(Nashville, TN)…In a career that has seen him play by a different set of rules more often than not, Del McCoury’s willingness to take risks has once again paid off. While many traditional bluegrass festivals are struggling just to stay afloat, McCoury’s own DelFest continues to grow.
Thanks to their unmatched musicianship and high energy, freewheeling shows, the Del McCoury Band have built a unique following for a traditional-leaning bluegrass act in the 21st century, with an audience that’s more under than over 30 years old-and that’s not only kept McCoury’s career on an upward arc as he passes his 50th anniversary in the business, but shaped his festival, too. For when Del and his team created the first DelFest in 2008, the decision was quickly made to forgo a traditional lineup and format for an event that would bring together a unique blend of the old and new-presenting everyone from Grateful Dead tribute band Dark Star Orchestra and sacred steel artists The Lee Boys to bluegrass Hall of Famer J. D. Crowe, with members of the McCoury Band forging links between them by sharing the stage with all three.
For Del, bringing in young jam band fans not only ensured the success of the event, but offers an opportunity to showcase for them the music he’s loved for more than half a century. For instance, even when DelFest 2009’s memorable storm forced the Saturday night shows indoors, the Del McCoury Band followed through on a plan to present an introduction to bluegrass inspired by the “Story Of Bluegrass” offered at the very first multi-day bluegrass festival back in 1965, complete with one of its original organizers, bluegrass historian Fred Bartenstein. “We knew that with Dark Star Orchestra performing that year, we were going to have a segment of Grateful Dead fans who might have had a familiarity with bluegrass, but had never really been to a bluegrass show,” says McCoury of the decision. “So we felt we almost had a responsibility to share bluegrass with them.”
2010’s DelFest continues down the same path of outreach to new fans with a panoramic presentation of bluegrass and more. The bluegrass tradition old and new will, as always, be a strong component, with artists including Hall of Famer Bobby Osborne, IBMA Entertainers of the Year Dailey & Vincent, the Steep Canyon Rangers and the Gibson Brothers. At the same time, the lineup will feature artists who have stretched or crossed outright the boundaries of the genre, from veteran musical polyglot (and long-time McCoury buddy) David Grisman to youthful acts like the Avett Brothers, Mountain Heart, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Keller Williams & Friends featuring Jeff Austin and Keith Moseley. And as always, Del, Ronnie and Rob McCoury are likely to find their way on stage with most of these acts, acting once again as the common thread that makes DelFest so special.
In addition to the entertainment lineup, the educational component of DelFest will be available once again with the DelFest Bluegrass Academy, a friendly yet intensive three-day learning experience with the Travelin’ McCourys-Ronnie (mandolin), Rob (banjo), Jason Carter (fiddle), Alan Bartram (bass)-along with award-winning singer/songwriter/guitarist Ronnie Bowman. DelFest Academy will take place May 25-27, 2010. Get your Academy tickets now, space is limited, and the mandolin class is the first class that is almost at capacity.
DelFest will be held at the beautiful Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD May 27-30, 2010. Four day adult passes to the festival, are currently $140, $125 for three day passes, and $110 for two day passes through April 12th. DELuxe Experience (VIP) packages are also available. In addition to 4 days and nights of non-stop music, ticket prices include free on-site camping with great facilities, artist playshops, kids activity area, a band competition, an arts and craft faire and access to plenty of food and beverage vendors.
Don’t miss out on this offer! For more information and to purchase tickets on-line visit www.delfest.com.