See you at The Gate, Friday & Saturday, October 12 & 13, 2018!

The festival begins in 7 months, 22 days, 3 hours and 57 minutes.

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.



The festival is presented by Four Roses Bourbon and Garvin Gate Neighborhood and sponsored by Louisville Metro Councilman David James, Genscape, and FMS Commercial Cleaning. Proceeds benefit Garvin Gate and Old Louisville neighborhoods and A Recipe to End Hunger and Family & Children’s Place.


Frank Bang and The Cook County Kings

Friday, Oct. 13, 10:00

Frank Bang and The Cook County Kings

Frank Bang and the band, from Chicago, are one of those “great time” blues bands that the Garvin Gate crowd will never forget.

Saturday, Oct. 14, 8:30

Tweed Funk

From Milwaukee, WI, lead vocalist Joseph ‘Smokey’ Holman has survived a battle with cancer and comes to The Gate to wow us with his sweet & smooth vocals.

Tony O with Zora Young

Saturday, Oct. 14, 10:00

Tony O with Zora Young

The Tony O band comes to us from New York to backup Zora, from Chicago, on vocals. Zora is related to Howlin’ Wolf and got her start in gospel in her Baptist church.

Andrew Alli & The Mainline

Friday, Oct. 13, 8:15

Andrew Alli & The Mainline

From Richmond, Virginia, Andrew on harmonica is part of a four piece band that has a sound rooted in Chicago-style blues with west coast swing and jump influences.

Tullie Brae

Friday, Oct. 13, 6:30

Tullie Brae

Tullie brings her praiseworthy vocal distinction and stage charisma from Mississippi back to The Gate after her first appearance here in 2011. She’s a multi-instrumentalist who started singing in church where her daddy was a preacher.

Ray Fuller & The Bluesrockers

Saturday, Oct. 14, 7:00

Ray Fuller & The Bluesrockers

After Ray’s 2013 appearance at The Gate many will remember what Guitar Player Magazine said, “Sounds like Elmore James and Hound Dog Taylor tempered with the rowdiness of George Thorogood.”

Screamin’ John & TD Lind

Saturday, Oct. 14, 5:45

Screamin’ John & TD Lind

Legendary band Edenstreet’s Screamin’ John and TD Lind reunited with former members of the Predators and Hellfish.

Leroy Ellington

Saturday, 4:30

Leroy Ellington Band

Cincinnati’s Leroy Ellington on lead vocals & tenor saxophone has established himself as one of the region’s most soulful vocalists and a master showman.

Carly Johnson

Saturday, 3:15

Carly Johnson

Carly’s vocals will be backed by ten of Louisville’s most talented musicians including Craig Wagner, Mike Hyman, Jeremy Johnson, & Kendall Carter.

Saturday, 2:00

The Saints

One of the Louisville area’s favorite goodtime rhythm & blues bands are finally making their second appearance at The Gate after 25 years.

da Mudcats

Friday, 7:30

Da Mudcats

Louisville’s perennial blues favorite, daMudcats, first got together in 1985, and they continue to evolve today.

Walnut Street Rhythm & Blues Band

Friday, 9:15

Walnut Street Rhythm & Blues Band

The Wells family has kept one of Louisville’s favorite bands going strong since the 1980s.

Nick Stump

Sat., 4:00 & 5:15

Nick Stump Band

Metropolitan Blues All Stars founding member Nick Stump has put together a brand new quartet for us.

Sat., 6:30, 8:00 & 9:30


From south central Kentucky, Otis has been influenced by Kentucky roots music, primarily blues, and have cooked up their own special musical burgoo.

Many of the top names in blues music have performed at Garvin Gate since the festival began in 1988.

Garvin Gate is one of the most prestigious blues festivals between Chicago and Mississippi.

We send a huge thank you to all of our sponsors.

Title Sponsors

Councilman David James - Sixth District

Premier Sponsors

Signature Sponsors

GGBF Sponsors

Daniel C. Mason Agency

GGBF Contributing Sponsors

Bob Bajandas

Tom Isbel

GGBF Media Partners

Blues on 100.9 FM, WCHQ
The Kentuckiana Blues Radio Show on Friday nights from 8 to 9 pm.
Nightly blues hour every night, 7 days a week from 1 to 2 am.

GGBF Beverage Partners

GGBF Association Partners

Please find a moment to thank our sponsors.

Consider becoming a sponsor here,

or consider a one time donation to the festival using PayPal.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

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.

Google Map Link

Festival Promotional Merchandise

Download the 2017 poster  here.

Check out the 2017 T-shirt artwork here.

The retro design garments will be available at the Garvin Gate Neighborhood Assoc. tent on Garvin Place.

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)

Sponsored by
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

We are pleased to announce we have chosen “Family & Children’s Place” as another official charity for 2017. They will receive a portion of the proceeds from this year's festival, which come from you when you support our food and drink vendors.

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.

For the second year in a row A Recipe to End Hunger will receive a portion of the proceeds from this year's festival, which come from you when you support our food and drink vendors.

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

Use #garvingate2017 on your festival related posts.

Search The Garvin Gate Blues Festival Site