The Virginia Chili Blues & Brews Festival has been recognized as one of the “15 Best Virginia Music Festivals.” Surrounded by the beautiful scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Virginia Chili Blues & Brews Festival features some of the very best in national, regional, and local blues performers and craft beers — all centered around a competitive chili cook off. Previous years musical acts have included Lil Ed & The Imperials, Mud Morganfield, Ana Popovic, Linwood Taylor, Chris Duarte and many more.
Headlining the 2023 festival is the fiery guitarist and powerful vocalist Sol Roots. He has toured around the world with blues legends and pioneers of Music Maker Foundation, as well as notably backing up musical heavyweights such as Taj Mahal and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. In the past several years, the Sol Roots band has also opened for acts such as Dumpstaphunk, Jon Cleary, Popa Chubby, Shemekia Copeland and more. He performs an incredible blend of New Orleans-influenced funk, hard-driving blues, upbeat rock and soul, and brings together a talented powerhouse of musicians for the festival.
Also on this year’s lineup is the talented Virginia based guitarist Eli Cook. Eli Cook is known for his eclectic musical style, with a focus on blues and blues rock. His deep, rich baritone voice and guitar playing have drawn widespread acclaim. Eli Cook has shared the stage with acts such as Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Gary Clark Jr, Roomful of Blues and many others.
Filling out the entertainment are Shenandoah Valley favorites Ken Farmer and The Authenticators, Honest Labor, and Don’t Look Up, all composed of talented Virginia blues musicians.
Now in its 13th year, the Virginia Chili Blues & Brews festival’s ever-popular chili contest offers several cash prizes, including the People’s Choice Awards, the Best “Spicy Spirit” Tent, and the Most “Eco-Friendly” Chili. There will also be plenty of food trucks and a variety of local vendors.
The festival has also gained a reputation for a dedication to minimizing their environmental impact. All of the drink cups, serving cups and utensils at the event will be made out of compostable material. There will also be composting demonstrations and incentives for chili competitors to help educate patrons about eco-friendly habits,
The Virginia Chili Blues & Brews Festival will be held Saturday, September 16 in downtown Waynesboro, Virginia at Lumos Plaza — in the heart of central Virginia near the Charlottesville and Harrisonburg areas.
The jam-packed roster of live blues entertainment starts in the early afternoon and goes on into the night. General admission tickets are available at the door, and the VIP tickets include beers and seats for the shows.
Some press quotes about the performing groups:
“Sol Roots is a fierce guitarist and soulful singer.” – JamBase
“Sol’s vocalizing reminds me of Mose Allison… Van Morrison, and Mississippi hill country blues performers.” – Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine
“Eli Cook brings a lean, mean, gritty demeanor.” – American Blues Scene
“Eli Cook has staked out his own territory, a realm that’s at once both electrifying and guttural.” – No Depression
More information can be found at the Virginia Chili Blues & Brews website.