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 Aiken Bluegrass Festival - May 12 & 13, 2017 
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Wanee Wizard

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:48 am
Posts: 3083
Post Aiken Bluegrass Festival - May 12 & 13, 2017
Hey y'all, this is what me and the family are up to next weekend! I'm most excited. We are gonna bunk in with our very good friends, who moved across state to Augusta a few years ago. Quick trip, but fun will be had fo' sho'. Come join us if you're nearby! Or even somewhat nearby!
:D

Here's a blurb about it, that tells you stuff:

The Aiken Bluegrass Festival returns to the Western Carolina State Fairgrounds in Aiken, SC, on May 12th and 13th, 2017. This 13th annual event will host some of the biggest names in bluegrass around such as The Infamous Stringdusters, Billy Strings, Larry Keel and Vince Herman as well as our favorite Portland, OR based act Fruition. The 2017 line up also touts a hefty list of artists at large, insuring many collaborations that will be unique to the Aiken Bluegrass Festival stage. Included are Allie Kral of Yonder Mountain, Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon, Jay Starling of Love Canon and Lindsay Lou! The festival promises to be a weekend full of amazing music, unique craft and food vendors, on site camping, kid's activities and drink concessions featuring products from New Belgium Brewing, Carolina Moon Distillery and so much more!

https://www.aikenbluegrassfestival.org/lineup


Thu May 04, 2017 12:35 pm Profile
Wanee Fan

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:46 pm
Posts: 186
Location: S.Florida
Post Re: Aiken Bluegrass Festival - May 12 & 13, 2017
Lineup is great, I really want to go but I'm settling for Greensky in ft Lauderdale instead


Thu May 04, 2017 12:54 pm Profile
Wanee Lover

Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:07 pm
Posts: 1327
Post Re: Aiken Bluegrass Festival - May 12 & 13, 2017
I went to this fest a few years back, and it was a real good time. This is when it was at the old venue and it was SUPER small. For some of the day sets there were literally a few dozen people at the stage, although the night sets were much better attended. Anyways, I had a real good time, it was the year that was essentially all keller , he played at least 3 sets (solo, with Larry and Jenny, and with the Traveling McCourys).

Have you been to the new venue where it's currently held? I believe it's been there a few years now. Wondering what the camping scene is like , and if it's camping on site. I'm considering going, would likely be Friday only though.


Fri May 05, 2017 7:10 am Profile
Wanee Wizard

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:48 am
Posts: 3083
Post Re: Aiken Bluegrass Festival - May 12 & 13, 2017
handsNfeetRmangos wrote:
Have you been to the new venue where it's currently held?

No, this is all new to me. My friends are going, so we thought: why not?

Hope to see you there! :mrgreen:


Fri May 05, 2017 8:17 am Profile
Wanee Wizard

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:48 am
Posts: 3083
Post Re: Aiken Bluegrass Festival - May 12 & 13, 2017
Well folks, it was another successful festival for us: no hospital visits, and no arrests!
:D

Aiken Bluegrass Fest, was a fine event indeed. The pros: Good setup. Friendly vibe. Friendly security. Sound & lights were well executed. A good selection of food and craft vendors, and the grub was reasonably priced. Sets ran on time, save for Saturday, when it was running 20min or so behind for part of the day, due to some rain early in the day. We commuted from my friend's home about 45min away, so we came late on Saturday; nobody felt like hanging out in the rain. If we'd been camping, we woulda had all our rain gear and contingencies... and likely wouldn't have thought too much of the rain. As it was, we missed only the first two sets, but that still left us with tons of great music.

The cons? Darn near nonexistent... only negatives I could identify were 1) they could use a few more trash receptacles near the stage, and 2) no pizza vendor. Shrug. The women folk appreciated that there was an Actual Real Bathroom to use right next to the stage, plus a second Actual Real Bathroom further away, should you need it. Friends who were camping said they wished for some portolets in the camp area... not sure if there weren't any, or if they just were in an inconvenient spot.

No VIP. Primitive camping (the only option) was five bucks, in an open field (bring your own shade!). Friends pointed out that if you were of a mind, you could drop the $5, set up a minimal encampment, and use it as a staging spot ... toss a cooler in the tent, a change of clothes or whatever... have a place to relax and quench your thirst. Good idea!
:idea:

This fest had a TON of sit-ins! Made for a fun event. Favorite sets were Lindsay Lou & The Ladies, The Stringdusters (of course), and Billy Strings. Billy TORE IT DOWN! Check him out if you get the chance.... Billy was the festival MVP; he picked for the three sets ahead of the Stringdusters Friday night... whatta guy!

The fest closed with Fruition, who have nothing to do with bluegrass. That don't confront me. They were much loved by the small but mighty crowd, many of whom knew all the words (!)... Matter of fact, this is the most energized fest crowd (for its size) I've seen in a good long time. I was surprised to find many familiar faces from various Suwannee fests... I guess the T shirt I saw kind of explains it: it said -- Actually I *do* have a retirement plan; I'm gonna go to bluegrass festivals!
:lol:

I was a little apprehensive that in a little burg in South Carolina, the freaky hippie jamband end of the bluegrass scene might not be so welcome... but the vibe was great, and everyone (including the folks working the event) was having a blast.

This one gets an A rating from me.


Mon May 15, 2017 10:54 am Profile
Wanee Lover

Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:07 pm
Posts: 1327
Post Re: Aiken Bluegrass Festival - May 12 & 13, 2017
Agree with the good BB, great event. I only went Friday, for various reasons I was in and out (arrived Friday around 6pm and out Sat AM), but I really enjoyed the short time I was there. Larry Keel is one of my all time favorites, anytime I can see him I am happy. And it was my first time seeing Infamous Stringdusters and they didn't disappoint, loved their set and looking forward to seeing them again in the future. And as BB said, Billy Strings, WOW! I honest to god had never heard of him, then I went to the Guitacolypse Now supergroup set, and was like who is this clown playing on stage with my favorite bluegrass pickers......then he stole the show! Super impressed.


As I said, I was only there for a short period of time but I have no complaints (well except that should have had a porta potty in the camping area, no big deal for me but not sure what the ladies did when the gates to the fest weren't open).

Like I said above, I had been to the festival one other time, a few years back when it was at the old venue. I enjoyed it then but have to say it was MUCH improved this year at the newer venue. Before it had an "all day concert" vibe, this year it definitely had a "festival" vibe, which is a big difference! Again, as BB said, the
"jamgrass" hippy scene was well represented, which was surprising. I am very familiar with Aiken, I have worked there at least one weekend a month for the past several years. Lovely town really, but about as far from hippy as I can imagine. Was great to see the freaks (myself included) representing!

I am moving down to FL fairly soon, but still plan to go back to ABF next year.


Thu May 18, 2017 10:13 pm Profile
Wanee Wizard

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:48 am
Posts: 3083
Post Re: Aiken Bluegrass Festival - May 12 & 13, 2017
handsNfeetRmangos wrote:
I am moving down to FL fairly soon, but still plan to go back to ABF next year.

We might just do it again too. If so, we should definitely meet up; not sure I've ever had the pleasure.
8-)


Fri May 19, 2017 9:04 am Profile
Wanee Fan

Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:46 pm
Posts: 186
Location: S.Florida
Post Re: Aiken Bluegrass Festival - May 12 & 13, 2017
Image

New lineup is out, I already bought tickets this morning because they were so affordable. Looks like I'll be there


Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:15 pm Profile
Wanee Wizard

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:40 pm
Posts: 3096
Location: FL
Post Re: Aiken Bluegrass Festival - May 12 & 13, 2017
At first glance it is Just Ok, but the price is great and a few people are playing twice. If the venue is good this is a decent little fest. I wonder if they will have a late jam anywhere. I know Vince and Drew and Jon Stickley love a good late jam.

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Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:25 pm Profile
Wanee Lover
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:41 pm
Posts: 2188
Post Re: Aiken Bluegrass Festival - May 12 & 13, 2017
i went a few years ago, really really good time

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Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:33 pm Profile
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