- reported by Gabrielle McMillen
Music festivals have been a way for people to escape their everyday schedules and enjoy hours of their favorite music for decades. The South is not any different when it comes to the variety of festivals peppered below the Mason-Dixon Line. From hard rock to twangy Bluegrass, the musical talent and creativity is abundant in the South.
Mobile, Ala., is the proud host of BayFest
, the largest music festival in the state. This year’s lineup includes popular rock artists such as Journey, Al Green, Bush, and Pretty Lights. Families with children can enjoy activities such as a coloring contest, touch and learn about marine life, and meet Captain Jack Sparrow in Bienville Square during the afternoons. The festival takes place during Oct. 5-7. Weekend passe
s are $45 per person and day passes
are $30 each day. Children under 12 are admitted free with a ticketed adult. Groups of 20 people or more get the weekend passes for $40.
The Bukka White Festival
in Aberdeen, Miss., has named their festival after Booker (Bukka) T. White, an influential Blues artist of the 1930s and 1940s. To pay homage to their legendary resident, Aberdeen has invited Blues artists such as Big George Brock, Homemade Jamz and Cedric Burnside Project to play their own flavor of Blues music. Aside from the soulful music, guests can also enter in a ribs contest for the best ribs in Aberdeen. Entry forms are available on their website. Attendance is free to the Bukka White Festival, which takes place Oct. 12-13.
The Minstrel of Appalachia Festival
is an all-day celebration of regional music and
dance traditions. Located 20 minutes north of Asheville in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Mars Hill, N.C., the Minstrel of Appalachia was named after Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Lunsford was a musician and folklorist who dedicated his life to collecting and promoting the music of the Southern Appalachians. While this year’s lineup has not been released, last year’s festival boasted artists such as Joe Penland, the Jonathan Creek Boys, and the Bailey Mountain Cloggers. The festival is on Oct. 6. Tickets are $10 per adult and $5 for children under 12. Tickets can be purchased at the gate.
The seventh annual Rhymes and Vines Festival
in Stephenville, Texas, offers a variety of country culture. The lineup includes country artists such as Kevin Fowler, No Justice, and Six Market Blvd. Aside from the musical talent, Rhymes and Vines offers a competition for the best homemade beer and the best homemade wine. Entry forms can be filled out at Melody Mountain Ranch & RV Park
. The festival takes place from Sept. 20-22. Three-day passes
are $48 online or $53 at the gate. Two-day passe
s are $32 online or $38 at the gate. A one-day pass
is $18 online or $22 at the gate.
Bristol, Tenn., is home to the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion
, which celebrates the city’s vibrant music heritage and the birthplace of Country Music. Advertising twangy Blues with rock undertones, the headliners for 2012 include Robert Earl Keen, City and Color, Dr. Dog, and Carrie Rodriguez. New merchandise from the festival includes Bristolopoly, a play on the famous board game customized with Bristol landmarks and events. The three-day festival is from Sept. 14-16. A three-day pass
bought before Aug. 31 is $40. They are $50 if purchased between Sept.1 and 13 and $60 if purchased at the gate. A one-day pass
for Friday, Sept. 14 is $25, $30 for Sept. 15, and $20 for Sept. 16.
Pensacola Beach, Fla., will host a variety of popular music stars at DeLuna Fest, Sept. 21-23. DeLuna Fest
celebrates Pensacola’s rich history and raises a toast to America’s original settlement. Chart-topping artists such as the Foo Fighters, Zac Brown Band, Florence and the Machine, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Pearl Jam will be headlining. Four stages are spread out amongst the white sand so patrons can hear a variety of music throughout the weekend. Weekend passes
The Sixth Annual 3 Sisters Festival
in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn., is celebrating Bluegrass on the River. Admission is free during Oct. 5th and 6th and the festival includes performances by Blue Highway, Dailey and Vincent, Bluetastic Fangrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Della Mae.
The Franklin, Ky Music Festival
is perfect for those who like to get in their RV and travel for some good music. Located on an RV campground, travelers and campers can enjoy the country and Bluegrass festival while surrounded by the comforts of their camper. Josh Williams Band, Rigney Family, Nothing Fancy, and more will headline the Sept. 7-8 festival. Two-day passes are $40 and children under 12 are free with an adult. A ticket for Friday night is $20, and a ticket for Saturday night is $25. Tickets can be purchased at the gate.
The Gram Parsons Guitar Pull and Music Festival
honors Gram Parsons, who is considered to be the father of alternative country music. Located in Parsons’ hometown of Waycross, Ga., the music festival takes place from Oct. 12-14 at the Okefenokee Fairgrounds. Artists include Honey Blue, the Driftwood Singers, Ian Dunlop, and Jack Cadillac. Advance weekend passes
are $50. Students and Military Personnel with identification can get passes
for $40. Those with RVs can park on site and pay $30.
Lovers of the Blues, country music, and rock rifts can find a festival somewhere in the South that plucks their guitar as well as their hearts. With the abundance of different melodies and styles of singing, everyone can find a festival they will truly enjoy.
photo credit: (top left) Guitar, flickr, creative commons by andyburnfield; (middle right) Banjo, flickr, creative commons by magnuscanis; (bottom left) Drums, flickr, creative commons by Sunfrog1