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Pass the Biscuits & Get Ready to Party

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Get Your Groove On
Get Your Groove On

There are now two extraordinary music festivals in one historic Delta town. Don't miss the second annual Delta Roots Music Festival and the 35th annual King Biscuit Blues Festival on the banks of the Mississippi River and stretching down the historic streets of downtown Helena-West Helena.

Delta Roots Music Festival
Saturday, April 9, 2022 - 10am until 10pm - Main Stage on Cherry Street

The "Biscuit" had a baby and they called it the Delta Roots Music Festival, showcasing America's roots music during a full day of unique sounds. Bob Dylan once said that Levon Helm was "one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation." In tribute to Levon, Delta Roots was born to carry on the spirit of this Helena native.

King Biscuit Blues Festival has been a staple in the music scene.
King Biscuit Blues Festival has been a staple in the music scene.

The festival will be headlined by The Weight Band, featuring members of The Band and Levon Helm Band. The Weight band leader, Jim Weider, played the first King Biscuit Blues Festival in 1986 with Levon Helm, making this headline performance truly special. Other musical acts from around Arkansas will grace the stage. Groove out to Fonky Donkey, Rodge Arnold, Colin Linden, Duane Stevens Band, Arkansas Bros, The Live Wire Band, Mother Hubbard & The Regulators, Bailey Hefley and The Cate Brothers. View the full schedule here.

The fun doesn't stop with music! Arts, crafts and food vendors will be dishing out delicious foods and locally made goods. There will be a custom-painted drumhead raffle, a free harmonica workshop, cash bar and children's play area. Guests can also take in the tasty action during the Greens, Beans and Cornbread competition hosted by the Delta Cultural Center.

Vendors line the streets during both festivals.
Vendors line the streets during both festivals.

Outside the festival grounds, the Levon's Levee Bike Ride will be rolling through town. Cyclists can enjoy a 30-minute rest stop at Storm Creek Lake, approximately four miles from downtown Helena, with refreshments and live music. Kayaks will also be available for use. Register to ride for $20.

And don't miss the pre-party happening Friday, April 8 at Delta Dirt Distillery, located at 430 Cherry St. The party will start at 5pm and will go until your feet are done moving. At the pre-party, attend the poster signing by artist John Goodwin, plus grab one free drink! On Friday, you can also take a tour of the Levon Helm Home Place from 1-5pm in the town of Marvell.

Levon once said, "I came here to party." Now it's your chance to do the same and live out the spirit of this music legend.

Tickets are $25 and kids 12 and under are free! Purchase tickets at the King Biscuit Blues Festival office at 319 Phillips St. in downtown Helena, Arkansas, or find them online.

King Biscuit Blues Festival
October 5-8, 2022 - Main Stage & down Cherry Street

For one weekend every year in October, Helena becomes the center of the universe for an American original: the blues. Savor the sights, sounds and smells of the King Biscuit Blues Festival this October for its 35th anniversary.

Named after "King Biscuit Time," the longest running daily blues radio show in the U.S., the King Biscuit Blues Festival has been bringing together a who's who of blues, rock and country musicians since 1986. Tens of thousands of music enthusiasts retreat to Historic Helena every year, filling the levee overlooking downtown Cherry Street, to hear the stirring and uplifting performances of an American art form on the banks of the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi River levee is the main stage for festival magic.
The Mississippi River levee is the main stage for festival magic.

This year's event will feature Billy Branch & The Son of Blues with special guest Bobby Rush to headline Thursday night's show. Mavis Staples takes the stage Friday night and Allman Betts Band will close out The Biscuit on Saturday, making for three incredible nights of high-profile music. 

But that's not all! In total there will be 80 musical performances throughout the festival. Yes, 80! Besides the Main Stage at the levee-top amphitheater, there will be five other stages lining Cherry Street. Choose from the Lockwood-Stackhouse Stage, Cedell Davis Stage, Front Porch Stage, Bit-O-Blues Stage and the Gospel Stage that features different church choirs all Friday night long. These stages aren't the only musical action though. Street musicians are a major part of the festival and give festivalgoers the chance to see up-and-coming acts before they hit it big.

See musical acts on six stages during the King Biscuit Blues Festival
See musical acts on six stages during the King Biscuit Blues Festival

There will also be a Kansas City sanctioned BBQ contest, the Flour Power 5k Run and the Tour da' Delta bike ride, where cyclists can choose from eight different routes ranging from 12 miles to 70 miles. Enjoy food, arts and craft vendors or spend the day shopping the boutiques of Historic Helena. There is truly something for everyone.

And for places to stay, don't miss the one-of-a-kind experience of camping at "Tent City," located on the festival grounds. You can also camp at the Mississippi River State Park or the Delta Heritage Trail State Park, feel the rush of Isle of Capri Hotel & Casino, spend the night at the Edwardian Inn Bed & Breakfast or choose from many chain hotels and local AirBNB properties.

Come be part of an experience that draws music lovers from around the country and even from South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and other places in between. It's the Biscuit, baby!

Advanced ticket sales are open with single day pricing at only $45 plus tax. That price goes to $60 closer to the festival. A three-day pass is also available for $100. You only need tickets to experience the Main Stage; all other performances on the smaller stages are free! Purchase tickets at the King Biscuit Blues Festival office at 319 Phillips St. in downtown Helena or online.

You're invited for the music and culture; but we want you to have a full Delta experience! Find history, outdoor recreation and other things to do online and get started planning your trip to Helena.

For more information on either festival, call 870-572-5223 or email [email protected]