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April 2024
Vol. 23, No. 7

Bluegrass Corner

Summergrass is Back! Save the Date: August 20-22.

by Dwight WordenJuly 2021

High Fidelity will be at Summergrass this year.

After suffering through the Covid shutdown, Summergrass, San Diego’s Premier Live Bluegrass Festival, is back! Headliners include top national talent: The Lonesome River Band, Special Consensus, Bluegrass Etc., High Fidelity, the Po Rambling Boys, and a covey of great local bands, including Virtual Strangers, Chris Cerna and Bluegrass Republic, Drought Tolerant Bluegrass, Bluegrass Brethren, and more. Read all about it at
Let’s take a moment and talk about how to enjoy a visit to the Summergrass Festival. Your visit will include more than just great main stage music. There’s a lot on site to enjoy. First is the venue itself. Summergrass is held at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum in Vista. It features acres and acres of antique, operating tractors and steam engines dating from the 1850’s to the 1950s. A stroll through the grounds will take you right back to America’s farm heritage of the past century. Along the way you will see an authentic operating blacksmith shop, a period school house, mini-train, and one of the largest weaving collections in the U.S. There’s plenty to do and see for family members who may not want to spend all day in front of the stage.

Kid Camp on stage at Summergrass.

But wait, as they say, there’s more! Summergrass will be presenting its traditional Kids Music Camp. Youngsters age 6-16 are encouraged to sign up and take instruction on bluegrass instruments from top talent. Kids Camp culminates in a main stage show by the kids with their instructors on Sunday. This is a don’t miss show!
If you wish you were under 16 so you could sign up, you’re in luck. Summergrass is also presenting its Bluegrass Bootcamp open to all ages. The threehour Bluegrass Bootcamp is held on Friday and taught by the members of Special Consensus. You will learn from the best. Camp is oriented to intermediates and above.
Not a joiner, but want some personal music engagement? Summergrass features informal music jamming everywhere you turn. It’s all over the campus. Bring your instrument and join in.
To enjoy the full three day experience consider onsite camping. There is plenty of dry camping on site. The campground is prime jamming territory as well, so join in! For those looking for a real bed and shower, try the La Quinta Inn in Vista, a Summergrass partner.
Whether you come for an hour, a day, or the full three days, this is a great activity for the whole family, and at bargain prices too. An advance three-day pass is only $70, and at the gate only $85. Day passes are $20 (advance) for Friday and Sunday, $30 for Saturday, and $25 (at the gate) for Friday and Sunday, and $35 for Saturday. A camping pass for all three days is $125 in advance and $143 at the gate.
Read all about it and get your tickets at

Nu Blue at the Red Barn. Photo by David Cupp.

Local live music is coming back! It’s been a tough year, but things are finally coming back to normal. June saw concerts at the Red Barn in Valley Center by North Carolina’s Nu Blu as well as a concert with opening act Nathan James; Prairie Sky comes later in the month. Jamming is coming back, too, and is underway, sponsored by SDBS, at Duck Foot Brewery. Learn more at the SDBS website: The North San Diego County Bluegrass and Folk Club plans to restart its first Tuesday of the month live sessions in August, and SDBS will join in soon. At the moment the hunt is underway for a great venue for the SDBS second and fourth Tuesday events. In the meantime, the SDBS third Monday Slow Jam continues, and has returned to live attendance.
Things are looking up!

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