Bedford Blues and BBQ Festival

Barbecue being sliced

2016 File Photo

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Smoke and soul will swirl over Bedford at the city’s 10th annual Blues & BBQ Festival. Spanning Labor Day weekend, events include sets by headliners Tab Benoit on Aug. 25 and the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band on Aug. 26 among more than 20 live music acts on dual stages. But, that’s just one half of this festival’s meat. There will also be steak and barbecue tasting events to showcase fare from around the country. Pork versus beef? Sweet or spicy sauce? The people will decide as three sanctioning organizations — the International Bar-B-Que Cookers Association, the Kansas City Barbeque Society and the Steak Cookoff Association — oversee competitions and award more than $24,000 in prizes to ambitious pitmasters.

Come for barbecue and stay for the blues at the 10th annual Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival. The Labor Day weekend event brings performers and pitmasters from across the country to North Texas for three days of live music on two stages and barbecue contests and tasting.

Blues: Headliners are Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band (Sunday) and Tab Benoit (Saturday). Live music on two stages begins Friday at 6 p.m. and also includes Samantha Fish, Chubby Carrier and Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials.

BBQ: New this year, and raising the bar in barbecue contests, is the unprecedented BBQ Triple Play competition with three sanctioning organizations participating: International Bar-B-Que Cookers Association, Kansas City Barbeque Society, and Steak Cookoff Association. Pitmasters from throughout the U.S. will compete for more than $24,000 in prizes in 14 categories. Attendees can sample the very best these pros have to offer at the popular People’s Choice competition on Saturday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. A second tasting event takes place in the food court on Sunday, 3-5 p.m.

In addition, a marketplace wlll feature more than 70 artisan, craft and commercial vendors.

Admission and parking is complimentary on "Free for All Friday." Saturday and Sunday, tickets are $7 online and $10 at the gate. Festival takes place across from city hall. No pets, coolers or tents allowed. Chairs/blankets OK.

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