Bluegrass In The Bottoms launches in KC

A new bluegrass music festival will take place in Kansas City, MO this spring.

Bluegrass In The Bottoms is scheduled for May 19-20, bringing lots of music and craft beer to the city’s West Bottoms region. Located where the Missouri and Kansas Rivers meet, the formerly industrial area is now home to trendy shops, art galleries, and restaurants favored by younger residents.

Talent buyer Hank Wiedel tells us that this new event was inspired by having the annual Folk Alliance conference and festival in KC. Their plan is to get Bluegrass In The Bottoms established in the public consciousness prior to the time Folk Alliance moves on to its next host city.

“We’re really excited to have something like this in Kansas City, because bluegrass and folk music have remained a strong presence in the music community. It’s important to not only preserve and celebrate, but also continue to develop the bluegrass community in KC.”

The acts coming in for the first year are also chosen to appeal to a younger crowd. Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, and many others on the more progressive side of the bluegrass world are set to appear.

All festival events will take place on the outdoor stage at Knuckleheads Saloon, keeping with the trend towards multi-day festivals in urban settings.

Special travel packages will be announced soon, combining hotel stays with festival tickets. Further details can be found online.

Welcome Bluegrass In The Bottoms!

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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.

  • Todd Davis

    They shoulda booked some bluegrass bands if they’re gonna call it a bluegrass festival.

    • Mitchell Reynolds

      They did. Just not the ones that put you to sleep. Don’t buy a ticket if you don’t like the lineup. Many of the traditional festival promoters, such as Ernie Evans and Norman Adams, have been booking washed up country stars for their shows. Lorraine Jordan has gone all in with one of those washed up stars. I guess county fairs are booking a newer generation of washed up country stars. The promoter is a businessman trying to make a dollar. He sees this lineup as the best bang for his buck. At least most of the bands at this festival won’t have drums or steel guitars. Doyle Lawson, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Dailey and Vincent use drums, and they are consistently among the most booked, best selling artists today. I guess bluegrass music is like science. It advances one funeral at a time.

      • Todd Davis

        I reckon we can disagree on this. I’ve lived in the KC area all my life (and grew up in bluegrass music) and I’m a member of 2 local bluegrass organizations. So I know most of the bluegrass folks in the area. Haven’t spoken to anyone yet that is planning to attend.

      • Keith Pettersen

        Railroad Earth has a drummer with a full kit, and their sound fit’s right in, doesn’t drown out my favorite fiddle player a bit!

        • Mitchell Reynolds

          Is Corey still the drummer? I always like him. Nice guy, tasteful drummer.

          • Keith Pettersen

            Yep, Carey Harmon bangin the sticks since the beginning days. I think other than Andy Altman joining the band on Bass in 2010, all the other founding members have been aboard since around 2001. RRE Elko live album still one of my favorite BG albums.

    • Keith Pettersen

      All four of the headliners were headliners at the 2016 Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
      While I would say the Dusters are closer to traditional BG than the other 3, I just couldn’t think of any bluegrass fan not enjoying this line up. Fiddle player for Railroad Earth is on a level all his own, and they play such a tight set live, you would think it was studio. Greensky is so much fun to watch live also. Jamgrass is the new Bluegrass! 🙂

      If you think progressive BG is not your thing, I get it, to each his own. But all of the musicians in the 4 headliners are amazing players, and this is going to be a great 2 days of music!