The announcement of plans for 2024.

Plans are in the works for two musical heavyweights downtown in 2024. Musical heavyweight James Burton wants to celebrate his 85th birthday with an international guitar festival in downtown Shreveport, August 17-19 at Municipal Auditorium.

If you’ve had the chance to attend one of the six festivals or three holiday concerts in the past, you know that when Burton calls, a world of musicians answer. His Burton International Guitar Festivals in the past have featured such musical luminaries as Joe Bonamassa, Lyle Lovett, Trace Adkins, Lee Rocker, Paul Shaffer, Rick Derringer, and others.

Attendees at a past Burton event.

It is very literally a case of the musical ‘world’ making the trek to Shreveport and the historic Municipal Auditorium, home of so many musical happenings. The plans for the 2024 event are just getting started, but this is most definitely something to be anticipating.

famous musician Huddie Ledbetter playing an accordion

 Huddie ‘Lead Belly” Ledbetter

Also in the works is an inaugural 2-day Leadbelly International Music Festival, ‘Welcome to Shreve Town.’ Though plans are still very much in their infancy, the desire is to incorporate the historic Blue Goose neighborhood on the south side of Downtown with other downtown locations for live concerts, to have educational and vendor components, and make the event free to attend.

Ledbetter is considered, by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, to be a folk pioneer without peer. The Smithsonian considers him one of the most important folk musicians of the twentieth century. 

Meetings about a 2024 event are ongoing and there will be the need for sponsors, team leaders, volunteers, media and outreach and more. While there is much work to be done, the concept is long past due given the historical importance of Huddie Ledbetter and the fact that Shreveport can claim him as a native son by way of Mooringsport.