By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Rudy Fest technically kicked off last weekend, at the Poppy Mountain Campground in Morehead, with a Saturday show featuring Sammy Adkins & the Sandy Hook Mountain Boys, Charlie Woods & Deep Hollow, and Josh Williams Band.
But the long weekend of music and camping starts today, at 5 p.m. with Billie Renee.
Renee is followed by the Caleb Daugherty Band, Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, and Lincoln & Heather.
The show then continues through Saturday, with a stellar lineup of bands each night.
On Thursday the music starts at 1 p.m. with Lacy Creek, followed by Turning Ground at 2, Don Rigsby at 3, and Hammertowne at 4 p.m. After a 5 o’clock supper break the music returns at 6 with Lacy Creek, Turning Ground and Rigsby playing for another hour each, the No Joke Jimmy’s at 9, and Hammertowne again from 10:30 until the music stops.
That pattern continues on Friday and Saturday, with Friday’s lunch break at 4 and Special Consensus at 1 and 5:30, Junior Sisk at 2 and 6:30, Appalachian Road Show at 7:30, Steeldrivers at 9, and Sideline at 3 and 10:30 p.m.
On Saturday it’s Unlimited Tradition at 12 and 5, The Grascals at 1 and 6, Balsam Range at 2 and 7, an Ernie Thacker Tribute at 8, Dan Tyminski Band at 9, and Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out at 3 and 10:30.
Friday will also feature a canned food drive, sponsored in conjunction with Aetna insurance. Leroy Walker, one of the festival organizers, explained that the food drive was the kind of thing that the Rudy Fest community really gets behind, and that he expected a great response to help local families in need.
The food drive exemplifies the kind of community that is seen across the bluegrass festival scene, not just at Rudy Fest but also at the Poppy Mountain festival and over in Olive Hill at the Shriner Bluegrass Festival – where funds support medical expenses for children at the Shriners Hospitals.
But as wonderful as all that is, and it is wonderful, the draw is the music.
The Rudy Fest lineup doesn’t need a lot of talking up. If you know bluegrass music, you know what a stellar schedule this is.
But if you don’t pick any random night, or really treat yourself and come out for the whole weekend, and enjoy the music, the dancing, the food, and the good folks you’ll encounter.
You can purchase tickets online at rudyfest.com, or at the gate on the day of the shows.
For me one of the beautiful things about Rudy Fest is that it’s close enough to home that I can enjoy the music and still be home in my own bed every night. But if you are coming home from out of state, the Poppy Mountain site is a short drive away from Morehead’s hotel options. Or, you can camp on site. The festival offers both camper sites and primitive camping for those who prefer tents.
But no matter how you choose to experience the festival – one day or several, staying on site or driving home – it’s a guaranteed good time.
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