by Pat Dinges
That alone made DelFest #3 better than the 2009 version. But there were other improvements this year to the new festival. The addition of 24-hour medical was a BIG one for this clumsy volunteer. Check-in procedure (though 5 miles off-site) went more smoothly. And, a more relaxed check to prevent cans and bottles from being brought into the Music Meadow was appreciated by many.
DelFest showcases Bluegrass, both old and new. But, it also includes artists who step right over the Bluegrass boundary. This year’s artists included Del McCoury Band, Railroad Earth, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Uncle Earl, Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings, Dailey & Vincent, Cornmeal… You get the idea – something for everyone. You’ll find music on the Grandstand Stage (main stage), Potomac Stage (smaller), and inside the all purpose building (Late Night Shows). Artist playshops and Kidzone activities are also available.
The Bluegrass Band Competition featuring 8 bands (from over 40 submissions) on the Potomac Stage was a highlight for me. An opportunity to catch bands like East Run and others on their way up. Priceless!
DelFest is held over Memorial Day Weekend at The Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD. Local folks are friendly and helpful. But, this is a 6 hour drive from Salt Point, NY. With many festivals in our backyard we probably will give this one a little time to mature before returning. It’s not an inexpensive festy (even as a volunteer). Check the website for pricing and lots of other details:
But if you have plans to be in or around Cumberland for Memorial Day 2011, check it out for sure!