Madison Bluegrass Festival Photo Gallery
Since 2006, hundreds of bluegrass lovers have crowded into the annual Madison Bluegrass Festival and Competition, held in a park-like area on Madison Street behind a small strip mall and near the Madison Station Senior Center. The festival features entertainment from established bluegrass bands, and competitions on several instruments among players of all ages and skill levels.
Held in Madison in conjunction with the Madison-Rivergate Area Chamber of Commerce, the 2008 festival was another success, and has left festival organizer Lonnie Jones already making plans for a bigger and better festival in 2009, but with a few changes.
Jones, who conducts regular bluegrass jam sessions at his Nashville home, began staging the event three years ago, and this year saw some 300 people in attendance, in spite of the oppressive early June heat. Jones said that, while he was pleased with the success of the 2008 event, which was held during the same weekend as Nashville's popular CMA Music Festival, he plans to make the 2009 event even more extensive and exciting.
Competitions, as always, in 2009 included dancing, beginner banjo, banjo, guitar, beginner mandolin under 16 years, mandolin, beginner fiddle (8-11 years), sophomore fiddle (12-17 years), team square dancing, junior fiddle (18-49 years), senior fiddle (50-64 years), old-time fiddle (65 years and up), and a bluegrass band competition. But Jones said he also wants to increase the number of event sponsors, and that he wants to larger numbers of arts and crafts booths in 2009, which have thus far played only a small role in the festival.
Jones said he believes that the festival can become bigger and more prestigious, and was already making plans for 2010, when this annual Nashville event was held on Saturday, June 6th. To ensure this growth, and to make sure that audience numbers are the highest they have ever been to support the artisans and to attract more community sponsors, Jones has announced that, while the festival has normally required a spectator admission fee of $10 per person, the 2010 event will be held free of charge to the public.
Mark your calendars for the next - and best - Madison Bluegrass Festival and Competition!
Article Written & Submitted by Rick Moore