Blue Grass and Green Mountains: a Preview for Delfest 2014
08 Apr 2014

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It's all about the music...

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Allegany County Fairgrounds, Cumberland, MD

May 22-25, 2014

          For quite a while, the bluegrass scene had been a foreign sound in my mind, a faction of the music community to which I had little-to-no experience firsthand. I simply had not given it the time, and the bulk of my listening was fixed upon electric instruments, distortion, wah pedals and psychedelic jams. Nothing like Jerry, Jimmy, or Jimi, I thought. Those styles, anyway. But somewhere in my travels, barefoot on the matted grass of a late-spring or summer day, the rapid plucking of a banjo and the slap of a stand-up bass proved more than able to get the feet stepping. Despite any preconceptions or musical taste, the bluegrass style never fails to provide energy and a hell of a time, which will certainly be plentiful at this year’s Delfest.

DMB

Del McCoury Band

This Memorial Day weekend, Delfest will be back for its seventh year at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, Maryland. The Appalachian Mountains, or any mountain range for that matter, have been a party to many different music festivals, making for a terrific setting to exhibit the freedom of life and music. From May 22-25 the Appalachians will once again harbor such a gathering, this time around the energetic sounds of bluegrass. This year’s lineup includes the infamous String Cheese Incident (two sets), Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby with Kentucky Thunder and, as always, The Del McCoury Band, along with many others. The daily schedule can be found here.

General admission four-day passes are at $184.50 (along with a $15.91 fee), with teen and children passes at a cheaper rate (all rates found here). If you aren’t arriving by foot you will have to buy either an on-site or off-site FestivalWayparking pass. Unless you are arriving by RV, which will also require a separate pass, camping will be away from your vehicle. From the Delfest site, “You won’t be too far from your vehicle, but do not expect to camp right next to your car as we need to maximize parking space, and park efficiently.” Check out this link for more festival info on directions, accessibility, activities, volunteering and other inquiries.

A promising aspect of this festival is the Delfest Foundation, a program created “to nurture a strong community, raise awareness of social justice issues, and support a healthy environment” (DF home page). Music festivals began not only in the accordance of a good time and a great jam, but mainly with the notion of coming together for peace, community, and a conscious way of living. It seems that this event will carry much of those very same principles, a necessary feat for any festival to be great. Volunteers are welcome at the Delfest Foundation; visit the link above in order to learn more and get involved.

With the close of this long winter comes all sorts of festival lineups, road trip plans, lower heating bills, and all the like. Memorial Day weekend will be the time for several wild festivals across the country, among many other various forms of celebration. For those of you with a mind for bluegrass, a curiosity for something new, or simply a need for a spot to enjoy the holiday weekend, Delfest will certainly grant you an exciting time and a new sort of experience. Grab your passes, make your plans and keep spreading that sparkle; I hope to see you all out on the lawn.

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Written by Alex Kratzert

Photos courtesy of Delfest

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