While the festival season doesn’t officially shut down in the winter, it moves south or goes indoors. And in a few cases, it takes to the seas. Here’s our listing of festivals (and cruises!) for December and January.
Of course, there are plenty of chances to hear bluegrass and old-time music year-round, in concerts, clubs, churches and jams. Most areas have some kind of bluegrass music association, and most of them have on-line calendars. Check ‘em out.
Most of our list comes from bluegrassfestivalguide.com, which has been redesigned and includes useful summaries of upcoming festivals around the US and lots of ways to search for events. Be sure to check the festival website to see what bands are playing, whether there’s camping, jamming, etc. If your favorite festival isn’t on the list, let us know.
- Balsam Range Art of Music Festival Nov 29 – Dec 1, Waynesville, NC
- Honeymoon Island Bluegrass Festival Dec 1, Dunedin, FL
- Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies Dec 5 – 8, Pigeon Forge, TN
- Jekyll Island New Year’s Bluegrass Festival Jan 3 – 5, Jekyll Island, GA
- SPBGMA Bluegrass Music Awards & Midwest Convention Jan 11 – 12, Jefferson City, MO
- Perrysburg Bluegrass Festival Jan 11 – 12, Perrysburg, OH
- YeeHaw Music Fest Jan 15 – 20, Okeechobee, FL
- BayGrass Bluegrass Festival Jan 18 – 20, Islamorada, FL
We’ll stretch into February for this one, because it actually starts in January with the Kiwigrass Academy. Plus, it’s New Zealand’s inaugural bluegrass festival!
- Kiwigrass Feb 1-3, Hamilton, NZ
- Battlefield Bluegrass – Naseby Bluegrass Day, Dec 1, Naseby, Northampton
- Bluegrass and Blue Water Bahamas Cruise Jan 12 – 17, Charleston, SC to the Bahamas
- Danny Stewart’s Caribbean Bluegrass Cruise Jan 14 –18, Port Canaveral, FL to the Bahamas
- Western Caribbean Bluegrass Music Cruise, Jan 28 – Feb 2, Tampa, FL to Cozumel, Mexico and Grand Cayman
- Caribbean Classic Country & Bluegrass Music Cruise, Feb 4-8, Cape Canaveral, FL to Cocoa Cay and Nassau
- Danny Stewart’s California Bluegrass Cruise Feb 18-22, Long Beach, CA to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico
- Quilts of Valor Bluegrass Cruise Mar 3-7, Long Beach, CA to Ensenada, Mexico & Catalina Island
- Danny Stewart’s Alaska Glacier Bluegrass Cruise, Aug 16-23, Seattle to Alaska and Victoria, BC
- Bluegrass and Blue Water Alaska Bluegrass Cruise Sep 3-10, Seattle, WA to Alaska