Madison Blues Society, Madison, Wisconsin Madison Blues Society, Madison, Wisconsin


One more time, the Madison Blues Society is holding their fabulous Blues Picnic in the Park on Saturday, June  18, 2016! We're having great live music all day long so you'll be sure to want to get on down to Warner Park between 12:00PM and 9:00PM and join in the fun! You can enter the park at 2930 North Sherman Avenue or at the entrance at 1625 Northport Drive. Look for the shelter with the big colored drums and you'll find the best fest in Madison!

Don't forget this great event is STILL FREE! Everyone from the community and beyond can come and enjoy a fantastic day of music, food, drink, beer and fun in the sun!

The bands are looking great again this year for a rockin' good time for all. There'll be nine hours of FREE MUSIC! Don't forget there's plenty of room for dancing so make sure you mark the date to come on down and shake what ya got!

If just hanging out is your style, there's lots of room for blankets and chairs with shade under the trees. We'll have more of the same great traditional and ethnic food vendors to give you lots of options for tasty food and drink. And Capital Brewery will be back with their fine brews.

This project is funded by Dane Arts with additional funding from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation, the Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of the Capital Times, W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation. This project is also funded by a grant from the Madison Arts Commission, with additional funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board. Thanks to these great organizations supporting the arts, the Madison Blues Society can continue to bring this event back again and again. Their continued support of the MBS Blues Picnic makes possible this great day the Blues community loves.

Blues Picnic Crowd 2008
The Blues Kids will be back!

The Blues Kids will be back again at this year's Blues Picnic. This year, we're working with a great group of kids at the Packer Community Learning Center.

Blues educators will teach the kids about the Blues and work with them to create some terrific performances. Don't miss these area kids get up and show you their spirit with some great Blues performances!

Blues Picnic Poster 2016
2016 Blues Pcnic Poster
Click for PDF file
Help spread the word!

We're getting Blues Picnic Posters put up around town. You'll be able to read about us in the Isthmus and you'll find flyers at your favorite area clubs and music shops with all the details. Let your friends and family know about this fun day! You can help by printing out a few and getting them put up in your neighborhood. Just click the poster to get the full PDF file.

You can keep up with all the news by checking out the latest on FACEBOOK! Check us out, let us know if you're going and tell all your Facebook friends!


Since the Blues Picnic usually coincides with a Madison Mallards baseball game, the Warner Park parking lot fills up quickly in the afternoon. In previous years, some folks who did not come to the picnic early could not find a place to park.

To alleviate this problem, we are recommending to people who aren't walking or biking, to take advantage of the Madison Metro Bus system. Route 22 stops at Warner Park as well as some reasonable places to park, like the Northside Transfer Point.

Check out the details of Madison Metro Route 22.

For those with smart phones, "there's an app for that".

We're working with WORT-FM again this year!

We're continuing our promotional exchange with WORT-FM community radio this year. They'll be at the picnic and helping get the word out in the preceding weeks. Be sure to tune in for broadcast interviews with MBS "picnic people" and members of the picnic bands as well as lots of great Blues music.

Don't miss these WORT Blues Shows:

Grab your chance to win in the Picnic Raffles!

This year's prize raffle is going to give blues fans plenty of chances to win! Members are getting tickets to purchase in the mail. Everyone else can pick up tickets at the MBS tent for a chance to come home with a great prize!

You can also grab your chance at these great prizes from an MBS Board Member. The tickets will be printed and ready to go in early June! Only $10 or three for $25! You may run into them at TATE'S BLUES JAM at the Knuckle Down Saloon on Thursday nights. Don't miss out!

You can check out all the contributions from our great Blues Picnic supporters on the RAFFLE PRIZE LIST.

And a lot of folks love the 50/50 CASH RAFFLE. Tickets sold in the crowd at the Blues Picnic bring some very lucky winners a bundle of cash and help the Madison Blues Society keep bringin' you the blues.

We've got terrific Blues from the Madison Area,
Chicago, Milwaukee and Kansas City!

They'll be singin' and playin' the Blues from Noon to 9:00PM! Don't miss these hot bands!

Chicago Blues Hall of Fame Winner!

Paul Filipowicz, a Chicago Blues Hall Of Fame inductee, has fronted his own band for over 30 years, playing venues from the Midwest to Denver to stints in Texas and Mississippi. He has shared the stage with such luminaries as Hound-Dog Taylor and Mighty Joe Young.

Paul Filipowicz is one of those rare bluesmen that defines the genre. There is more heart, soul and guts poured into one of his solos than most players can muster in a career"

      – Rick Tvedt, Madison Area Music Association

Local Blues Kids will be cookin' at the park!
Blues Kids
"Blues Kids"

For several years The Blues Kids (shown here in their 2014 incarnation) has been a project that brings music educators together with community youth to teach them about the Blues and its history and importance -- and start the next generation of musicians.

The 2016 group includes a five year old drum prodigy and other children from the Northport area. Their appearance performing before a live audience and sharing the stage with professional musicians will give their families, friends and neighbors an opportunity to show their support and help make this a truly community event.

Bring Your Dancin' Shoes For Some Hot Blues!

The Blues Disciples have been bringing their Blues to clubs in the Milwaukee area and the Midwest since 1990. The band was founded by "Barefoot" Jimmy Schwarz and Kent "The Colonel" Knapp with the intent of remaining true to the style of the Chicago electric blues of the '50's and 60's. They've been influenced initially by the likes of Little Walter and Muddy Waters, and then directly by Wisconsin Blues greats Jim Liban and Billy Flynn, (both of whom have played at past MBS Blues Picnics).

They've forged a sound that has risen to the top of the Milwaukee Blues scene. Their years of powerful shows every week at Milwaukee Blues fixture "The Up & Under" has turned a whole new generation onto the genre. Their music is known as far away as the Virgin Islands, where they often tour.

"I've seen these guys a couple of times in and near Milwaukee and they are a great band... There are some superb blues coming to us from out in America’s Dairyland!"

      - Steve Jones, Blues Blast Magazine

Good old fashioned, guitar-slinging Blues!

Jimmy Nick is a guitar-slinging blues prodigy who was developing his chops in famous Chicago clubs when he was only sixteen. His experience playing at these Chicago venues – Buddy Guy’s Legends,The Kingston Mines, Rosa’s Lounge, and B.L.U.E.S. on Halstead – combined with his boundless energy and stage presence, has established him as a force that is taking the Chicago club and blues scene by storm.

"Jimmy Nick is an old school rocker with great energy and enjoyably aggressive guitar playing. A fun band!

      – Bruce Iglauer, President & Founder, Alligator Records

Kanasa City Blues Mama Belts It Out!

Lauren Anderson was voted 2015 Female Vocalist of the Year at the Midwest Music Awards. Chicago born and now Kansas City based, this soulful yet rocking artist has had a passion for singing throughout her entire life. Growing up in a household that was rich in music, her influences include Susan Tedeschi, Bonnie Raitt, The Pointer Sisters, Eva Cassidy, Etta James, Joss Stone, Jason Mraz, Black Eyed Peas, and Christina Aguilera.

She was classically trained in early life and, in addition to making music, works on the pediatric and pediatric intensive care units at The University of Kansas Hospital, as well as at Gillis Center as a music therapist. Her experiences in life give her music a power that is not to be missed!

"Anderson is a great package deal, great vocalist, superb songwriter, deeply rooted in blues and roots music and so much more.

      – Bill Wilson, Reflections in Blue

Top Chicago Band Graces Madison!

The Picnic headliner will be Lil' Ed and The Blues Imperials in a very rare appearance in Madison. From working at Chicago’s Red Carpet Car Wash to appearing on national television, from gigging at the smallest ghetto blues bars to performing on the biggest international concert stages, master bluesman Lil’ Ed Williams has come a long way.

Mixing smoking slide guitar boogies and raw-boned Chicago shuffles with the deepest slow-burners, Lil’ Ed and his blistering Blues Imperials — bassist James “Pookie” Young, guitarist Mike Garrett and drummer Kelly Littleton — deliver the blues, from gloriously riotous and rollicking to intensely emotional and moving. Not since the heyday of Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers has a blues band made such a consistently joyful noise.

Currently celebrating almost 30 years together, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials ply their musical talents with skills that have been honed to a razor’s edge, outlasting sports stars and presidents, musical fads and fashion trends. And together, they continue to make blues history with each and every performance and new recording. Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials have been nominated for eight Blues Music Awards as 'Band Of The Year' and have won that award twice.

"Ed plays slide guitar like a back-alley shiv...gutbucket blues at its most brutally honest."

      – Chicago Sun-Times

Winners will get food, fun and more!

Check out these great prizes! Tickets are available SOON from MBS Board Members and will be on sale at the white Madison Blues Society tent. Only $10 or 3 for $25 and we put groups of prizes together so each prize is a big one!

Check out this list of great prizes!

We'll have our usual great selection of food and drink!

Please help support our great vendors and KEEP THE PICNIC FREE!


Food Vendors

We'll have the great familiar and ethnic choices that Blues fans have come to know and love.

Plenty of Fine Brews

And don't miss all the great beers from Capital Brewery. We'll have cups and pitchers again so you can be well stocked for the day. Be sure to load up your favorite Capital Brewery brews and enjoy the music!


At the MBS Tent, we'll have BLUES MERCHANDISE for sale including MBS T-shirts with a great new design for this year and we'll have many left from previous events, too! We'll also have drink cozies, tote bags, mugs, insulated cups, and other fun gear! There'll be lots of Blues fans bringing something back home with them after a great day of music.

And if you haven't joined the Madison Blues Society, check out our membership packages. One-year single memberships are still only $15! MBS keeps bringing the Madison area fans the Blues year after year! Don't miss this great opportunity to support the Blues!

And we'll also have Akarim African Products back this year bringing you all kinds of interesting goods from Africa

  • African clothing
  • Musical instruments
  • Wooden lazy chairs
  • Mucloth wall hangings
  • Straw baskets and hats
  • Rasta bags, belts and bracelets
  • Costume jewelry

These great supporters bring you the Blues