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Destination - Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival 2013

Updated on May 22, 2013

Catch Fredericton's fabulous fall festival!

Jazzed about the blues?

Then save some of that vacation time for September - and take in the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Harvest Jazz & Blues has grown into one of North America's premiere music festivals, attacting world class artists for six days of awesome entertainment each September.

Where else can you find 400 musicians performing 150 shows in 27 venues within 6 city blocks? Whether you go for straight ahead blues, cajun-zydeco, smooth jazz or the whole enchilada, you'll find it here - year after year.

Go "all in" with an Ultimate Hard Core Pass - guaranteeing access to every show and venue (you can always sleep later) - or just wander the streets and soak in the sights and sounds of sidewalk buskers, historic architecture and contagious we're-having-a-good-time-now atmosphere.

Photo: Playing the Blues By griangrafanna [CC BY-NC 2.0] on Flickr.

It's all about music...

Although the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival brings in big name acts from around the world, we don't have to go to far to find amazing talent. New Brunswick's Matt Andersen is a must-see bluesman - guaranteed to leave you screaming for more.

Check out this incredible Matt Andersen acoustic set filmed in Australia...

22 Years of Jazz & Blues

Festival History

The very first Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival kicked off in September, 1991 with just 25 acts in 17 venues. Being a musician myself, I was fortunate to be involved in the early years, playing in blues bands in various bar venues and opening for headliners like Dutch Mason, known in these parts as the "Prime Minister of the Blues". His son Garret has taken up the mantle and is a regular at the festival these days.

Over the past 22 years this family-friendly festival has grown from four to six days, continually expanding the numbers of musicians, performances, venues and volunteers. The festival's Music Director, Brent Staeben told CBC "tens of thousands of people" participated in the 2012 festival. That's not a surprise given the quality of the talent and the local support.

water-like-glass-(CC BY 2.0)-By-seanmcgrath
water-like-glass-(CC BY 2.0)-By-seanmcgrath

About Fredericton

Atlantic Canada's Riverfront Capital

Fredericton is the capital city of New Brunswick, Canada. This beautiful city of about 56,000 is located on the Saint John River, about 60 miles from the US border crossing at Houlton Maine on the I-95.

Fredericton's rich history as a garrison town is well preserved and celebrated. In fact, festival venues are located right in the centre of the Fredericton's Historic Garrison District in the heart of the downtown.

Fredericton airport (YFC) is just twenty minutes away and has regular flights via Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.

Find Fredericton, New Brunswick

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Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
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What to wear

September evenings can be chilly in New Brunswick

September weather in New Brunswick can be a bit of a wild card, so be sure to bring some warm clothing for those cool evenings. The Festival goes rain or shine so bring along some wet weather gear just in case.

Average temperatures for mid-September range between 9C (48F) and 19C (66F) with the warmest hours between 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

Columbia Men's
Zephyr Ridge JacketCHECK PRICE

Columbia Women's
Heat 360 II Full Zip FleeceCHECK PRICE

The Irving Tent (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) By nagzi
The Irving Tent (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) By nagzi

The 2013 Musical Lineup

It's smokin' hot!

The complete 2013 lineup and schedule is now online at the Harvest Jazz & Blues website.

Check out the Headliners:

Big Sam's Funky Nation

Big Sugar

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

Canned Heat

Gov't Mule

Hey Rosetta!

Holly Cole

Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk

JJ Grey & Mofro

Marcia Ball

Michael Franti & Spearhead

Michael Kaeshammer

The Avett Brothers

The Record Company

The Wailers

Warren Haynes and Gordie Johnson

If that lineup doesn't get you in the jazz and blues mood - nothin' will.

Photo: The Irving Tent by nagzi [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] on Flickr.

While you're waiting.... - Check out some smokin' festival performances from the past.

Eat Sleep Music

Evolution saxophone

Blues Man

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Blues Music
Embroidered Cap CHECK PRICE

Blues Music
Embroidered Cap CHECK PRICE

Embroidered Baseball CapCHECK PRICE

Click here to learn how to easy it is to personalize Zazzle printed products.


Behind the scenes there are always a number of workshops presented by local and visiting musicians and partners. These include music workshops at local schools, song writing workshops and technical demonstrations hosted by local music stores.

Afterburners - Jamming the night away

Ross Neilsen & The Sufferin' Bastards (CC BY 2.0) by ElizPalmer
Ross Neilsen & The Sufferin' Bastards (CC BY 2.0) by ElizPalmer

One of the staples of every Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival are the Afterburner parties. Most evenings after their headline performances are over, it's time for the musicians to wind down. And that guessed it...partying hard and jamming with the other performers. You can purchase tickets for Afterburners as well.

Photo: Ross Neilsen & The Sufferin' Bastards By ElizPalmer [CC BY-NC 2.0] on Flickr.

Music on the streets (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) By nagzi
Music on the streets (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) By nagzi

The Volunteers

Experience the festival from the inside

The Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival wouldn't exist without an army of volunteers. A thousand dedicated volunteers take on tasks from manning the Harvest Central Store - where you can purchase tickets as well as HJ & B merchandise - to painting hundreds of notes on the sidewalks or slinging suds in the venues. There's plenty to do both before and after the festival.

Many of these volunteers come back year after year for the camaraderie and ever-present good-time feeling that has become the foundation of the festival.

The Festival organizers begin accepting volunteer registrations in July.

Photo: Music on the streets by nagzi [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] on Flickr.

Patio of Isaac's Way (CC BY 2.0) By jtbrennan
Patio of Isaac's Way (CC BY 2.0) By jtbrennan

Hotels & Restaurants

Visitors to Fredericton will find several hotels within walking distance or a short drive away from the downtown core. There are many fine restaurants, pubs and fast food franchises close by as well.

Fredericton Tourism has excellent information covering everything from accommodations to special interests and sightseeing.


Food & Drink

Things to Do in Fredericton

Photo: Patio of Isaac's Way restaurant By jtbrennan [CC BY 2.0] on Flickr.

Why not jot it down now


Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

September 10 - 15, 2013.

Fredericton, NB, Canada.

(Oh, and don't forget to book that vacation time too.)

What's your pleasure?

Do you prefer jazz or blues

See results

See You in September!


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    • LifeAhead profile image

      LifeAhead 4 years ago

      @anonymous: It IS a blast. I can't take any more credit for the pictures than finding them :-).

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Sounds like a blast. Great pictures in this lens too!

    • LifeAhead profile image

      LifeAhead 4 years ago

      @Magda2012: It's a heck of a good time!

    • Magda2012 profile image

      Magda2012 4 years ago

      I wish I could be there! :)

    • marshall fleury profile image

      marshall fleury 4 years ago

      My wife and I love the blues you should save some vacation time for the 3rd weekend in April and go to what I think is the best blues festival in the south The Clarksdale,Miss. Blues Festival right in the heart of the Mississippi Delta

    • LifeAhead profile image

      LifeAhead 4 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks Susan. It's a blast.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Awesome lens! Sounds like a great festival.

    • LifeAhead profile image

      LifeAhead 4 years ago

      @XpectMore: You're welcome. It's a great time and a great place.

    • XpectMore profile image

      XpectMore 4 years ago

      I forgot to tell you. What a great lens. We have always wanted to go to Canada. I will now make sure that if we do go to Canada that is during this wonderful Jazz and Blues fest. Thank you for this wonderful information. Great News.

    • XpectMore profile image

      XpectMore 4 years ago

      Our family actually Love the Blues. Big fans. We do like Jazz. We actually Love certain types of Jazz.

    • LifeAhead profile image

      LifeAhead 4 years ago

      @iamraincrystal: It sure is. It's a lot of fun just wandering around the streets and listening to the music - seeing everyone having such a good time.

    • iamraincrystal profile image

      Rosyel Sawali 4 years ago from Manila Philippines

      I haven't experienced a music festival, but it sure looks like it's going to be lots of fun. ^_^

    • LifeAhead profile image

      LifeAhead 4 years ago

      @NibsyNell: He's got amazing talent.

    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      Wow! That Matt Andersen's on fire! :)