Author: Campbell, Bruce

Down Home Bluegrass
I played a little Bluegrass festival this weekend: The first annual Loma Vista Farm Bluegrass Festival. I donít know anything of the story of how the festival came about, how the festival fared against the promoters and/or backersí expectations, or the prospects of the festival having a second year.

What I do know is that was an earnest effort. The lineup was enjoyable (if I say so myself Ė having been part of it), and the quality of the sound reinforcement was good. I think it could have been better attended, but those who did come, came for the right reasons and clearly had a very good time. I hope there will be another festival next year as well!

I spoke to several people at the festival, (before they knew I was playing it), and some came because they were Bluegrass fans, and some came because they were simply music fans. This festival served a very important service: It provided a place for area music fans to come and enjoy live music in a bucolic setting, on a sunny summer day, for a reasonable price. And in the process, maybe the performers helped convert some music fans into real Bluegrass fans!

With money being tight, itís important to offer chances to view and hear live music on a very local level. People that might not be able to afford a 100 mile drive to a 2 day festival very well might be able to fit a single-day festival within an hour of home. We are fortunate to live in a state where the weather and terrain offer so many potential venues for such events.

But itís also important that people with the skills, the energy, and the wherewithal create these events. I donít know all that much about what it takes to put something on event like this weekendís festival. I know more than I used to, but much of what I have learned just informs me how difficult and risky a venture like this could be. So I applaud those who take the initiative, and the risk to present Bluegrass to local fans, whether itís for profit or as a fund raiser.

To those of you who would attempt this, let me urge you to avail yourself of the CBA Calendar, and online Message Board to get the word out. Marketing is difficult, and it can be expensive, but these resources are free, and you can reach an eager, ready-made Bluegrass audience. Present quality acts and let people know about it, and youíve greatly increased your chances of success.

To those of you who find out about local Bluegrass concerts and festivals, tell your friends, and if your schedule and pocketbook permits, come on out and enjoy some great music, and help make local Bluegrass events a success. Itís the kind of thing that can snowball, and lead to more events, as many as the market will bear.
Posted:  7/22/2009

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