image advertising Southwell Festival Gets The Blues


The Greet will meet the Mississippi on Thursday, June 7th when the Gate to Southwell Festival brings some of the world’s best blues stars to town.

Headliners Nine Below Zero have been one of Britain’s best blues exports for over 30 years and they’ve supported everyone from Alexis Korner, Chuck Berry, The Kinks and The Who through to recent successful tours with Squeeze and The Stranglers.

on stage photo of blues band - Nine Below Zero by Ed Fielding
Nine Below Zero by Ed Fielding

Also on the bill, there’s the Lil’ Jimmy Reed Band, led by one of the last original Louisiana bluesmen.


Now in his late seventies, Lil’ Jimmy has shared the stage with blues greats such as BB King and Bobby Blue Bland; he’ll be joined by Bob Hall, one of the finest blues and boogie pianists of his generation.

image of Lil' Jimmy Reed singing on stage
Lil’ Jimmy Reed

“We’ve booked the best international folk, roots and acoustic artists over the years but we’ve also had some great blues performers at Southwell,” says festival director Mike Kirrage.

“So this year we’ve decided to start the festival with a top-quality blues extravaganza and we hope to attract blues fans from throughout the Midlands.”

Alongside Nine Below Zero and the Lil’ Jimmy Reed Band, there’s also Ol’ Savannah, one of Canada’s best roots bands – they put the blues into bluegrass and have been described as a cross between Tom Waits, Muddy Waters, Roscoe Holcomb, and The Pogues! – and, from closer-to-home, Northumbrian bluesman, Johnny Dickinson, who’s universally regarded as one of Britain’s finest blues and slide guitarists, and played at the first ever Gate to Southwell Festival.

image of poster for Southwell Festival Gets The BluesOver the weekend there’s a great line-up of roots and acoustic stars for the twelfth festival (June 7th to 10th) – including Lindisfarne, Cara Dillon and the Young’uns – plus another big name to be announced soon.

“Tickets are selling fast,” reports Mike, “and Gate To Southwell 2018 definitely looks set to be the best yet.”

Special priced Thursday evening tickets are on sale now from £20 and Tier One Weekend and Weekend Extra tickets can also be purchased via the Gate To Southwell 2018 website –