The annual basketball Battle of the Blues stirs a lot of rambunctiousness in the Triangle, but there's no reason to fight about the blues taking over Durham in September, is there? The Bull Durham Blues Festival
, founded in 1987, returns this year Sept. 5–6 at the Hayti Heritage Center
and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Angela Lee, the executive director of the Hayti Heritage Center, says she hopes the festival can help boost local interest in the blues and roots music.
“A lot of tremendous blues and other types of music just do not get played,” Lee says. “As part of our mission at Hayti, our tagline is to preserve the heritage and embrace the experience. It’s an important part of being able to preserve and experience the blues in Durham."
This year, the festival returns to a two-day format after scaling back to one night last year. Lee says she hopes the format would allow the festival to cater to more people. Those who prefer seated, indoor shows should appreciate Friday's offerings at the Hayti Heritage Center. The Campbell Brothers, John Dee Holeman and Phil Cook form Friday's bill. Those looking for outdoor fun can take advantage of Saturday’s shows at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. That bill features Shemeika Copeland, Grady Champion, The Red Dirt Revelators and more.
In addition to the music on Saturday, attendees can enjoy a wide variety of other activities and various local food and drink vendors.
“People can get up and they can dance or they can sit back and enjoy the music while they eat and drink. Whatever pleases them, they can do,” Lee says.