Festival of the Bluegrass Underway at Ky Horse Park

Jun 9, 2017

Flatt Lonesome Playing Thursday Night
Credit Beth Tibbitts

The campground at the Kentucky Horse Park is once again playing host to bluegrass music performers at all levels this weekend. 

The 44th Festival of the Bluegrass is attracting campers from inside and outside the Commonwealth.  

The three-day event always opens with a performance from young people participating in the music camp. 

Festival coordinator AnnaMarie Cornett says kids are getting a different view of bluegrass instruments these days.

“A familiarity with those instruments that are more popular with bands like the Avett Brothers, kids are more interested in learning how to play the mandolin and learning how to play the fiddle.  That’s encouraging kids to come and learn a new instrument as well.  Maybe something they can’t take in band at school” said Cornett.

Bob Cornett got the idea for a bluegrass festival in 1974 and thought the present-day horse park campground would be just the right spot.  It was then the Walnut Hill Farm.  

Now four decades later, Cornett’s grandson Roy and his wife AnnaMarie put on the three-day event. 

Roy says a few off-stage changes were made this year, with the hope music fans won’t notice, “In many ways it’s the same traditional festival that they’ve seen for many years and, in fact, the changes that we have made are behind the scenes to make things more smoothly for them.  And so, hopefully, the goal is they don’t notice those changes."

The bluegrass bands, which include stalwarts and new artists, will be sounding off until midday Sunday.