The Eureka Springs Blues Weekend kicks off Thursday. The annual festival features Ruthie Foster, Tommy Castro, Kenny Neal, The Cate Brothers, Lazy Lester and many more, including a tribute to the late, great Arkansas bluesman Michael Burks, who passed away suddenly in early May. The main venue is The Auditorium, but there will be shows all over town through Sunday, $15-$75. The Lantern Theatre in Conway opens its production of the Sam Shepard classic "True West." It runs through Saturday, with performances at 8 p.m., $10. It's recommended for adult audiences.
Memphis retro-rocker extraordinaire John Paul Keith comes to Maxine's with his ace band, The One Four Fives, as well as Laura Stevenson and The Cans and Sean Ashby, longtime guitarist for Sarah McLachlan, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 d.o.s. The Hats in Hot Springs Festival includes live music, activities and more in Downtown Hot Springs, 5 p.m. and Saturday at 11:30 a.m., free if you're wearing a hat. Toubab Krewe has a globe-trotting sound that incorporates everything from reggae to African desert blues to New Orleans funk, all fused into a remarkably cohesive sound. Opening the 18-and-older Stickyz show is The Heavy Pets, 9:30 p.m. $11. Georgia-bred country singer/songwriter Luke Bryan comes to The Arkansas Music Pavilion in Fayetteville, with Craig Campbell and Chancie Neal, 7:30 p.m. $32-$37. Bryan plays Little Rock's Riverfest Amphitheatre on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Philanthropy Conference highlights the Rockefeller family's role in the development of philanthropy over more than a century and the role Winthrop Rockefeller played in stimulating philanthropy in Arkansas, Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, featuring many speakers and panel discussions, 12:30 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m.
Satisfy your inner dance-party freak at Zodiac: The Wobble Edition 2.0, featuring Sniq, MC Kreepa, Platinumb and Explicit, Revolution, 9 p.m., $5 before 11 p.m. Le Tour – Exploring the Gardens of Chenal is the 12th annual Greater Little Rock Council of Garden Clubs tour. It will be at various locations in West Little Rock starting at 9 a.m and at 1 p.m. on Sunday, $20 adv., $25 day of. More info is available at www.glrcgc.net. For some women's full tackle pro football, don't miss The Arkansas Banshees taking on the Memphis Belles, J.A. Fair Magnet High School, 6 p.m., $5. Country superstar Trace Adkins is at Magic Springs' Timberwood Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m., $30-$65.