June 25, 2014 — The 14th annual Rudy Fest Bluegrass Festival kicks off today at the Carter County Fairgrounds off US 60 west.
The four-day event boasts 24 acts and several new bands.
“Sometimes we call them, and a lot of times they call us,” said organizer Rudy Burchett. “It just keeps getting bigger every year.”
He added that the festival has sold more pre-sale tickets than any previous year, and he expects about 12,000 persons to attend the event.
Additional electric hookups were installed this year, allowing for 200 campers to park on the grounds. Burchett said he also expects around 500 primitive campers to attend.
“Primitive camping is free with your pass,” Burchett said. “We have a lot of people who take advantage of that or stay in one of the hotels in town.”
New acts this year include Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, The Grass Cats, Volume Five, Turning Ground and The Del McCoury band. Fan favorite Dave Adkins will return with his new band, Loudermilk.
Hosted by The Lonesome River Band, the festival has grown from a few friends gathered over their love of music, to a must-attend bluegrass event each summer.
Some of the better known acts include Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, The SteelDrivers, The Grascals, and Balsam Range.
Also appearing will be local favorites like The Pactolus Pony Riders, Hammertowne, Billie Renee and Cumberland Gap and Mountain View.
“These kids who were 11 and 12 when we got this thing started are in their 20s now,” Burchett said. “Now they are bringing their own kids. I have seen four generation on the dance floor!”
All children under 12 get in free. Weekend passes (Wednesday through Saturday) are available at the gate for $90. Wednesday passes are $20 and one day passes for Thursday, Friday or Saturday are $40.
Leeann Akers can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 474-5101.