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Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival: A Knee Slappin’ Good Time

Everybody knows that summer is the season for big name, high profile music festivals across the country. Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Pitchfork, Forecastle, SXSW, and countless summer concert series across Indianapolis and the rest of Indiana entertain music lovers from around the United States during the dog days, but there’s none quite like the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival, an Indianapolis festival whose name is about as lengthy as its list of performers. Nestled in the beautiful hill country of Brown County, home to lots of picturesque Indiana parks, the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival takes place at the historic bluegrass mecca of Bean Blossom and is the oldest continuously running bluegrass festival in the world.

Video of IIIrd Tyme Out performing at the 2009 Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival south of Indianapolis

You won’t find any cutting edge or experimental Indianapolis music groups at the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival. No, you’ll find music that’s as old as the hills in Southern Indiana, an army of pickers on mandolin, banjo, guitar, fiddle, washboard, stand up bass, and harmonica. Over 50 Indianapolis bands and nationally touring bands will be present at the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival, every one of them bringing a different variety of bluegrass to the table. There’ll definitely be a lot of knee slappin’, boot stompin’, spot on harmonizin’, and, of course, finger pickin’. The legends of that old time bluegrass music will all be present at the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival.

Video of Isaac Moore performing “White Dove” with the Clinch Mountain Boys at the 2008 Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival south of Indianapolis

This is one music festival that outweighs any Indianapolis event in length and breadth. The Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival originally lasted an already epic six days, but in 2002 that number was increased to eight days to better handle the huge amount of Indianapolis attractions going on at the festival. By comparison, Pitchfork and Lollapalooza, two of the largest pop festivals, last only three days, while Bonnaroo and South by Southwest last four days. It’s no wonder the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival is one of the largest events of the year for bluegrass fans.

The Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival is so much more than a place to see tons of accomplished musicians in one place. It’s also a chance to hone your own bluegrass skills and teach your Indianapolis children the basics of an Appalachian party. In addition to the main music stages at the Bill Monroe Memorial Bluegrass Festival, the campground also has an Artist Workshop Stage that will be hosting lots of Indianapolis education events throughout the course of the festival, most of them taught either by professionals or by the performers themselves. There will be beginning and advanced courses taught in instruments, mountain vocals and harmony, songwriting, and even band promotion.

Video of Bluegrass Parkway performing “Southern Flavor” live at the 2009 Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival south of Indianapolis

 

Kids don’t miss out on the fun at the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival either. For three days during the festival, there will be a Youth Bluegrass Boot Camp for little pickers just getting started on the road to boot stompin’ stardom. Children 6-18 will benefit from the structured learning environment at the Youth Bluegrass Boot Camp, and all sorts of beneficial music skills are taught at this Indiana school, from instrument care to jamming etiquette, something important if students are ever going to sit in on a gig at an Indianapolis music venue. Students at the Youth Bluegrass Boot Camp learn from both individual instruction and group sessions, so your kid will be fiddling like a maniac in no time. The only thing kids can’t learn at the camp is how to grow an epic Appalachian beard.

Video of Paul Williams and The Victory Trio performing live at the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival south of Indianapolis

 

Indianapolis history buffs will be pleased to learn that a ticket to the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival also grants participants access to the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame and the Bill Monroe Museum. The Hall of Fame celebrates the rich history of bluegrass and gives you valuable insight into the background of Bean Blossom, the historic campground that is the site of the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival. Personal memorabilia, rotating exhibits, and more make this a fun alternative to Indianapolis museums.

Promotional video for the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival that takes place every year south of Indianapolis

 

If the wide variety of music going on at Indianapolis bars in the six Indianapolis cultural districts ain’t enough to get your weary bones out on the dance floor, you might need to get back to your roots with an eight day pass to the massive Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival in Brown County, Indiana. Though the festival has already begun, you can still purchase single day tickets at the gate and catch the remaining bands and the closing festivities.

Video of Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top Express performing live at the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival south of Indianapolis

See over 50 of the best bluegrass bands in the business, learn how to improve your own picking skills, or brush up on the convoluted history of Bean Blossom and bluegrass at the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame and the Bill Monroe Museum. Your kids can even get in on the bluegrass boogie train with the Youth Bluegrass Boot Camp. Grab your corncob pipe and your washboard; the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival is waiting for you!

Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival
June 12-19, 2010
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Schedule for the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival

Saturday, June 12

  • Hard Ryde
  • Brand New Strings
  • Tommy Brown & County Line Grass
  • Darren Beachley & Legends of Potomac
  • Chris Jones and the Night Drivers
  • Junior Sisk
  • Ronnie Reno and Reno Tradition
  • Larry Stephenson Band

Sunday, June 13

  • Sullivan Family
  • Pastor Baggett, “The Real Apostle”
  • Jessie Perdue Band
  • Eddie and Martha Adcock
  • Hard Ryde
  • Tommy Brown & County Line Grass
  • Barry Scott & Second Wind
  • James Monroe
  • Larry Sparks & Lonesome Ramblers
  • Mountain Heart

Monday, June 14

  • Jeanette Williams
  • Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show
  • David Davis & Warrior River Boys
  • McCormick Brothers
  • Charlie Sizemore Band
  • Lonesome River Band
  • Mountain Heart

Tuesday, June 15

  • Don Stanley & Middle Creek
  • Tim Graves & Cherokee
  • Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show
  • McCormick Brothers
  • James King Band
  • Randy Waller & The Country Gentlemen
  • Josh Williams
  • Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper
  • Youth Bluegrass Boot Camp Band

Wednesday, June 16

  • Hickory Hollow
  • Wildwood Valley Boys
  • Summertown Road
  • Russel Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out
  • Little Roy & Lizzy Show
  • James King Band
  • Special Consensus
  • Danny Paisley & Southern Grass

Thursday, June 17

  • Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain
  • Special Consensus
  • Kenny & Amanda Smith
  • Danny Paisley & Southern Grass
  • David Parmley & Continental Divide
  • Cherryholmes
  • Daily & Vincent

Friday, June 18

  • Bill Monroe Sunset Jam
  • Tommy Sells & Big Country
  • Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain
  • Paul Williams & Victory Trio
  • Balsam Range
  • Jessie McReynolds & Virginia Boys
  • J.D. Crowe & The New South
  • Tony Rice Show
  • Bluegrass Album Band Reunion
  • Ralph Stanley

Saturday, June 19

  • Daniel Patrick & Family
  • Paul Williams and Victory Trio
  • Don Stanley & Middle Creek
  • Karl Shiflett & Big Country
  • Grascals
  • Bobby Osborne & Rocky Top Express
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
  • J.D. Crowe & New South
  • Larry Sparks & Lonesome Ramblers
  • Dr. Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys
  • Jimmy Martin Tribute Show
  • Grascals

Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground
5163 SR 135 N
Morgantown, IN 46160
800.414.4677
812.988.6422
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