Friday, April 8, 2011

Bluegrass Museum's summer festival to feature GRAMMY-winners

by Gabrielle Gray, International Bluegrass Music Museum

The International Bluegrass Music Museum's ROMP Bluegrass Roots and Branches Festival will be held June 23-25, 2011 at Yellow Creek Park just outside Owensboro, Ky. Headlining the event are Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, Emmylou Harris, Trampled By Turtles, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile.

Adult 3-day passes to this annual fundraising event are on sale in advance for $70 each. Museum members receive a $20 discount. Student 3-day passes are available for $55; active military and senior passes are $60. Three-day passes are sold in advance only. Single-day tickets are $25 and are available both in advance and at the gate. Dry tent camping at Yellow Creek Park is free for 3-day pass holders. For tickets, go to or call 270-926-7891.

In addition to the artists listed above, the festival line-up includes bluegrass heavy hitters Tony Rice performing with Mountain Heart, The Infamous Stringdusters, Pete & Joan Wernick, Audie Blaylock & Redline, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, GRAMMY-nominee Sarah Jarosz, IBMA Guitar Player of the Year Josh Williams, The 23 String Band, The Professors of Bluegrass , Loose Cannon Bluegrass Band, Bawn in the Mash, King's Highway, and the Museum's own student brigade, the Kentucky BlueGrass AllStars. Showcase bands are yet to be announced.

Museum Director Gabrielle Gray says that ROMP 2011 will undoubtedly be its biggest year to date. The expanded program is part of IBMM's year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bill Monroe, Father of Bluegrass Music, who was born and grew to manhood in nearby Ohio County, Ky. The program will feature a wide variety of bluegrass and bluegrass-related genres including old time, Americana and jamgrass.

"We booked non-traditional acts to illustrate the wide range of influence bluegrass music and Bill Monroe have had-and increasingly continue to have-on today's music culture. We are so fortunate to have these artists coming to the heartland of bluegrass to perform for us," Gray says.

For the first time ROMP festival vendors will focus on local cuisine, with food provided by area chefs. "I think festivals-goers from around the country and the world are going to be impressed with the variety and quality of specialty food items. And of course, we will have local barbeque, for which Western Kentucky is world-famous," Gray says.

In addition to the musical line-up, this year's festival will feature Museum exhibits and a film festival of the Museum's documentaries on the lives of first generation bluegrass musicians. New to ROMP 2011 are late-night jams. "This year at ROMP we'll be having all-night jams around a bonfire after the main stage shuts down each night. It's a great way to make new friends-jamming 'til the sun comes up," Gray says.

For more information see the IBMM's web site at or call 270-926-7891.

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