Though originally founded in the east of the U.S., bluegrass music fans span the country. If you’re itching to get your live bluegrass fix, take a look at this list of ten bluegrass festivals in the U.S. that are great for everyone—longtime bluegrass fan to newbies alike!
Huck Finn Jubilee – Ontario, California
Of course, the Huck Finn Jubilee makes the list for its family-friendly festival experience, which includes camping, jamming and traditional bluegrass music. The festival is one of the largest bluegrass festivals west of the Mississippi and provides a “Bluegrass Jam Mini-Camp” to introduce participants to the world of jamming, among many other activities.
Read more: huckfinn.com
Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival – Winfield, Kansas
This festival is held annually in September. It offers acoustic and bluegrass music Wednesday through Sunday, including the third Saturday of September. The Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival began as a folk musical festival on Southwestern College’s campus in 1967. Today, festivalgoer numbers range from 11,000 to 15,000 people.
Read more: wvfest.com
Christmas in the Smokies – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
The Christmas in the Smokies bluegrass festival, hosted by Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, is aptly named because not only do they have four days of bluegrass, but it is set up as a “holiday destination” for families. The festival also includes instrumental workshops for the mandolin, banjo and fiddle, among other bluegrass-related workshops.
Read more: carolinaroadband.com/
Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Celebration – Rosine, Kentucky
Held at the birthplace of the founding father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe, the Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Celebration in western Kentucky includes musical performances of bluegrass and even genres that influenced the king of bluegrass himself, including gospel and square-dance.
Read more: jerusalemridgefestival.org
Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival – Oak Hill, New York
The Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival prides itself on being a “multigenerational festival,” and has five stages of “award-winning bluegrass” and other acoustic artists for five days. There are a wide variety of children’s activities at the festival, including a “clown college” for kids taught by Gary the Silent Clown, a circus clown who has performed for both Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey. In addition to clowning around, kids can attend a four-day learning camp called “The Bluegrass Academy for Kids,” which ends with a concert performed by its students.
Read more: greyfoxbluegrass.com
Graves Mountain Festival of Music – Syria, Virginia
Held at the Graves’ Mountain Lodge, a 135-year-old family-owned and operated mountain retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the Graves Mountain Festival of Music offers three days of bluegrass and several outdoor activities for the entire family.
Read more: gravesmountain.com
Joe Val Bluegrass Music Festival – Framingham, Massachusetts
The Joe Val Bluegrass Music Festival is held every February, and is a three-day indoor festival at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel. There you will find music vendors, jam bands, a “Kid’s Academy” and bluegrass acts from across the nation. Their 30th anniversary will be in February 2015. The Joe Val Bluegrass Festival is hosted by the Boston Bluegrass Union.
Read more: bbu.org/events
Telluride Bluegrass Festival – Telluride, Colorado
The annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival is held in the beautiful San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. To combat those sometimes cool Colorado evenings in the mountains, this festival also offers indoor venues, including the historic Sheridan Opera House and Fly Me to the Moon Saloon. There are also music workshops with band contests at the conclusion of the festival.
Read more: bluegrass.com
IBMA Fan Fest – Nashville, Tennessee
The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) provides 60 bluegrass acts to perform for charity that help artists without health insurance. This three-day indoor festival is also a trade show for the association.
Read more: ibma.org
Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival – Morgantown, Indiana
This eight-day festival named after the founder of bluegrass is one of the oldest bluegrass festivals in the world. Festival goers can enjoy more than 75 bands over this 10-day event, and this year will celebrate its 49th year.
Read more: http://beanblossom.us/