Associate Event Application

The W. C. Handy Blues and Barbecue Festival is produced by the Henderson Music Preservation Society, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. W. C. Handy, the “Father of the Blues,” lived and worked in Henderson for about a decade around the turn of the 20th century. He worked on a street crew, but also hired out to play music, which he did at Henderson County barbecues. Handy’s dedication to preserving the blues as an art form as well as his body of work in spiritual music was what inspired local volunteers to organize a festival to celebrate Handy’s life and music. The festival has grown to become a signature event for our community, and it attracts a wide variety of people, of all ages and all races and from many places in addition to bringing Hendersonians and their families together for a memorable week each June.

The Festival associates with different community organizations and businesses, and in sharing our brand and reputation, we strive to maintain the high level of quality for which the Festival has become known. As the Festival Committee selects organizations to associate with the Festival, we are interested in why your organization or business wants to be associated with the Handy Festival and how being associated with the Festival will promote or enhance your event, organization or business and how your event, organization or business will promote or enhance the Festival.

Why do we ask how your event will be funded? The Festival offers free admission, but it is not free to produce!! As we review applications, we determine if your event competes with the Festival for the same dollars, and how that competition may affect the success of both events.

Why do we ask who your target audience is? Part of our Festival funding comes from corporate sponsors, grants and advertising. To support these funding requirements, we collect demographic information including, but not limited to, the ages of festival attendees, where they reside, whether they will attend the festival for more than your event or for more than one day, whether they will stay overnight and how much they spend while they are here.

Why do we ask about potential sales? Part of our Festival funding comes from the sale of merchandise, food and beverages. In assessing our associates, we review how our partnership might enhance our funding and yours, or how that competition might affect us both.

Thank you for your interest in associating with the Handy Festival, and for taking time to complete this application. You may mail your application or email it to We will respond promptly to your request. If you deem a particular question is not relevant to your application, please explain why.

Henderson Music Preservation Society, Inc.
P O Box 1456
Henderson, KY 42419-1456