The Cigar Box Guitar Festival Guide for Summer 2015!!!

The Cigar Box Guitar Festival Guide for Summer 2015!!!

It's's finally here!  Festival season!  This weekend kicks off Cigar Box Summer with festivals in Huntsville, Alabama (US) and Queensland, Australia.  Tune up your guitars, bring a lawn chair and get down with fellow cigar box guitarists!

We've gathered all the information for every fest this summer for you so you can plan your trips.  Note:  Each of these listings feature only a fraction of the performers and activities.  Click the links to see the full roster of performances, start times, etc.  This guide runs from this weekend through August, 2015. 


HUNTSVILLE AL (Fri. May 29 – Sat. May 30) The 11th Annual Cigar Box Guitar Festival

$2 suggested donation  This event sponsored by C. B. Gitty

The largest and longest running cigar box guitar festival also features some of the best talent in the DIY movement.  Headliners include Philadelphia backwoods blues duo Hymn for Her along with Microwave Dave, April Mae & The June Bugs, One Hand Dan and many more.  This family-friendly event includes demonstrations and hands on workshops, folk art, vendors, food trucks and more.  Location:  Lowe Mill Arts Center, 2211 Seminole Dr. Huntsville, Alabama.  More info:  11th Annual Cigar Box Guitar Fest website.

QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA (Sun. May 31) Get Rooted! Festival: A Celebration of Playable Art

$10 cover.  Additional $5 for optional cigar box guitar workshop

Australia has become a hotbed for cigar box guitars and raging blues.  This fest features five acts plus a 90 minute workshop.   Featured bands include Nigel McTrustry & the Cigar Box Explosion and Miss Gertrude.  Location:  Globe Theatre, 220 Brunswick Street, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.  More info:  Get Rooted! Facebook event page.

EUGENE, OR (June 6) The Cigar Box Guitar Fest Northwest

Free event

This family-friendly, daytime event is held inside the Saturday Market, a handcrafted marketplace in Eugene, OR.  Headliners include California stomp-blues trio, The Budrows and International Blues Challenge winner Ben Rice.  Also featuring Sean Hawk, Jerry Zybach, CBG Joe and Downtown Vinnie.  Cigar box guitars for sale along with great food and art.  Location:  The Eugene Saturday Market, 8th and Oak, Eugene OR.  More info: Northwest Fest Facebook event page. 

ST. LOUIS, MO (June 6) 3rd Annual St. Louis Cigar Box Guitar Festival

Free event

The St. Louis Cigar Box Guitar Fest is a great place to learn about making and playing your own cigar box guitars…all in the atmosphere of a great BBQ roadhouse bar on Highway 61!  The fest kicks off the night before with "Wizard of the Cigar Box Guitar" Justin Johnson, delivering a concert showcasing different styles of music over a wide range of homemade instruments.  The Saturday event features how-to-build seminars, vendors, clinics and a show headlining concert by New Jersey’s powerhouse swing-blues band, April Mae & the June Bugs.  Location:  Highway 61 Roadhouse & Kitchen, 34 South Old Orchard Avenue,  Webster Groves, MO 63119.  More info:  St. Louis CBG Fest website.

BORDENTOWN, NJ (Fri., June 12) Cigar Box Guitar Homecoming Show w/Hymn For Her + April Mae & The Junebugs

$15 in advance, $18 at the door

The cigar box guitar gets pushed to its primal limits in this double-billing show at the Record Collector listening room.  Swamp psychedelia duo, Hymn For Her returns to their home turf after touring the world in a 1950’s Airstream trailer.  They’re joined by the amazing April Mae & the June Bugs.  If you’re anywhere on the East Coast on this weekend, don’t miss this show.  Location:  The Record Collector, 358 Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown NJMore info and ticket link at The Record Collector website.

TORONTO, OHIO (Sat. June 13) The 4th Annual Handmade Music Extravaganza

$5 cover.   This event sponsored by C. B. Gitty

This wild Mid-West festival returns with a killer lineup of swamp blues, garage rock and roots music.  The Budrows will be there!  Also on the bill are The Lo-Fi Project, Secret Devil Tuning and The Pussyfooters.  The concert also serves as a fundraiser for Team Mojo Foundation, providing free music lessons to local underprivileged children.  Location:  Driftwood Smokehouse and Marina, Toronto, Ohio.  More info:  Handmade Music Extravaganza website.

BIRMINGHAM, UK (Fri. July 3-Sat. July 4) Boxstock – The U.K. Cigar Box Guitar Festival!

Free event

Taking place during the Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival, this annual fest is a great representation of the U.K. cigar box guitar scene.  Performing in a Dr. Ross-style one man band featuring cigar box guitar/harmonica/bass drum, Hollowbelly is a sonic blitzkrieg of a headliner. Also featuring the Godfather of the Cigar Box Guitar, Chickenbone John. Details are still being worked out, but there is talk of a cigar box guitar open mic on Friday and cigar box guitar building seminars on Saturday.  Location: The Green Room Café Bar, 70 Hurst St., Birmingham UK.  More info:  The Boxstock page on Cigar Box Nation.

TUSCANY, ITALY (Sat., July 18) The Pistoia Blues Festival presents: The 1st Italian Cigar Box Guitar Meeting

Italy will have its first cigar box guitar festival as part of the Pistoria Blues Festival’s side stage events!  Details are still forthcoming, but interested attendees can contact the Cigar Box Guitar Italia Facebook page for more information.

ALBERT, TX (Sat., Aug. 22) The Republic of Texas Cigar Box Guitar Fest

Free Event

Justin Johnson headlines this brand new festival held at the Albert Dance Hall.  He will be joined by deep blues master, Rev. KM Williams along with Convict Hill, My Buddy Todd and Lousy Lou.  Location: The Albert Dance Hall, Albert TX.  More info at the Texas Cigar Box Guitar Fest Facebook page.

YORK, PA (Sat. Aug. 29) The Pennsylvania Cigar Box Guitar Festival

Free event   This event sponsored by C. B. Gitty

The PA festival is a great event for the family and features 14 acts on two stages, vendors, food and a city-wide arts fest happening on the same day.  This year’s headliners include Shane Speal and April Mae & the Junebugs. Also featuring pre-teen virtuosos, The Pennsylvania Alley Kats. There will be huge vendors market with instruments, parts and more along with foot trucks.  Location:  The York Emporium, 343 W. Market St, York.  More info at the PA Cigar Box Guitar Fest Facebook page.

KANSAS CITY, MO (Sun., Aug. 30) The 5th Annual Kansas City Cigar Box Guitar Festival

Free event.   This event sponsored by C. B. Gitty

This jam-packed festival features a wide variety of solo performers including Tim Covey, Jason Fox, Jason Vivone, Michael Vande, Jeff McFadden, Linda Morrison, Blind Dawg Willie and many more!  The event is free.  A workshop by cigar box guitar virtuoso Justin Johnson will be available for $15.  Location:  Johnny’s Back Yard Bar, 1825 Buchanan St, North Kansas City, MO.  More info at The Kansas City Cigar Box Guitar Fest website.

…Stay tuned for the Fall/Winter Cigar Box Guitar Fest Guide, to be published in August.  There are fests coming to Chicago, Mississippi, France, Holland, UK and more!




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Comment by TheoMojo on May 28, 2015 at 1:55pm

Thanks for this information...

Comment by the anonymous pick on May 27, 2015 at 3:41pm

nice   line  up  ,  thanx  for  the  list .  ;-)

Comment by Jim Morris on May 27, 2015 at 2:55pm

So many Festivals, so little time. Thanks for the info.

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