The Charm City Folk and Bluegrass Festival returns to Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park for its third annual installment on Saturday, April 25, 2015.
The initial lineup includes the first family of bluegrass, The Travelin’ McCourys, American roots and bluegrass heavy-hitters Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Washington, D.C.-based bluegrass veterans Seldom Scene, Western Maryland progressive bluegrass pickers Grand Ole’ Ditch, D.C.-based jazz, country-swing and blues band Bumper Jacksons and Baltimore rootsy folk singer-songwriter Letitia VanSant. More artists will be announced in the coming months.
Tickets are on sale now via missiontix.com/charmcitybluegrass. General admission tickets are $45 and VIP tickets are $140. For each ticket sold, the festival will donate $2 to the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens, which sits next to the festival grounds, to support horticulture education programs.
After a sold out inaugural festival at Union Craft Brewing and a 2,500-strong crowd at Druid Hill Park last year, founders Phil Chorney and Jordan August aim to keep Baltimore’s bluegrass tradition alive and well. Charm City can trace its bluegrass roots back to the 1930s, when Southern Appalachian musicians began migrating to Baltimore seeking work. The music they brought with them made Baltimore a bluegrass haven in the 1950s and 1960s.
Continuing in that tradition, the Charm City Folk and Bluegrass Festival has featured legends Tim O’Brien and Tony Trischka, Grammy award-winning dobro virtuoso Jerry Douglas, members of the Punch Brothers as well as a variety of regional talent, including Cris Jacobs and Caleb Stein.
Seven regional bands will compete in a two-round battle of the bands to win the festival’s opening slot. Those bands include Bald Mountain Band, Fried Pickin’, Colebrook Road, Andy Belt & Friends, Darla Jean and the Somethin’ or Others, Burt the Dirt and Man About a Horse. The first round will be held on two nights, Feb. 6 and Feb. 20, at Union Craft Brewing in Hampden, and two winners from each night will compete for the festival slot at The 8×10 on Friday, March 20. Admission to the first round battles is $5, and ticketing info for The 8×10 will be announced soon.
There will also be a late night after-party at The 8×10 in Federal Hill, with artists to be announced. Last year’s after-party featured a performance by The Everyone Orchestra featuring members of Greensky Bluegrass, Floodwood, Railroad Earth, Gov’t Mule and Cabinet as well as sit-ins from festival performers.