will also be at the festival.

This is a Sellout Festival!

Buy your tickets before planning your trip! The festival has sold out every year, and tickets to the 2017 festival sold out weeks before Thanksgiving.  Due to the unique location of the festival and brunch, and for the safety and enjoyment of all attendees, there are a limited number of tickets available.

The Bradenton Blues Festival is located at the Bradenton Riverwalk Event Pavilion: 452 3rd Ave. West Bradenton, FL 34205.

Bradenton Blues Brunch

Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018

The Bradenton Blues Brunch is Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, from 11 a.m.—1 p.m., at Mattison’s City Grille Bradenton Riverwalk. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. A limited number of tickets are available for $50 each. The stage will be centered in the venue for optimized viewing and sound. Seating location is based on time of ticket purchase. (The earlier you purchase the closer you will be to the stage.)

Enjoy a three-course, seated-and-served brunch created by award-winning Chef Paul Mattison, featuring a complementary Bloody Mary bar, wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages. Live performance by Bryan Lee, the Braille Blues Daddy.

Brunch Menu

  • First Course: Spinach and gouda quiche served over mixed field greens, champagne vinaigrette, toasted walnuts, shaved Parmesan.
  • Second Course: Sausage and rice stuffed pepper with seared Niman Ranch pork belly, asparagus corn succotash, Choron hollandaise sauce.
  • Third Course: Blintzes ricotta-stuffed crepes with fresh wild-berry compote.

Kindly note: The Bradenton Blues Brunch is coordinated by Mattison’s City Grille Bradenton Riverwalk; Realize Bradenton is only offering ticket sales for this event.


Blues in the Schools

Realize Bradenton, the nonprofit organization that produces the annual Bradenton Blues Festival, directs proceeds raised from the event back into the community to support art and music programs for youth, including Blues in the Schools.

Blues in the Schools Video

Learn more about our Blues in the Schools initiative by clicking the video below.

More about Blues in the Schools

In addition to fostering a healthy business climate, enriching the community is another goal of the Bradenton Blues Festival, and Blues in the Schools gives us a meaningful way to support our youth arts and education initiatives. The program is made possible by funding from R.M. Beall, Sr. Charitable Foundation, festival sponsorships, and ticket sales to the festival.

Become a Sponsor

A limited number of sponsorships are available. For more information regarding sponsor benefits, email Johnette@RealizeBradenton.com.

What to Do & Where to Stay in the Bradenton Area

top-25With a unique mix of arts, culture, heritage, and sports, Bradenton offers something for everyone—a farmers’ market, community events, cultural history museum, performing arts center, planetarium, historic Main Street, Riverwalk park, marina, aquarium, Major League Baseball, and a lively Village of the Arts.

Looking for a night out on the town? A delicious chef-inspired meal al fresco? A broadway show? Whether you’re staying for the day or a week, here’s a complete list of what you can do in downtown Bradenton during your visit!

We’re proud that Bradenton is ranked No. 2 of the top 25 small cities for the arts by American Style.

Courtyard by Marriott Bradenton Riverfront

With lush landscaping, Mediterranean-style fountains and a Manatee River backdrop, Courtyard Bradenton Sarasota/Riverfront makes it easy to enjoy the Bradenton Blues Festival.

Located on the Riverwalk, an award-winning, 1.5-mile public park, the hotel is within a five-minute stroll to the Bradenton Blues Festival site.

After the festival, rest in our well-appointed guest rooms and suites with private balconies and modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi, gym, business center, on-site Bistro serving Starbucks coffee, and more.

Call the Courtyard Riverfront and ask for Bradenton Blues Festival rates.

Hampton Inn & Suites Bradenton Downtown Historic District

The award-winning Hampton Inn & Suites Bradenton Downtown is THE PLACE to stay during the Bradenton Blues Festival. Located in the heart of historic downtown Bradenton—walkable to everything, including the blues festival site. The Hampton Inn & Suites is a seven-story Historic, Mediterranean-style hotel, offering, 119 modern rooms and suites, some with balconies and water views, complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi, parking, fitness room, and outdoor heated saltwater pool. Maximize your weekend by staying one-block from Old Main Street, restaurants, nightlife, shops and the Riverwalk. A multi-day stay will maximize your enjoyment of blues-related and cultural activities.

Book your room and through their website or by calling 1-800-HAMPTON using group code BBF.

The Londoner Bed & Breakfast

The Londoner Bed & Breakfast has six beautifully-decorated bedrooms named after different areas of London, featuring pillow-top mattresses and quality linens. This 1926 house is in the heart of Historic downtown Bradenton has recently undergone extensive refurbishment. Flat screen TVs, free wi-fi, gourmet breakfasts and delightful afternoon teas await you.

Twin Dolphin Marina

Nestled safely along the beautiful Manatee River, the marina is within walking distance of historic downtown and Old Main Street. The historic Bradenton Pier, centrally located within the marina, is host to the famed Pier 22 restaurant, patio, and ballroom, where you can enjoy fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere.

Springhill Suites (Coming Winter 2018)

Coming Winter 2018. Discover an all-suite hotel offering stylish space, inspiring design, and a rooftop bar and pool. Connect, work or relax with free Wi-Fi and refreshing spaces that are open and bright. Meet and mingle in inviting lobbies and jump-start your day with a complimentary hot and healthy breakfast, or visit Oak & Stone for wood-fired pizza and craft beer on the rooftop!


If the collection of downtown Bradenton or area hotels aren’t for you, check out the array of local Airbnbs. From quaint, one-bedroom houses to magnificent mansions, there is a place that you can stay to make your Blues Weekend trip even more memorable.