The majority of our lives are filled with so much “not-so-simple” pleasures and annoyances. Crowds, traffic, technology, even relationships can be a bit frustrating at times. After coming to a farm in Pennsylvania and being without cell phone service for a week, I was inspired me to write about the simple, back to basics, grassroots music festivals to remind us of the times when we didn’t have cell phones and for fun we rode bikes and played games, sat around fire pits making smores, playing music, and enjoying the simple pleasures of life. When I look up at the big black sky in the middle of nowhere it’s hard to imagine it’s the same sky today as it was back then.
With this theme of “keeping it simple,” I want to share a list of some of the best bluegrass music festivals to bring us back to the good ol’ days.
The Bucks County Bluegrass Festival in September at Snipes Farm features a host of grassroots bands, including one of the world’s premiere flat picking guitarists Beppe Gambetta, as well as Sully’s Fortune, Magnolia Street String Band, Boulevard Express, Mountain Ride, The Boiled Owls, High Hearts, and others; of course Bobby Beetcut will be there to conduct a children’s program. The festival is set on a local farm in Morrisville, PA Sept 5-6. Snipes Farm also hosts three other wonderful bluegrass festivals throughout the year: The River Roots Music Festival in May, In and Out the Garden We Go in June, and The Bucks County Blues Society’s Annual Picnic in July. For more information, visit http://www.musicatsnipesfarm.com
The Farm Concert Series in October outside of Selma, NC features bluegrass and acoustic musicians like Chris Young, Brett Eldridge, Chris Lane, John King, and Luke Combs. Bring your kids, bring your lawn chairs, and surround yourself with music, friends, and beautiful fields and farmland. For more information, visit http://www.thefarmnc.com/live-music/.
Crook Farm Old Time Music Festival in Bradford, PA is another wonderful festival, especially for those of you who are itchin’ for a jam session. This festival takes places annually the weekend before Labor Day. Bring your folk, old country, bluegrass song, your instrument & your voice and sit in a circle, singing a bunch of great old classics. Check out the 2014 Lineup here. For more information, visit http://www.bradfordlandmark.org.
Sugar Maple Fest in Lake Farm County Park in Madison, WI is another participatory festival (so bring your instrument and jam with others like yourself) AND with a great lineup of bluegrass musicians like Blind Boy Paxton, Lil’ Rev, The Drunken Catfish Ramblers, and Loves It. The festival, sponsored by a non-profit, supports the art of traditional miusic and dance in the Madison, WI area. For more information, visit http://sugarmaplefest.org/.
SoulShine Farm Festival, a 3 day festival of music, hiking, and camping in the pines of Green Mountain, NC takes place in August on the beautiful SoulShine organic farm grounds. With plenty of unique workshops, and family activities, this is a wonderful place to create lifelong memories with your loved ones. For more information, visit http://www.soulshinefarmfest.com/.
Written by Senior Staff Writer
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