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. sfblues.org