Juke Joint brings people to Clarksdale from all off the country and the world to get a taste of Mississippi Delta Blues.
Matt Evans, of Anchorage, Alaska, was one of them.
“My wife asked me where I wanted to go for my birthday and I said the Juke Joint Festival,” said Evans, who also brought friends to Clarksdale for the event.
“I love the blues and I wanted to check this out,” said Evans, who celebrated his 53rd birthday. “We ate catfish. Listened to the music. It was great.”
Juke Joint numbers are never hard and fast, but event organizers said this was the largest event in several years.
“We sure lucked out on the weather,” said Roger Stolle, Juke Joint co-chairman.
Sunny skies and a breeze made it the perfect spring day and helped attendance.
“We had visitors from at least 46 U.S. states, 15 foreign countries and 40-plus Mississippi counties,” said Stolle. “And several businesses told me they had record sales days.
“This year's festival incorporated 16 Saturday daytime stages, with 80 acts, and 22 nighttime venues, with 24 stages and 32 acts,” Stolle added. “Kingfish, Super Chikan, Rev Peyton, Jimbo Mathus, all played big nighttime audiences. All of the daytime kids' stuff, street vendors, mini car show, racing pigs, student art show, monkeys riding dogs, went well, too.”
Juke Joint also attracted a lot of media, including magazine photographers, at least two documentary film projects – one from U.S.; one from Brazil – and the TV show "60 Minutes" with between 8 and 12 million viewers.