ROLLO BAY, P.E.I. - Grab your fiddle, banjo or mandolin and head for the 33rd edition of the Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival.
The annual event takes place July 6-8 at the Big Field in Rollo Bay and features some of the best bluegrass bands from the USA, the Maritimes and, of course, P.E.I.
The featured groups at this year’s festival cover the spectrum of bluegrass music from the high lonesome mountain sound of Tommy Brown and County Line Grass to the contemporary, folk-tinged sound of Jeff Scroggins and Colorado to the straight-ahead bluegrass and acoustic country sounds of Feller and Hill.
All these groups are favourites at festivals across the U.S. and Canada.
For regional flavor, there’s the ever-popular Bluegrass Diamonds back for their 29th appearance at the festival. Acoustic Horizon, one of the foremost bluegrass bands in Canada, are back for their second straight year. Free Wheelin', a relatively new group made up of four seasoned musicians, will perform at the festival for the first time.
Eight, talented, local bluegrass bands make up the rest of the program. They come from all parts of the island and have honed their craft over many years.
The festival gets under way on Wednesday evening during an open mic. Thursday is the day to look up old friends, renew acquaintances and end up the day with another open mic. This is one of the most popular aspects of the festival as well as the Songwriter's Circle on Saturday at noon and the acoustic instrument workshops on Saturday morning.
This is a family centric festival so there’s a children's program. The kids will also have a chance to shine on the main stage at supper time on Saturday.
Gates open for camping on Wednesday, July 4 at 1 p.m. The main stage show starts on Friday morning.