About Bluegrass on the Farm
This year, 2014, marks the ninth anniversary of Bluegrass on the Farm making it one of the longest running outdoor music events in the Washington, DC area.
The festival takes place on a 55-acre complex with a historic farm site and a modern farming activity center. The Park offers visitors a unique perspective on the rich farming heritage of Montgomery County. Maryland. The area includes the original farmhouse, bank barn and several outbuildings. There are gardening and farm animal exhibits.
The first BOTF in 2006 was hosted by the Agricultural History Farm Park, Inc., with the help of the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Later, the Traditional Music Foundation joined forces with the Friends of the Farm and MNCPPC to provide funds and expertise to attract many local, regional, and nationally recognized Bluegrass and old-time musicians. This successful partnership has helped to build Bluegrass on the Farm into one of the longest running and most recognized outdoor music festivals in the immediate Washington DC area.
Hundreds of the appreciative fans have become “regulars” and routinely check the web site in the weeks before the scheduled event to see what new and exciting bands are going to be performing that year.
Many of the performers who have appeared at BOTF over the last few years have received national recognition by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) at their annual Awards Show in Nashville. Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, the headliner band in 2013 received honors as "Emerging Band of the Year". In 2011, the headliner, Lonesome River Band, received the award for “Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year” and their band leader, Sammy Shelor, received the award for “Banjo Player of the Year”. Other artists that received awards in the same year they appeared at BOTF include the Gibson Brothers (“Song of the Year” in 2010) and Danny Paisley and Southern Grass (“Song of the Year” in 2009).
Major Sponsors and Underwriters
The Friends of the Agricultural History Farm Park, Inc., a 501(c) (3) organization, was established in 1995 by Wendy Hanley, Diane Geary, Mike Roth, Laura Ann Whirley, and a group of devoted charter members. Our purpose is to assist M-NCPPC in carrying out the objectives of the Master Plan for the Ag History Farm Park, and interpret past and present farming techniques through programs at the Farm. These programs include the Annual Gas and Steam Show in April, a Bluegrass Festival in September, a Blacksmith and Arts Show in November, Christmas on the Farm, and involvement in Parks programs such as Heritage Days in June and the Harvest Festival in October.
Montgomery Parks, M-NCPPC has supported all activities at the Farm including Bluegrass on the Farm (from it's inception) through facilities management, grounds maintenance, parking arrangements, and overall security of the site and personnel.
The Traditional Music Foundation, Inc. was incorporated in 2007 to support traditional music and education. The nonprofit corporation provides opportunities for the general public to explore and experience a range of traditional American music, as well as contemporary musical styles with strong traditional roots. For the general public, the TMF hosts, produces, and supports live performance of this music in the form of concerts, festivals, and workshops. In order to advance educational opportunity, the corporation provides music scholarships to individual students and grants for bluegrass and traditional acoustic music education, skill development, or grassroots performance and enrichment.