This Weekend: Celebrate the blues by San Francisco's Bay

Courtesy San Francisco Blues Festival
The 1991 San Francisco Blues Festival, with BB King performing

No matter how you like your blues (Chicago, Texas, Delta, Electric), you'll find something to like at the 36th-Annual San Francisco Blues Festival, which is widely considered to be the longest-running blues festival around.

This year's edition kicks off on Friday with a tribute to the late John Lee Hooker. The music continues on Saturday and Sunday in the Great Meadow just outside of Fort Mason Center. Some of the show's 15-plus performers are The Delta Groove All Star Blues Revue, accordion legend Buckwheat Zydeco, singer Denise LaSalle, and guitarist Johnny Winter.

The blues comes from a long oral tradition, and there will be plenty of your blues brethren at this event doing call-and-response with the artists. (Upwards of 20,000 visitors are expected.) In addition to the music, you can munch on barbecue, oysters, and rice and beans. So bring a cooler and a lawn chair for a little blues by the bay. If you arrive early, you may snag a great spot to view the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

Friday's event is free, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Justin Herman Plaza, 1 Market Street. Saturday and Sunday's events are at the Great Meadow at Fort Mason, Marina Boulevard, and Laguna streets. Tickets are $35 per day in advance, $40 per day at the gate. Gates open at 10 a.m.; the festival hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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