World’s longest-running Cigar Box Guitar Festival set for June 2-4
Published on May 18, 2023
The world’s longest-running Cigar Box Guitar Festival returns for its 19th year June 2-4 in Huntsville. The free, family-friendly event raises money for music education in local schools.
Event details can be found at CigarBoxGuitarFestival.com. Follow the event on Facebook and the festival YouTube playlist.
Friday, June 2
The opening event will be at Salty Nut Brewery, 2404 Clinton Ave., Huntsville. Doors open Friday, June 2, at 6:30 p.m. with entertainment starting at 7.
There is a $10 suggested donation and attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs. Overflow parking will be available in the city lot behind Butler Green at Campus 805 (2610 Clinton Ave. Huntsville AL 35805).
Kicking off the festival on June 2 will be Triple Threat Blues, consisting of three talented blues musicians: 2022 Independent Blues Award and 2023 U.K. Blues Awards Nominee Debbie Bond on guitar and vocals; Carroline Shines, daughter of Blues legend Johnny Shines on vocals; and Huntsville’s own Microwave Dave on guitar and vocals. They will be backed by British-born “Radiator” Rick Asherson and Darrell Tibbs, who has spent more than three decades as a drummer and percussionist for and eye-popping range of performers including Donna Summer, Taj Mahal, Tommy Emmanuel and Victor Wooten.
Saturday, June 3
Festivities move to Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment (2211 Seminole Drive) on Saturday, June 3, with six performances on the dock adjacent to the water tower. Performances and parking are free. The Saturday lineup includes:
- The Breedloves of Frankfort, Kentucky (Soul, gospel with a bit of country)
- Hymn for Her of Tampa, Florida: (Backwoods country blues with a dose of desert rock psychedelia)
- The Cigar Box Serenaders of New Orleans (Groove and soul)
- Meg Williams and Travis Bowlin of Nashville (Rock, roots and blues)
- Lukas Jam & The 106ers of Huntsville with special guests (Classic rock, blues and originals)
While some seating on risers is available, attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets for the lawn. Picnics with outside food and beverages are welcome. Pets must remain on leash.
The 19th World’s Longest-Running Cigar Box Guitar Festival will conclude on Sunday, June 4 with a Jazz Brunch at BeeZr, featuring an encore performance from The Cigar Box Serenaders. This New Orleans-based trio plays handmade, upcycled instruments including cigar box guitars, an upright bass made from a dresser drawer and a drum kit made from discards, including a plastic tub as a kick drum and trash can lid as a cymbal.
Because cigar box guitars are traditionally made from cigar boxes and other discarded materials, the festival will recycling-themed children’s activities. PBS television personality, magician and cigar box guitar musician Steve Trash will perform his music and magic.
Families can pick up an activity kit for $5 to build five recycled instruments during the festival or at home. Stations will be available in the Kids Activity Area to build these instruments throughout the early afternoon. This area will also have other family-friendly activities. Kids will be invited on stage with Steve Trash for the Junior Junk Jam mid-afternoon.
Proceeds from the activity kits, as well as the raffle for a kid-sized junior guitar, go to the Microwave Dave Music Education Foundation and Arts Huntsville’s Creative Launchpad, both of which bring arts and music education to classrooms in North Alabama.
Sunday, June 4
The festival will conclude Sunday with a Jazz Brunch at BeeZr, featuring an encore performance from The Cigar Box Serenaders. This New Orleans-based trio plays handmade, upcycled instruments including cigar box guitars, an upright bass made from a dresser drawer and a drum kit made from discards, including a plastic tub as a kick drum and trash can lid as a cymbal.