The second weekend in October in historic Old Louisville, the largest Victorian preservation neighborhood in the U.S.
A FREE annual two-day arts and music event featuring local and national performers, a celebration of both the blues and the arts, this festival attracts a multiracial, intergenerational audience. In addition to continuous live entertainment from two stages the festival has an array of food and drink vendors and over 50 crafts booths.
The second weekend of October, Friday, October 12, 6:30 - 11:15 pm, and Saturday, October 13, 2 - 11:15 pm. Please support our food and drink vendors within the festival area, they are what help to keep this free event. We are pet friendly, but only crowd-friendly pets, please. Coolers, cans, and bottles are not allowed.
One mile south of downtown Louisville, on Oak Street and Garvin Place, which are closed to traffic. Plenty of free on-street parking is available. There is a LouVelo bike sharing dock on Garvin Place. We’re on several TARC bus routes. The festival’s crafts area is in a block of 1880-90s Victorian homes on a quiet tree-lined cul-de-sac.
Many of the top names in blues music have performed at Garvin Gate since the festival began in 1988.
GGBF Contributing Sponsors
GGBF Media Partners
GGBF Beverage Partners
GGBF Association Partners
Garvin Gate Blues Festival News
The festival is on Oak St. at Garvin Pl., between 4th and 6th Streets. which is one mile south on downtown Louisville. Free on street parking is available on all surrounding streets. Bicycles are welcome and locking up anywhere in the event area is acceptable.
Access from I-65
From I-65 South take the St. Catherine St. exit 135, which is the first exit south of downtown. Follow St. Catherine St. west to 4th St. and turn left, go one block to Oak St.
From I-65 North take the St. Catherine St. exit 135, which is 1/2 mile past the Jackson & Woodbine exits. Follow St. Catherine St. west to 4th St. and turn left, go one block to Oak St.
From downtown take 1st, 3rd, 4th or 6th Sts. to Oak St.
To return to I-65 North, take Oak St. to Floyd St. and turn left. Turn left on St. Catherine St. The entry ramp is on the immediate right.
To return to I-65 South, take Oak St. to Floyd St. The entry ramp is just past the light on the immediate right.
Bicycle to the festival
Louisville's bicycle sharing system, LouVelo, has a station in front of Genscape, 1140 Garvin Place.
Take TARC to the festival
Transit Authority of River City provides public transportation in the Greater Louisville area with several bus routes serving 4th and Oak Streets. All TARC buses accommodate wheelchairs and are equipped with bike racks.
Blues In The Schools (2017)
Louisville Blues will be presented by musician Big Poppa Stampley in four Jefferson County Public Schools elementary schools. It will be a look back at performers and blues music that have Louisville roots or influences.
Bloom Elementary: Tuesday, September 26, 2:05 pm
McFerran Elementary: Wednesday, October 4, 9:15 am
Engelhard Elementary: Thursday 10/5, 9:30 am
Hite Elementary: Wednesday, October 11, TBA
Blues For Youth on Saturday, October 14, at the Garvin Gate Blues Festival, will be a multi-media program will introduce students to the music that has played a monumental part in the development of rock and roll, pop, rap, hip hop and other genres of music.
Saturday, October 14, The Garvin Gate Blues Festival
11:00-11:25 U of L School of Music Band
11:30-11:45 Alley Theater Caravan B.B. King Play
11:45-12:05 Mom’s School of Rock Band
12:05-12:15 Alley theater Caravan B.B. King Play
12:15-12:45 Louisville Leopards Percussionists
12:45-1:00 Alley Theater Caravan B. B. King Play
1:00-1:30 Group Harmonica Lesson
11:00-1:30 Opportunities for kids to play guitars (sponsored by Guitar Emporium) and drums (sponsored by Moms Music)
Read-alouds sponsored by Alley Theater Caravan
12:30 Free Ice Cream sponsored by Facilities Management Services (FMS)
Garvin Gate Blues Festival, Facilities Management Services, Down In The Alley Records, Kentuckiana Blues Society
With support from
Alley Theater Caravan, Guitar Emporium, Mom's Music
Family & Children’s Place is located at the end of Garvin Place at Zane St. in the Limerick neighborhood.
They protect and heal children, families, and communities from violence, abuse, and neglect. They are the leading agency in Louisville and S. Indiana working to prevent and stop the trauma of abuse, violence, and neglect, and to help child victims and their families recover and heal.
1 in 5 children in our community have no idea where their next meal is coming from, or when their next chance to eat will come.
Dawn Gee of WAVE3 TV has created the program called “A Recipe to End Hunger” that has an answer to this problem. We can end childhood hunger in this community.
When you support “A Recipe to End Hunger” 100% of the funds collected go to support the 'weekend backpack' programs already in place in Kentucky and southern Indiana. The logistics for the weekend backpack program has been in place for years, but the money needed to buy the food to fill the backpacks is lacking. Donated food is not used for this program, so weekend food must be purchased.
Due to the deficit of resources not every child in need has been able to participate. In other words, there are children in our community suffering.
Help us end childhood suffering one meal at a time. You can help today by making a donation at any Republic Bank, you can also buy their cookbook online.
To: Residents and Business Owners
From: The Garvin Gate Neighborhood Association
Date: August 1, 2017
Subject: Street Closures for Garvin Gate Blues Festival, October 13 and 14, 2017
This is to notify impacted businesses and residents that the Garvin Gate Neighborhood Association is presenting the Garvin Gate Blues Festival the second weekend in October on Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 14, 2017. The festival will impact parking and driving on several streets during the event.
1100 and 200 blocks of Garvin Place will be closed to parking and travel on Friday and Saturday, October 13 and 148, 2017 as follows:
• 1200 block Garvin Place from Friday, 9:30 AM until approximately 12:00 midnight Saturday from the gate at Garvin and Oak south on Garvin to the second alley before Ormsby.
• 1100 block Garvin Place from 9:00 AM Friday until approximately 12:00 midnight Saturday from the corner of Garvin and Oak north to the first alley on Garvin towards St. Catherine St.
400 and 500 blocks W. Oak Street both east and west will be closed to parking and travel on Friday, October 13, and all day Saturday, October 14, 2017 as follows:
• 9:00 AM Friday, October 13, the entire night, and all day Saturday, until approximately 2:00 AM on Sunday morning, October 15, from 4th and Oak to 6th and Oak Streets.
We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause you. The festival is an opportunity to showcase Old Louisville and serve as a fundraising event to help improve our neighborhood.
Thanks for your understanding and support.
- Howard Rosenberg
Blues Festival Chair
The Garvin Gate Neighborhood Association
7th Annual Dining At The Mansions
April 14, 2018
7th Annual Old Louisville Spring Fest
May 19, 2018
59th Annual Kentucky Shakespeare Festival
June - August, 2018
25th Annual Old Louisville Hidden Treasures Garden Tour
June 9 & 10, 2018
62nd Annual St. James Court Art Show
October 5, 6, & 7, 2018
Old Lou Brew craft beer festival to benefit the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council
6-10 pm, August 24, 2018
23rd Annual Garvin Gate Blues Festival
October 12 & 13, 2018
42nd Annual Old Louisville Holiday Home Tour
December 1 & 2, 2018