Author: Varner, Mark

GOF in August
Dear friends,

July is slipping away. For some of us it seemed to be missing something. Hmmmmm, what could it have been? NCBS’s GOF! For us denizens of the Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay areas it was the delightful homemade dessert after the big June main course in Grass Valley. Just a little something whipped up by and for friends. But they had to move the dates this year to August 8-10. The event takes place at Bolado Fairgrounds, just south of Hollister.

The Northern California Bluegrass Society puts on the Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival (don’t call it “GOOFY”! Well, if you must…) comprised of all California, mostly Bay Area, bluegrass and old-timey bands. This is their big fundraiser for the year. With the riches of semi-local musical talent available here it only makes sense. In fact the festival has nurtured up-and-coming bands to give them a leg up, so the quality just gets better and better.

I know a lot of CBA folks don’t make this one and I think they’d be pleasantly surprised if they did. The music is great and the jamming is even better. It is a real picker’s festival. This is where I met Rick Cornish as he prepared for his onstage debut as a fiddler. In fact the scale of the event lends itself to making new friends and spending plenty of time with the ones you have.

Here’s what the NCBS has to say about GOF:
“The Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival is “friends and family making music for friends and family.” It is designed to be a high quality showcase of bluegrass talent from the Golden State. The GOF has led to the revival of the Northern California bluegrass scene, with new local bands, new local venues and new local bluegrass fans springing up as bands and fans meet at the festival. Since bands play only a single set on either the main or ‘tweener stages, musicians have plenty of time to relax and jam with each other and with fans. With over 50 stage acts in attendance and none having to catch a plane for their out-of-state gig the next day, quality jamming runs all day and night.

“The GOF is a small festival with the amenities of a much larger event. Its size makes attendance a no-hassle, laid-back experience with no lines for anything. It’s sophistication means this small festival experience comes with two stages, a shaded audience area, a low-power FM radio station, 100% permanent (flushy!) restrooms, hot water showers, top-quality sound, a collectible fine art poster, quality t-shirts, and professional children’s activities.”

You can get all the important info at NCBS’s website: Hope to see you there. By the way, in case you missed it: the CBA’s board of directors meeting will not be held at GOF as we have done the last few years. It will take place August 3rd in Modesto.

Your pal,
Mark Varner
Posted:  7/28/2008

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