Tampa Bay Blues Fest: Live Blues at its Best!

Each year since 1995, some of the biggest names in blues music have taken the stage at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida. Blues enthusiasts from all over the world come to scenic Vinoy Park to watch this spectacular showcase of American Blues music, performed right on the waterfront. With acres of plush grass and palm trees, Vinoy Park is the perfect tropical setting for one of the world’s biggest and best blues concerts.

Tampa Bay Blues Festival has established itself as one of the world's preeminent blues concerts and was the recipient of the Blues Foundation’s 2011 “Keepin’ the Blues Alive” award for Best U.S. Blues Festival. Over the years our stage has welcomed legends such as Stephen Stills, Buddy Guy, George Thorogood, Taj Mahal, Robert Cray, Delbert McClinton, Little Feat, Jonny Lang, Los Lobos, Jerry Lee Lewis, Koko Taylor, Jimmie Vaughan, Irma Thomas, Susan Tedeschi, and others, in what has truly become a magnificent celebration of music!

The Blues Music Festival is an ideal setting to enjoy Florida's sunshine and warm spring weather. For guests seeking an enhanced festival experience, we offer a special VIP Package with "front" stage seating, a large VIP tent with free food, beer and soda, and beautiful views of Tampa Bay.

Throughout the festival grounds, you will enjoy tasty food, including seafood, barbeque, Cuban cuisine, and other culinary treats. Festival vendors also include arts & crafts. Premium beer, wine, and mixed drinks are also available.

In addition to great music and warm weather, you will also enjoy visiting downtown St. Petersburg, with its many restaurants, clubs, and art museums, including the world famous Dali Museum. From St. Petersburg you may also wish to travel 20 minutes to Treasure Island, Pass-a-Grille, and St. Pete Beach. The area’s Ft. DeSoto Beach offers a large, public park and was recently named one of the world's finest beaches.

The Tampa Bay Blues Festival is produced by the Tampa Bay Blues Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation. Proceeds from the event benefit our charity partner, PARC, which stands for Promoting Advocacy and Recognizing Capabilities. Guests are encouraged to make donations to PARC in the “Tip” jars located at all of the beer & wine operations.

The Tampa Bay Blues Festival is staged at Vinoy Waterfront Park in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Gates open at approximately 11:30 a.m. On Friday & Saturday, gates open at around noon. On Sunday, the gates will open at about 12:30 p.m.

The main entry gate is located on Fifth Avenue NE & Bayshore Drive. Tickets are available for sale at the main gate. Will Call is also handled at the main gate. All ticket sales, including beverage tickets, must be purchased with cash. Tickets are not required to purchase food products. ATMs are available at the main entry gate and the northwest corner of Vinoy Park.

If you are driving to the event, please feel free to park in downtown St. Petersburg, in any legal parking spot.

Handicap parking is available to the west of the main stage area, directly across from the softball field. Handicapped guests may enter at the vendor/volunteer entrance at 7th Avenue NE and Bayshore Blvd. if they have their ticket. Tickets are not sold at this entrance (tickets are sold at the 5th Avenue NE and Bayshore Blvd. gate). Please call (727) 895-6153 for any special arrangements that need to be made in advance.

No coolers, drinks, bicycles, pets, recording devices, or alcohol are allowed in the park. Also, no umbrellas or shade canopies may be set up in front of the main stage area. An area designated towards the rear of the park is available if you intend to bring small umbrellas or shade canopies. No large tents may be set up under any circumstances.

Public restrooms are available in the rear of the park along the seawall. Re-entry to the park is allowed through the front gate only, provided you obtain a hand stamp.

Food vendors and merchandise booths will be set up along the perimeter of the park. All vendor sales are cash only. All beverage sales, including beer, wine, soda, PowerAde and water must be purchased with beverage tickets which are located next to all of the beer trucks in the park. All beverage tickets are good for the day of sale only.

The Tampa Bay Blues Festival is produced by the Tampa Bay Blues Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation. Proceeds from the event benefit our charity partner, PARC, which stands for Promoting Advocacy and Recognizing Capabilities. Guests are encouraged to make donations to PARC in the “Tip” jars located at all of the beer & wine operations..

This event was designed to provide equal opportunity for enjoyment to all participants. If you would like to request any particular aids or services pursuant to disability laws, please contact the event planner at (727)895-6153 or City of St. Petersburg Community Affairs Division at (727) 893-7357 or (727) 892-5259 TDD/TTY.

Please enjoy three great days of Blues by the Bay!

To locate a great HOTEL for your trip to the Festival, please click here.

Information Guide

Festival Hours (all times approximate):

Friday: gates open at approximately 11:30 a.m.

Saturday: gates open at approximately 11:30 a.m.

Sunday: gates open at approximately noon

Music will continue until 10:00 p.m. each evening

Parking:

Please feel free to park in one of the city’s parking garages. Click here for parking garage locations. You might also find free parking on select streets. Free shuttle pick ups and drop offs on the southeast corner of First Avenue South and First Street by the South Core Parking Garage and the east side of First Street between First and Second Avenues North directly behind the Sundial Parking garage. For a shuttle map, please click here. Shuttles are available from 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Friday, from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, and from noon until 11:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets:

All tickets are non-refundable & non-replaceable. The show will be presented, rain or shine. Drink tickets are good for day of show only. VIP Experience package patrons will receive a wristband which will allow access to the main gate, VIP front stage seating, and the VIP tent.

VIP Experience package patrons will receive a wristband which will allow access to the main gate, VIP front stage seating, and the VIP tent.

What to Bring:

Sunscreen/hats, lawn chairs, blankets, individual umbrellas (for the area located toward the back of the park), children 12 & under – they are free! Cash – most vendors only accept cash payments.

What Not to Bring:

Large tents, pets/animals, coolers/food/drinks, alcohol (sold on-site), weapons, bicycles, large bags, backpacks, water (sold on site by the charity). All patrons will go through security, and unauthorized items will not allowed into the park.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring in my own food and drink?

Our charity partner, PARC, benefits from proceeds from our event. We thank you for buying food and drink at the park; outside food and drinks are not allowed.

Can I re-enter the park?

Re-entry is allowed at the 5th Avenue gate if you had your hand stamped upon exit.

Is there a free shuttle service?

Yes. Please park at the parking garage at First Avenue North and First Street OR Second Avenue North and 2nd Street. You will be picked up on First Street at the Shuttle Stop signs.

What time do gates open?

We strive to have the gates open by noon each day.

Can I meet an artist?

Most artists sign their CDs and other merchandise at the Artist Signing Tent which is located to the west of the stage.

Where do I buy drink tickets?

There are at least two drink tickets booths located on the east and west areas of the park. Purchase the tickets for cash. Tickets are good for day of sale only.