Connect with us
March 2023
Vol. 22, No. 6
32nd Annual San Diego Music Awards

Bluegrass Corner

Summergrass Update

by Dwight WordenMarch 2022

Three great fiddlers grace the Summergrass stage in its first year, 2001: Dennis Caplinger, Byron Berline, and Mark O’Connor.

Here’s some good news about San Diego’s premier bluegrass festival, Summergrass. It was 2003 when two local nonprofits, the San Diego Bluegrass Society (SDBS) and the North San Diego County Bluegrass and Folk Club (NCBFC), started the Summergrass Festival. Staffed entirely by volunteers the event grew every year, featuring top national bands, regional and local bands, workshops, a Kids Music Camp, Slow Jam, Adult Boot Camp, vendors, camping, lots of jamming, and more. The annual event is held every August at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum (AGSEM) in Vista. As Summergrass’ success grew over the years, it reached the point where it was time to transition from the all-volunteer SDBS and NCBFC to a nonprofit able to provide the necessary support and oversight for the long-term so the festival can continue to grow.
Last month the SDBS, NCBFC, and AGSEM announced an agreement to transition the festival from SDBS and NCBFC to the AGSEM. Here is the official statement released by the parties:
Summergrass Bluegrass Festival
San Diego Bluegrass Society Board, and the North County Bluegrass and Folk Club Board, voted to withdraw as nonprofit sponsorship and to transition our roles and responsibilities.
We are pleased to announce that the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum (AGSEM) has agreed to provide nonprofit sponsorship for Summergrass.
As a non-profit corporation, AGSEM, is a natural fit since they already have a long history of hosting Summergrass at their Vista location.
We look forward to the partnership! See you at Summergrass!!
Here’s a bit more on the subject from SDBS:
We love Summergrass and are proud to have been founding partners and key parts of its success. SDBS Board members have served in every role at Summergrass over the years, as founders, as festival chair and vice chair, as finance chair, as talent buyers, and more. SDBS volunteers have been key parts of its success. But, we recognized it was time to transition to a nonprofit sponsor with more resources as Summergrass began to outpace our abilities as volunteer Board members to stay on top of everything. So, we are excited that AGSEM will now step in and take up the sponsorship mantel. AGSEM’s long-term experience as the host for Summergrass since 2003 and its deep bench of resources position it well.
SDBS will remain committed to Summergrass. We will be volunteering, promoting, and supporting the festival and helping to assure its continued success. Thanks to all for their help and cooperation in making this transition successful.

Melissa Dow, Lindsay Lou, and Tyler Grant.

Lindsay Lou and Friends at the Del Mar Town Hall. Lindsay Lou and Friends brought a night of soulful harmonies, Lindsay’s originals, and terrific picking to a Del Mar Foundation “Bluegrass and Beyond” performance at Del Mar’s Town Hall on Feb. 18. Accompanying Lindsay were Tyler Grant, a past National Flatpicking Guitar Champion (and former San Diegan) and Melissa Dow, a past winner of the Open Division, Weiser National Fiddle Championships (and current San Diegan). Lindsay Lou also performed the following evening as part of Steve Poltz’s birthday bash at the Belly Up in Solana Beach.
Local Bluegrass Jam Sessions are Back! SDBS announced it will be back in action on March 8, 2022 for its second Tuesday of the month jam session. The event is held at the Mainstream Bar and Grill, 13385 Poway Road, Poway from 6:30 to 9 pm. There is plenty of free parking, good food at fair prices, covered outdoor seating, and lots of jamming with open mic and pick up bands on stage. Admission is free so stop on by!
NCBFC is also going strong with its first Tuesday of the month jam session and open mic, featured band evening. Held at the Round Table Pizza at the corner of Washington and Ash in Escondido, this is a great event. Admission here is free too, so stop on by on March 1 for some fun and to see Prairie Sky as the featured band.

Continue Reading