The California Bluegrass Association has announced a new event, to be held at the close of the festival season in November. Billed as the South State 48, it will be held at the Carlsbad By The Sea Hotel in Carlsbad, CA, just north of San Diego.
The theme of this inaugural festival, and its name, is take from another CBA event, held annually in Bakersfield, called The Great 48. The number refers to 48 hours of jamming during the winter dry spell for bluegrass, held in a safe, welcoming spot where all day and all night jamming is not only allowed, it is encouraged! There is no charge to attend, other than hotel costs for those who choose to stay on site, and everyone is invited whether you come to pick and sing, or just hang out and enjoy the music.
South State 48 comes following a CBA committee which was given the task to identify areas in southernmost California to host a jamming weekend. They had found that The Great 48 offered grassers in the central part of the state a respite from the winter blues, and in addition, generated very positive local press coverage and drew a good number of curious onlookers out to see what bluegrass was all about.
Neither 48 event is truly a bluegrass festival as there are no traditional stage shows, but with jams every few feet in the hotel, it is what Nashvillians have come to expect at the Sheraton during the SPBGMA convention each year.
Full details about the debut South State 48, November 5-7, can be found online. If it follows the lead of its big brother in Bakersfield, you can expect them to add workshops and perhaps showcases as time goes on, should 2021 prove successful.
In truth, if every state in the US had an association as organized and effective as CBA, bluegrass music would see a tremendous growth in popularity. If there is a statewide or regional bluegrass club near you, seek them out and join. The strength of CBA is in its numbers, which typically boasts multiples of the membership of the IBMA.