Your Guide to the Best Kentucky Bluegrass Festivals

Your Guide to the Best Kentucky Bluegrass Festivals

Your Guide to the Best Kentucky Bluegrass Festivals

Kentucky isn’t the bluegrass state for nothing. Considering that it’s where Bill Monroe, grandfather of bluegrass music, hailed from, is it still a wonder that there’s no limit to the number of Kentucky bluegrass festivals you can attend each year? If you find yourself in the vicinity, here are several festivals you might want to check out.

IBMM Monroe-Style Mandolin Camp

While it’s not a festival per se, the annual mandolin camp annually organized by the IBMM is still one of the most anticipated events by bluegrass fans. Every year, aspiring artists are given the chance to learn the authentic style in which the legendary Bill Monroe had played the mandolin and composed his famous works.

There are three levels offered: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Students would lodge at the nearby Hampton Inn and attend classes at the camp. There would also be numerous opportunities for students to enjoy bluegrass and barbeque (the ultimate combination) and jamming sessions. Culminating the camp is an all-star faculty concert with famous bluegrass acts as guest performers.

Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Festival

A short distance away from Rosine is the original location of the Monroes’ family cabin. It is in this area every year that the Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Festival celebrates four days of bluegrass music and other festivities. Some of the bands that had performed in previous festivals include Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys and Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain. When you do attend, make sure you take advantage of the free guided tours offered for Bill Monroe’s cabin.

Bluegrass in the Park Festival

Besides a constant stream of the best bluegrass music, festival pass holders will also be treated with the scenic views of the Ohio River from the splendid grounds of Audubon Mill Park in Henderson, Kentucky. Besides an amazing array of gastronomic delights (be sure to attend Saturday’s Breakfast in the Park), festival goers may also look forward to numerous children’s activities and incredible folk life exhibits.

Bluegrass Returns to its Roots Festival

The dewy weather of spring provides a perfect backdrop for this Owensoboro-based festival. Taking place during the weekend, Friday nights are often reserved for open mic sessions while Saturday evenings showcase some of the best bluegrass performers today. Camping and hotel accommodations are both available.

River of Music Party

This festival, which also takes place in Owensboro, Kentucky, is organized every year to provide financial support to the Bluegrass Museum. Included in its annual lineups are some of the best known names in mainstream and gospel branches of bluegrass music.

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