Chet Kingery Memorial Bluegrass Festival

The Historic Chautauqua Auditorium in Shelbyville, Illinois played host to the 2024 Chet Kingery Memorial Bluegrass Music Festival on Friday and Saturday May 10-11.  The Festival opened up on Friday night with the host band Mackville followed by Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, Saturday saw a full day of great traditional bluegrass bands that  included Kings Highway, David Davis & the Warrior River Boys, Blue Highway, and The Kody Norris Show,  

Chet Kingery, the namesake for the festival, was a local icon in the local and regional bluegrass music scene. He was a beloved band leader and friend to bluegrass music.  

The Chautauqua Auditorium where this year’s festival was held is a very unique and historic building dating back to the early 1900s. The beautiful stage with its amazing design red curtains, and ornate carvings over the last century and a quarter, has played host to some of the greatest entertainers in history. However, even with the great beauty of the stage, the stand out feature of the auditorium is without a doubt the amazing design of the ceiling. Just looking at it will make you wonder how something like this was even possible, especially in the days before electricity and power tools.

Many thanks are in order to the host band Mackville for organizing this great festival.

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About the Author

Roger Black

Roger D. Black has decades of experience as a photographer capturing the special moments that enrich people's lives. Whether behind the camera or behind the MC microphone at some of the Southeast's and Midwest's most notable and memorable bluegrass festivals, Roger loves to showcase the talents, beauty, and traditions of the people who love the American art form that is bluegrass music.