Rollin' On the River Blues Festival

Main and Water front
Keokuk, IA 52632



The first Rollin' on the River Festival in 1989 featured Buddy Holly's Crickets. In the second year, the festival moved downriver to Keokuk's Hubinger Landing and featured a reunion of hometown bands. The third year, the festival received a grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, which gave organizers a needed financial boost and the blues was chosen as the primary music format. The Festival was moved to historic Victory Park, where it remains today.

The event is the longest running blues festival, and the only one of its kind in the Tri State Area. Thru the years "Rollin' on the River" has presented some of the finest blues musicians around, including Magic Slim, Jimmy Thackery, Studebaker John, Joanna Conner, Lonnie Brooks, Bernard Allison, Buckwheat Zydeco and Doyle Bramhall, just to name a few!

In addition to stage performers ROR presents Musical Workshops and young people’s activities on Saturday afternoons, along with offering Scholarships to local students and a used instrument lending program for area students.

The Rollin’ on the River Committee consists of a diverse group of volunteers dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the quintessential American music genre known as the Blues.  This iconic type of music, which began in the Delta and across the South, has a storied history in our nation and with its migration North over time has influenced artists such as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, the Beatles and many more, including the entire musical style know as Rock & Roll.

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