Mavis Staples Anti- Press

The King Biscuit Blues Festival, which won Best Live Music Festival in our 2020 Best of Arkansas poll, is postponed until next year, with Executive Director Munnie Jordan adding the following in a press release:


“We sincerely believe the ongoing pandemic potentially threatens the safety of our musicians, patrons, volunteers and staff, and we cannot take that chance,” said Munnie Jordan, executive director of the festival. “As fate would have it, the “Biscuit” was chosen as the Arkansas Times’ Best Live Music Festival for 2020,” added Jordan.

Since 1986, the King Biscuit Blues Festival has presented a remarkable lineup of blues from the Delta and around the world, and this year would have marked its 35th anniversary celebration. Fans and performers alike recognize the unmistakable influence of this indigenous art form that permeated rock music of the 1960s and ‘70s and whose influence can still be felt today.

Next year’s event promises to be the best ever, and keeping with tradition of it being the weekend before Columbus Day, the dates will be October 6-9, 2021. Artists who were scheduled for 2020 have been invited back, and they include headliner Mavis Staples and perennial favorites Bobby Rush, Billy Branch, Lonnie Shields, Anson Funderburgh, Reba Russell and Paul Thorn.

All sub-events and programs that have become King Biscuit’s hallmark will return in 2021: Sonny Boy Blues Society’s Battle of the Bands (August), Blues, Bloodies & Biscuits, the 10th Annual Call and Response Blues Symposium, 5K Run, Tour da’ Delta Bike Ride, and Kansas City-sanctioned BBQ and Blues on The Levee Competition.

Cancelling this year’s event has many repercussions, one of which means losing most of the festival’s annual operating revenue. Because of that, 2020 ticketholders are being offered three options: they can (1) roll over their tickets for next year’s show (October 6-9, 2021); (2) receive a complete refund; or (3) choose to donate their ticket money to help sustain King Biscuit operations towards its future success. The board is asking those who have purchased tickets to choose one of the options at by Wednesday, August 12, 2020, or the ticket(s) will automatically be rolled over to 2021. Questions can be addressed to