Arts & Entertainment, City Life

Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival returns April 28

Hundreds turn out each year for the annual Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival in downtown Bessemer.


Barbecue and Blues are a great combination so start planning for the 9th Annual Bob Sykes BBQ & Blues Festival set for Saturday, April 28, 2018, presented by the City of Bessemer and Metro PCS.

The event will combine the best of blues music and legendary Bob Sykes BBQ at the beautiful DeBardeleben Park located in historic downtown Bessemer, Alabama from 12-8 p.m. Gates open at 11 a.m. You can expect to hear talented award winning local and national blues musicians. Be sure to bring a chair or blanket and set-up your spot for the day.

Since 2010, the event has been filled with thousands of festival goers. Attendees of the festival range from youth to adults.

 “Each year the festival grows and we couldn’t do it without our sponsors and the support of the community,”  said second generation owner and pit master of Bob Sykes, Mr. Van Sykes.

“The Bob Sykes BBQ and Blues Festival has been a great event for the city of Bessemer. It brings visitors to our city from across the state, southeast and even internationally,” said Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley. “We’re proud that this festival will continue to be held in Bessemer and we’re looking forward to many more great years of barbecue and blues music in downtown Bessemer.”

The festival has been chosen for numerous years as one of the top food festivals in Alabama. There is something to do for the entire family including a large kids corner with activities and games. Children 12-under are free with a ticketed adult. Besides great music and barbecue the festival offers a variety of booths including arts and crafts, outdoor exhibits, and a diverse selection of vendors selling tempting offers.

General admission tickets can be purchased at or visit Bob Sykes Bar B Q Restaurant.  Since 2010, the festival has provided funding for local charities and this year Bob Sykes has chosen Latch and Live Foundation as the charity. The foundation rebuilds lives and provides help to impoverished families of Bessemer and surrounding cities.

Music Line-up

12:15-1:15pm. Debbie Bond: 1:30pm-2:30pm “LIGHTNIN MALCOLM”

2:45pm-4pm: Music Maker Blues Revue featuring: Beverly Guitar Watkins, Albert White, Sam Frazier Jr., & Ardie Dean

4:15-5:15pm: Chris Simmons Band. 5:30-6:45pm Johnny Rawls. 7:00pm-8:00pm. Jeff Jensen.