39th Annual Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Festival under way

Campers began rolling in early Wednesday morning in anticipation of the bluegrass festival held annually at the Denton FarmPark. Wednesday night an open mic was offered on stage where seven bands performed while numerous jam sessions cranked up throughout the campground.

“It’s the 39th year that I’ve hosted the festival, and I know of no other festival site more beautiful than the Denton Farm Park! Every year we try to present top quality music for folks to enjoy. I look forward to seeing everyone and enjoying the event with you,” related the event’s namesake, Doyle Lawson of Bristol, TN.

Fans came from far and near to enjoy the Mother’s Day weekend of music.  

Jamming into the wee hours of the morning, Shorty Byrd of Asheboro finished singing, smiled, and said, “I just love it!”

Vivian Pennington Hopkins of Gold Hill, NC, was here at its inception 39 years ago. “The Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Bluegrass Festival has always been like a family homecoming for many musicians as well as fans. I attended the first one and have missed only a few over the years. The best bands in bluegrass have crossed this stage. We look forward to coming back each year.”

Twin brothers, Peter and Mark Nahuysen, from Australia, first time attendees at Denton - photo by Sandy Hatley

Twin brothers, Peter and Mark Nahuysen, were attending the festival for their first time. Visiting the US from Brisbane, Australia, Peter is a banjo builder.

“It’s authentic,” shared Peter whose Bellbird banjos are named after an Australian bird. “It is what a festival should be like.”

 Brother Mark agreed. “It reminds us of what it was like for us in the ’70s. It is time capsule-like.”

Thursday’s show featured bluegrass music from the Sons of the South, Carolina Blue, the Jeff Parker Band, and a classic country band, the Malpass Brothers.

As Carolina Blue introduced their bassist, Reese Combs, to the crowd, they joked, “He’s no stranger to Denton. He’s no stranger than he was here two years ago.”

Saturday’s show runs 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. with Mountain Highway, High Fidelity, Donna Ulisse, Darin and Brook Aldridge, Blue Highway, Williamson Branch, Paul Williams, and Lawson’s band.

“Doyle Lawson’s Bluegrass Festival in Denton is one of the top bluegrass festivals in America. This is one family festival that you don’t have to worry about any problems. It is an honor to be one of the emcees,” shared Jeff Branch of Oakboro, who has worked the event for the past twelve years. “The Brown Loflin family work extremely hard to bring top quality entertainment at every event they host.”

FarmPark owner, 84 year old Brown Loflin, was unable to attend this year’s festival due to health issues, but is improving and will be entering rehab for a few weeks.

His daughter, Karen Miller, shared, “The festival seems to be a lot bigger this year with more campers. We’ve got some really good talent.”

Denton FarmPark is located at 1072 Cranford Road, Denton, NC. For more information, call (336) 859-2755 or visit their website dentonfarmpark.com.

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.