Bedford’s proximity to the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolis, great community events, and growing cultural scene make it the ideal destination to begin your next Texas getaway. Whether you're sampling the local cuisine at 10/09 Kitchen or playing the day away with your family at the Boys Ranch Activity Center, Bedford has something for everyone. Don't miss a chance to visit Bedford’s Cultural District, which contains a variety of visual and performance art at locations such as Trinity Arts Guild, ONSTAGE in Bedford, and more.
The Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival has attracted thousands of blues and BBQ enthusiasts since its inception in 2000, and this year’s event will take place September 1-3, in Downtown Bedford. The festival will feature more than 20 blues acts performing on two stages including Buddy Guy, Marcia Ball, and more. Attendees will also have the opportunity to witness a massive BBQ cooking competition with more than 90 different competitors. They will compete to be named the Grand or Reserve Champion. Plus, cash awards will go to the top sauce, chicken, ribs, pork, and more. Attendees will be able to sample all the delicious foods and then cast a vote for the top performer for the People’s Choice Award. Patrons can also take part in a Celebrity BBQ Cooking Class, which will feature two celebrity chefs teaching a two-hour long rib cooking seminar. The Kid’s Area will have rides, games, and treats for all ages, and a vendor marketplace features a variety of unique handmade items. We got the chance to interview Bob Hill, a representative of the event, to learn more about this great music and BBQ celebration.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
BH: The Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival has been in operation since 2000. It went on hiatus between 2000-2008 due to budget constraints and then re-emerged in 2009 as the Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
BH: Organizers expect more than 20,000 attendees.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
BH: It's a family-friendly event that attracts all ages.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
BH: The ingredient that makes this event special is the combination of barbecue with blues and rock music. Some 20 different musical acts will alternate performances on two stages. Don't let the music distract you from the epic Battle of the BBQ, which will establish the best professional BBQ Pitmasters among those participating.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event...what can I expect as an attendee?
BH: The gates swing open at 6:00 pm Friday night and general admission and parking are free. Guests may enjoy plenty of BBQ tasting opportunities along with free music. The gates open at 2:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday, and festival seating is only $10 per person. Guests will find a Fall Festival atmosphere that combines a competitive barbecue cook off with the best musical talent around. Some 20 bands will play on two stages throughout both days, while 90+ BBQ Pitmasters compete for cash and prizes. There are rides for the kids, carnival eats and treats, and plenty of shopping opportunities where visitors can find unique gifts and handmade items.
It’s all held outdoors under the big Texas sky. When the sun goes down, the stars come out to play, truly turning our event into a magical experience. This year’s headliners include Grammy-award winning artists Delbert McClinton and Buddy Guy.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
BH: There’s an abundance of local lodging for visitors, ranging from rooms for the budget conscious family to the most discriminating guest. Many hotels have specials during the weekend.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
BH: The Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival has become the premier Labor Day Weekend event in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Lodging usually hits max capacity and businesses enjoy the extra income driven by the influx of overnight guests.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
BH: Music lovers with a healthy appetite for blues music and mouth-watering barbecue will find the 2017 Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival a feast for the senses. For many of our guests, it's a Labor Day tradition!
For more information about Bedford Blues and BBQ, please visit the event website.