2022 CAM Fest to remember Keith Whitley in special tribute

The 2022 CAM Fest, i.e., Colt Adams Memorial Bluegrass Festival, has scheduled a very special tribute to Keith Whitley on the Saturday night of their four-day event. 

The festival is hosted to honor the memory of Colt Adams, a honor student and standout football player who died in an auto accident during his sophomore year of high school. His uncle, Vic Adams, puts on the festival, and he and his family award a $2,000 scholarship in Colt’s name each year to a senior football player at his school, Wayne High School in Wayne, WV. The 2021 Fest saw donations and scholarships of more than $30,000 awarded to deserving and needy young people.

CAM Fest is held at the Mandolin Farms Campground in Flemingsburg, KY, a short distance from Whitley’s home town of Sandy Hook, and they have chosen to further honor Keith as he is inducted this year in to the Country Music Hall of Fame and remember his musical contributions with a three phase tribute on August 6. It will run from 6:00 p.m. that evening until 11:00, with many top bluegrass artists taking the stage to recognize and perform Whitley’s music.

The first set will commemorate his time with Ralph Stanley, with Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys taking the stage along with a number of special guests appearing to play songs that Keith did alongside Dr. Ralph. That will be followed by a set honoring Whitley’s time with another great Kentuckian, J.D. Crowe, and The New South, headed up by Mo Pitney, Josh Williams, and Caleb Daughtery with a cast of super pickers.

The final segment will focus on Keith’s days as a country artist, featuring all of the above plus his son, Jessie Keith Whitley. 

Throughout this tribute, narration will be provided by Larry Cordle and Keith’s brother, Dwight Whitley. They will share many never-before-heard stories about Keith, and lead the audience step by step down his road to legendary success straight out of the hills of eastern Kentucky. 

Keith Whitley memorabilia will be on display at the festival, provided by his family and other resources for attendees to peruse.

CAM Fest runs from August 3-6, with a strong lineup of bluegrass over the four days. Given the nature of this year’s festival, tickets are being sold for Wednesday through Friday for $40, and $50 for the Saturday shows. Ticket ordering information can be found online.

As always, Hammertowne serves as the host band for CAM Fest.

This sounds like an event no Keith Whitley fan will want to miss.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.