About Bluegrass on the Farm
The event offers a day of good, old-time bluegrass and traditional music in an early 20th century farm setting right in the middle of Montgomery County.
Last year's festival was held on Saturday, September 16, 2017, noon-6pm. Plenty of lawn seating was available among the trees. An outstanding show was provided by Hickory Grove, East of Monroe, and Circa Blue. What a beautiful day to be outside on the Farm listening to some great music.
There are lots of shady private areas for jamming before and after the concert so folks can bring their instruments and share some tunes and licks.
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).
Larry Sparks, our guest in 2015, was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Fame on month after his appearance at Bluegrass on the Farm.
Here's a look at an earlier festival. Thanks to Scott Hicks for producing this short video to show us some highlights of BOTF
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.