That’s the theme for the 5th Annual John Hartford Memorial Festival, to be held May 28-30, at the Bill Monroe Music Park and Campground, Bean Blossom, IN. With a lineup that includes Hot Rize with Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Split Lip Rayfield, Hackensaw Boys, The Larry Keel Experience, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, Jamie Hartford and Friends, Bawn in the Mash, and many more to be announced, it really does get better and better and better.
Going into it’s 5th year, this festival is over the hump, off and running. Tickets are now on sale at a discount for a limited time to the festival that has lived up to it’s reputation as “The Most Laid Back Festival in America”. This event is the vision of the late John Hartford’s lifelong friend, John Hotze, who set out to honor his friend and preserve his legacy and music. What started out as a “hope we can do it again next year” has become a solid venue for some legendary entertainers and a sounding board for many new and exciting acts. This festival, which is not for profit, puts all proceeds right back into the next festival and has established a comfortable family camping music event, with top notch entertainers, children’s activities, an Old Time Fiddling Contest and a Songwriting Contest in which one can win tickets and stage time!
John Hartford won Grammy awards in three different decades, recorded a catalog of more than 30 albums, and wrote one of the most popular songs of all time, “Gentle On My Mind”. He was a regular guest and contributor on the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour and the Smothers Brothers Show. He added music and narration to Ken Burns’ landmark Civil War series, and was an integral part of the hugely popular “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack and Down From The Mountain concert tour. But that hardly explains John Hartford.
John Hartford was an American original. He was a musician, songwriter, steamboat pilot, author, artist, disc jockey, calligrapher, dancer, folklorist, father, and historian.
John Hartford passed away on June 4, 2001, after a long battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This festival has the potential to get really big, but assuring festival goers a laid back atmosphere and wiggle room is a priority. This festival will not be allowed to grow too big and is expected to sell out.
Tickets can be ordered, and contest information will be released at www.johnhartfordmemfest.com