September 1, 1996
(Labor Day Weekend)

location: California State University (athletic field)
place: Long Beach, CA
country: USA

"Long Beach Blues Festival" (three day festival August 31 - September 2)

cardboard poster


Saturday August 31:
Bobby "Blue" Bland, Charles Brown, Texas Johnny Brown, Johnny Copeland with Shemekia Copeland, Cal & Clarence Green, Guitar Shorty, Carol Fran & Clarence Hollimon, Long John Hunter, Smokin' Joe Kubek with Bnois King, Sonny Rhodes.

Sunday September 1:
Texas Tornados, Marcia Ball, Lou Ann Barton, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, W. C. Clark, Joe "Guitar"Hughes, Texas Pete Mayes, Angela Strehli,

Monday September 2:
Floyd Dixon, Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets featuring Sam Myers, Lowell Fulson, Roy Gaines, Cal & Clarence Green, Guitar Shorty, Little Richard with Grady Gaines and the Upsetters, Asleep At The Wheel, Jimmy "T99" Nelson, An All-Star Tribute to T-Bone Walker

(unknown date: Henry Qualls with Hash Brown)


The "Long Beach Blues Festival", in Long Beach, California, was established in full in 1980, and is one of the largest Blues festivals and is the second oldest on the West Coast (first being the "San Francisco Blues Festival"). It is held on Saturday and Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend. For many years it was held on the athletic field on the Long Beach campus. The 2009 festival, the 30th annual, was held at Rainbow Lagoon in downtown Long Beach. The Festival went on hiatus in 2010, and has not been held since.

The festival is organized and used as a fund raiser by KKJZ, a publicly supported radio station on the CSULB campus broadcasting blues and jazz in Southern California.

The Festival was started in 1980 by jazz radio station KLON (later renamed to KKJZ) in Long Beach, California under the direction of Bernie Pearl, who was the host of a blues program "Nothing But The Blues" on KLON at the time. The first Festival was a one day event titled the "KLON Blues & Gospel Festival" held at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach, drawing only a small crowd of 700, resulting in loss of $7,000 for the radio station. The Festival grew larger each year, becoming a major fund raising event for KLON. During 1996 through 2000, KLON expanded the event to 3 days utilizing the entire Labor Day weekend. It went back to the 2-day event in 2001 because CSULB wanted Labor Day to clean up the field for their use in the new school semester. The Festival venue for the second Fest and thereafter was the North Athletic Field at Cal State University, Long Beach (CSULB), with the exception of 1992 which was held at Shoreline Aquatic Park in downtown Long Beach, and at Rainbow Lagoon in downtown Long Beach beginning in 2008 and 2009.

In 2010, the Blues Festival went on hiatus because of economic conditions and was replaced with a one-day Blues Bash held at the "Carpenter Performing Arts Center" on the CSULB campus.