Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Bluegrass Festivals

I’m interested in festivals in other states and thought it would be a neat idea to start a thread about the biggest/best festivals in our home states that we attend. We could even pass along tips and other helpful info to fellow forum members who may be considering a certain festival for the first time. You never know, we might even bump into each other! I’ll start with the ones I go to here in Arkansas.

Turkey Track Bluegrass Festival in Waldron, Arkansas. Spring and Fall. Big outdoor venue in the Ouachita mountains.

Mountain View Bluegrass Festival in Mountain View, Arkansas. Spring and Fall. A very comfortable indoor venue held at the Ozark Folk Center auditorium. Personally my favorite.

Here’s one coming up soon that I hope to attend. It is in Glen Rose, TX first Fri through Sun of October. I have been to jams there but have never been to the festival. … tival.html

We’re just at the start of festival season here. I’m excited; it’s been a long boring summer.

I’m finding that festivals are a great way to mark my progress on guitar. Hooking up with pickers I haven’t seen in a year really provides perspective.

Season is just ending here. New one this weekend (don’t know if I’ll make it there) and another by our local assn. next weekend.

In MI. if you like bluegrass and good parking lot picking you’ll want to check out Charlotte or Marshall Bluegrass fests.

If you tend more toward the eclectic try Wheatland Festival in Remes.

Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival in Wilmington, OH. This is held twice a year and is coming up Nov 7th and 8th. The big names are The Boxcars, Russell Moore and Third Time Out, James King Band, Crowe Bros, Larry Stephenson and Joe Mullins and Radio Ramblers (which is local for them). This is close to where Welder lives and only about an hour and fifteen minutes from me. Are you going Welder?

Every summer, Columbus has The MACC Bluegrass Classic (Musicians Against Childhood Cancer). It’s a big four day event with a lot of big names and the proceeds go to St. Jude’s.


That’s a great line up J.W. Saw Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers for the first time last spring here in Arkansas. What a great band. If I were anywhere near southern Ohio around those dates I’d be there. That’s the same weekend as the fall festival here and also the opening week of deer season so I guess I’ll just have to be happy staying down here!

I can’t wait for this one. We were lucky to steal the IBMA awards show away from Nashville two years ago, and this festival was built around it. Two days of non-stop bluegrass downtown Raleigh, NC.

The Wide Open Bluegrass lineup looks fantastic! I’m jealous.

As a consolation for those of us who can’t be there, the IBMA awards show is going to be live streamed by starting at 5:30 this Friday (Oct. 2).

My previous post was incorrect. October 2 is tonight, Thursday, not Friday. I’m watching the live stream right now.

Wow! Definitely some big names at the festival in Raleigh. What I wouldn’t give to be at that one.

Yep, that looks like an incredible lineup.

There’s a unique end cap for the final group on Saturday… Bruce Hornsby! (With Ky Thunder)

Yeah, Hornsby seems a little out of place, but he appears to like a lot of different kinds of music. I remember he used to play with the Dead a lot and that seemed like an odd match, too.

I guess that’s just “the way it is.” Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

A little google-fu resulted in some either hilarious or frightening results:
Almost like the Cleverly’s, but I am not certain there is an intent for humor. Regardless, I enjoyed it.

— Begin quote from "mreisz"

I guess that’s just “the way it is.” Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

Good one Mike. Corny as usual but good! :laughing: I’m actually going to see Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder for the first time a week from Saturday. Been a fan of his as far back as when he was in Emmylou Harris’ band in the 70’s. Looking forward to this one. I’ll try to post a review of it on the forum in case anyone is interested.

— End quote

Absotively post a review. KY Thunder is always stacked with jaw dropping players.

Now that is a weird video clip, Mike.

Have fun at the show, Bulldog!

So, I get a call from a buddy Thursday at 3:30 pm. He says they cant find a sitter and I can take his wife’s place to go to the IBMA award show. Man, that was one awesome music show. The highlight must have been when the Guitarist of the year played with the Banjoist of the year’s band. The guitarist subbed in last minute because of a family sickness. It was funny because the guitarist was about to play when he got the award. He had to go over and get the award with his guitar strapped on, do a speech, and then scuttle back over and jam it out. Video below …

The other highlight was when a dude named Butt Parker got an award. For real parents, be careful with your names/nicknames. They last forever.

The Raleigh Wide Open was great too. I took Friday off work so I was able to enjoy the free shows all day without a big crowd. Saturday was a mad house though. Lesson learned, don’t go to the free Saturday shows. Way too many people.

Bryan Sutton… what a nice guy and great picker. Thanks for sharing that clip. Sounds like you had a great time.

Sounds like a great time. Nice clip too.

I bet it took Mr. Parker’s first grade class 5 minutes to get through roll call everyday with the lengthy pause for the giggles to subside.

Almost time for the fall festival here in Arkansas. I know none of you live close by but thought I’d spread the word anyhow. I’ve seen about all of these bands, a few more than once. It should be pretty good this year.