Crossroads Blues Society, or CBS for short, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that primarily raises funds in order to host Blues In The Schools Programs in the greater Rockford area of northern Illinois. These programs are fully funded by CBS and there is absolutely no cost to area schools for these programs. We have done this since May 2002 and have done 180 programs for 50,330 students in northern Illinois since then. Founded in 1994 and incorporated shortly thereafter, we are getting ready to start our 23rd year of existence. We were the 2014 recipient of the Blues Foundation Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Foundation Affiliates! We were also inducted in to the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014.
Funding for BITS now comes primarily through profits from our festival. In 2010, Crossroads embarked on their first festival effort since 1995. The Crossroads Blues Festival, held on the Saturday of the weekend before Labor Day Weekend, was held each of the first four years in downtown Byron, IL. In 2014 it moved and was held at Lyran Park in Rockford, just south of the Rockford Airport. Crossroads has had success each year in providing a great lineup and full day of music at a reasonable cost. The festival features artists on stage and music workshops. The 8th annual blues festival will be held on August 26, 2017 at Lyran Park. Check the current and prior festivals out at
In 2013, Crossroads inaugurated the Field of Blues Festival at Rockford Aviators Stadium. Actually located in Loves Park, the stadium offered a unique venue for blues fans as they could sit on field, in the stands or in one of the covered deck pavilions to enjoy the day. We repeated the event in 2014 and found that while it was a great event we had a difficult time planning and executing two festivals closed together so we will not be repeating this. Go to
to read about this former event.
Crossroads also publishes a bi-monthly newsletter with articles, music reviews and other related information. It is published and distributed to our members, record companies and other blues industry organizations. It is published in full color electronically (often 32 pages and sometimes more) and in black and white as a 12 page hard copy. Each issue usually contains at least two dozen reviews of recently released CDs, DVDs and books.
In October 2013, Crossroads held their first blues challenge and has held one annually since. Crossroads also works with a number of local venues and organizations to produce a number of live music events each year.
For the most up to date information, go to our Upcoming Events Page to read about our upcoming events. Our BITS page and other links pages here can give you information and access to our programs and web sites.