Documentary on iconic Memphis Blues Festival seeks funding

Bukka White
Bukka White (Image credit: Getty)

Blues fans are being asked to help fund a documentary about the famous Memphis Country Blues Festival.

A Kickstarter campaign has been launched with the aim of raising $35,000 for the movie, called The Blues Society: A Documentary Film.

It’s directed by Augusta Palmer, the daughter of Robert Palmer – a member of the Memphis Country Blues Society – and will feature archive footage from the 1960s events as well as new interviews.

The Memphis Country Blues Society launched the first festival in 1966 and held three further events which became the focal point for blues music in a culturally significant period of America’s history.

Palmer says: “Since the first of these events took place almost 50 years ago, it’s urgent that we do interviews with people who were there and search for archival materials that will help us tell this amazing story.

“In January, I made a brief trip to Memphis to capture a handful of interviews, but we need to talk to so many more organisers, musicians, and audience members.

“We are asking for your help to travel to pay a professional crew to shoot interviews in Memphis and elsewhere this summer, so that we can document this incredible time in Memphis and America’s history and preserve the story of these incredible festivals.”

She continues: “The budget for a feature documentary like this one will be over $200,000, and we will raise the rest of that money through work with investors, grant writing and foundation funding, but this first money in will be a huge asset to the project.

“It will tell future funders that we have an audience who is engaged in the process of making the film and deeply interested in its completion.”

The festivals featured performances from acts including Bukka White, Furry Lewis and John Fahey.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.