Daily DELights from Delfest ’22

Ronnie and Del McCoury ‘sound checking’ at DelFest 2022 – photo by Casey Vock

DelFest 2022 is now well underway, and what a time it is already! Here are few DELights from Delfest 2022, Day 1, to give you a flavor of this fabulous fest in Cumberland, Maryland:

Back in the Groove and Arriving at that Wonderful, Heartwarming Home

It is so much more than that incredibly organized arrival process at DelFest — though that, in and of itself, is delightful. It really is that absolutely freeing feeling to have a happy, smiley volunteer lasso your wrist with that beautiful cloth wristband, and looking around at your fellow gleeful festivarians to share knowing smiles, acknowledging that we all have just crossed the starting line to what will inevitably be an epic adventure over the next four days. It is always an electric sensation, but even more so now after the pandemic canceled DelFest and so many other festivals over the past couple years.

It is also the super-sized inflatable Del McCoury grinning ear to ear with that wonderful hair greeting you at the festival entrance. Thanks, Del! And, then the fast-made friendships with your camping neighbors who hopped to without an ounce of hesitation to help with the pop-up set-up and an extension cord. Coffee, ice, and a couple of beers as tokens of gratitude. Soon after, no protocols needed at all. We are neighbors and friends, and hanging out sharing laughs. One camping neighbor even surprised us with fresh- picked flowers to spruce up our camp table.  

Del is a kind man for putting the festival on for us, and the people that come here for it are fun-loving, generous, and kind. It is that simple. It is nice to be back in the festival groove and part of this wonderful, heartwarming DelFest home.

Sun Goes Down, Lights Come on: There is One that Shines the Brightest

Sunsets in the western Maryland mountains this time of year are spectacular. Sunsets at DelFest are even more special because that is when all the festive, decorative camp lights start twinkling and sparking that next stage of festival joy: hustling as close as possible to the stage for the headlining bands, and dancing amidst those jubilant lights to the best music on Planet Earth. One light catches everyone’s attention and affixes a perma-grin on all who gaze upon the wonderful site. It is a bold, all-caps DEL YEAH! lit up on the rock face of the mountain that guards the right side of the festival grounds. How can you not smile, smile, smile at that?

Robert Earl Keen

Robert Earl Keen on his Farewell Tour. What more can be said? It was Robert Earl Keen, and he gave DelFest Nation a fantastic show!

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About the Author

Jen Hughes

Jen Hughes is a devoted bluegrass enthusiast. An Upstate New York native who resides in Washington, D.C., Jen attends shows in and around the Nation’s capital, a bluegrass haven. She also makes the trek to as many festivals as possible each year. The sweet sounds of New Grass Revival took hold of her in high school and she has studied up on the genre backwards and forwards since then. Her hope is to get even more people hooked as she is on bluegrass music and its extraordinary artists and community.