BP spills bluegrass along the Gulf Coast

We all recall the localized devastation of communities along the US coast of the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deep Water Horizon oil rig in April 2010, and the resulting discharge of nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the gulf waters. Images and stories of damage and loss filled the airwaves all Spring, with many in the tourist and fishing industries still reeling from the shock – not to mention the 11 rig workers killed in the blast

The BP oil company, who had responsibility for the drilling platform, has been active in both clean up efforts and in the battle for the “hearts and minds” of the citizens of the affected areas, by hiring displaced maritime workers, and through gifts and grants to community organizations.

Our friends in Delta Reign have just alerted us to one such grant, awarded to the South Mobile County Tourism Authority, which is being used to host a bluegrass festival in March on Dauphin Island, a barrier island in the gulf just south of Mobile, AL.

The SeaGrass Music Festival will be held March 23-24 on the grounds of historic Ft. Gaines, an outpost that figured in prominent battles during the Civil War, and which had changed hands repeatedly over its 200 year history. Ricky Skaggs and Nashville Bluegrass Band will headline, along with former Nickel Creek violinist/vocalist Sara Watkins.

Delta Reign is also on the bill, as is Alabama-based David Davis and the Warrior River Boys.

Gulf coast residents will not soon forget the damage done to their beautiful coastline and waterways from this tragic accident, nor the feeling of abandonment many reported feeling as politicians and oil company men argued about responsibility and the proper course of remediation while oil continued to gush from the damaged well head.

A bluegrass festival at this popular gulf coast tourist destination won’t heal those wounds. Still it’s nice to see the BP funds used for something that really will benefit the local community.

Full details online.

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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.