It was during a conversation between members of Bainbridge area group New Again Bluegrass and folks at the Paxton Theatre that someone mentioned how fun it would be to have a bluegrass festival in the theatre’s hometown. The idea blossomed from there and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 the theatre will host the inaugural Bluegrass in Bainbridge event.
It will feature seven bluegrass groups, with a 6 p.m. dinner break when there will be a community jam session.
“We’ve been working a lot with New Again — they’re two brothers with a cousin and an uncle who are just a fantastic group of guys and are third generation singers — and they were talking about how much they love to go to bluegrass festivals and how much fun it would be to have one here,” the Paxton Theatre’s Wade Hamilton said. “We thought, ‘Let’s do it.’”
Headlining the first-time festival will be the multiple-award winning Lonesome River Band. The group is an American contemporary bluegrass band and has released 15 recording projects since its formation in 1982. Lonesome River Band is led by Sammy Shelor, a member of the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame and five-time International Bluegrass Music Association Banjo Player of the Year Award recipient.
Also featured will be New Again Bluegrass, Wood & Strings from Mount Sterling, Wonpeace from Chillicothe, the Poverty String Band from Lucasville, the Mike Mitchell Trio from West Virginia, and Cannon Creek from Tennesse.
The event will feature reserved seating, air-conditioning, a barbecue food truck, outdoor dining area, and a cash bar. Tickets will be exchanged for wristbands at the door and patrons can come and go as they please throughout the day.
New Again Bluegrass features brothers Dustin and Jacob Neff, their cousin Cole Dennewitz and his father Gene Dennewitz. They have played at Gatlinburg Tunes & Tales, Dollywood BBQ & Bluegrass Festival and at events in Virginia and other locations around the area, according to Lisa Roberts, their booking agent and promoter.
“They have played quite often at the Paxton and got a lot of turnout for their shows, as much of a crowd as the country shows, and maybe more. They have a lot of fun,” Roberts said.
Ticket holders for Bluegrass in Bainbridge are welcome to join the festivities a day early at an opening reception on Friday night featuring a set from Cannon Creek followed by a presentation of “Fanning The Fire,” a documentary from the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation.
The doors and box office open at 10 p.m. Saturday with the performances starting at 11 a.m. Tickets are $25 and include come-and-go admission throughout the day. Tickets and additional information can be found online at paxtontheatre.org or are available by calling 740-634-3333.
The Paxton Theatre is located at 133 E. Main St., Bainbridge. For more information visit www.PaxtonTheatre.org.
Wade Hamilton provided information for this story.
Jeff Gilliland can be reached at [email protected] or 937-402-2522.