Ever since The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum was established in Owensboro, KY, they have been involved in promoting outdoor music events. In addition to serving as a repository of bluegrass history, their mission is to bring the current editions of the music to residents and visitors.
When their new home was being designed a few years ago, a special stage was built at the rear of the building, overlooking the Ohio River, where concerts and festivals could be hosted on site. Since this outdoor pavilion backs up to the hall’s state-of-the-art Woodward Theater indoors, it is a relatively simple thing to hold a show outside. Seating is available in the grass behind the building, and the performers can enjoy the view of the riverfront while they perform.
This past weekend, the Museum put on a musical after party following the Owensboro Air Show, with four bands providing entertainment on the outdoor pavilion, which attracted a total of 1300 visitors. In honor of their big 3-day festival each summer, they billed this smaller event as Downtown ROMP (River of Music Party).
Executive Director Chris Joslin says that this sort of function does more than just entertain the locals.
“Producing an outdoor music festival is one of the things we do best. Historically ROMP happens once a year, and we have to wait until June, but that has all changed with the permanent outdoor stage downtown at our new building. We focus on ‘Music with a Mission,’ and the Downtown ROMP Air Show After Party is a great opportunity to bring the community together around something that is unique to western Kentucky, bluegrass music. At the same time, we are able to highlight the many programs and educational initiatives that serve this community throughout the year. There was so much energy downtown this weekend around the air show, and we were excited to be part of that.”
The Museum depends on memberships and donations in addition to admission fees. Details about all that can be found online.
Thanks to AP Imagery for the photos of this event.