Doug Sebranek passes

Doug Sebranek - photo by Steve LankfordDoug Sebranek, one of the several founders and promoters of Wisconsin’s Larryfest Music Festival, died suddenly on December 31. He was only 52 years old, and succumbed to a suspected heart attack.

The festival, sponsored by the Kickapoo Valley Acoustic Music Association, is held in August of each year and is named for Doug’s brother, Larry, who owns the property where the festival is sited. Their 19th annual event is scheduled for August 18-20, 2016.

Doug was not a musician himself, but had committed his life to bringing notable touring artists to perform in the part of rural, southwestern Wisconsin where he lived. Born in La Crosse, Sebranek lived in Coon Valley, and the festival was held in nearby La Farge.

Bluegrass mandolinist, vocalist, and bandleader Don Rigsby became close with him over many years at Larryfest, and remembers Doug as an advocate for artists.

“This is one of the best friends a musician ever had. He was completely on their side. He was one of those rare people completely satisfied to remain in the shadows and took pleasure in watching us do what we do. I will miss him.”

In addition to his large family in Wisconsin, Doug will be remembered fondly by friends in the bluegrass world all over the country, and the many regular attendees at Larryfest where his friendly face was always a visible feature.

Visitation is set for Thursday, January 7, from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the at Seland Funeral Home in Coon Valley, with a prayer service at 7:30.

R.I.P., Doug Sebranek.

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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.