Scoop: Bluegrass Festivals

Seattle may not be known for its bustling bluegrass scene (yet!), but fans can attest that the North

Seattle may not be known for its bustling bluegrass scene (yet!), but fans can attest that the Northwest string scene is thriving—with a staggering number of locally grown bluegrass bands and festivals throughout the summer. This month, the 70-year-old musical genre is in full bloom, with a bounty of area festivals showcasing recent subgenres like newgrass, jamgrass and stompgrass, as well as old-time traditional pickin’.


07/16–18
Darrington Bluegrass Festival

GOOD FOR: Fans of traditional bluegrass and camping near the Stillaguamish River
Darrington Bluegrass Music Park, Darrington (30 miles east of arlington) glacierview.net/bluegrass

July 16–18
Northwest String Summit
GOOD FOR: Hipster jamgrassers who enjoy genre-bending newgrass sounds (such as Yonder Mountain String Band, in the summit lineup)
Horning’s Hideout, North Plains, Oregon (30 miles west of vancouver, WA) stringsummit.com

July 22–25

Columbia Gorge Bluegrass Festival
GOOD FOR: The traditional bluegrass buff seeking big names like Lou Reid and Don Rigsby of Longview (on the bill July 23) 
Skamania County Fairgrounds, Stevenson (45 miles east of vancouver, wa) columbiagorgebluegrass.net

07/24
Bainbridge Bluegrass Festival & Family Fun Fair

GOOD FOR: Suburbanites raising the next generation of pickers—from traditional to stompgrass (including Ballard fave The Tallboys)
Battle Point Park, Bainbridge Island (about 5 miles from the ferry dock) bainbridgebluegrassfestival.com

July 30 & 31

Goose Creek Opry
GOOD FOR: Small-town traditionalists who like old-time fiddling and bluegrass gospel à la O Brother, Where Art Thou?
S Downtown City Park, Wilbur (65 miles West of Spokane) goosecreekopryassn.org

Originally published in July 2010