Grass on the Farm festival debut in North Carolina

Grass Strings at the 2019 Grass on the Farm festival – photo by Sandy Hatley

Grass on the Farm is a new bluegrass festival on the circuit. The first annual event was held this past Saturday in the historic Gold Hill community of central North Carolina, and was unique in that the entire afternoon of music and food was free to all attendees.

Held in a mown hay field owned by Troy Reavis, the program featured music from local bluegrass bands Movin’ On Bluegrass, Goldline, String Bound, and host band, The Grass Strings. 

“It was fantastic for our first one,” Reavis expressed.

Once a guitar player, the Vietnam vet was exposed to Agent Orange (herbicidal agent) and is no longer able to pick, but still enjoys music.

“I bought the place about three years ago. I still like bluegrass and I thought how can I still be a part of it? I had been talking about (hosting a bluegrass festival) for a couple of years. The last three weeks it fell into place.”

In addition to providing the venue, Reavis also chipped in drinks and buns. Jim Burris of Grass Strings provided meat for the meal. The pair were aided with a host of volunteers that grilled burgers, parked cars, and operated the sound system.

Burris, mandolinist with Grass Strings and co-sponsor of the free event, was overwhelmed with the outcome of their inaugural event. “All I can say is Wow! The fans, the bands, all the people that jumped in and made this a success… next year will be bigger and better!”

Vivian Pennington Hopkins, president of the NC Bluegrass Association, was on hand to support the new venue. “It was well attended despite the 90 degree temperature. A great family friendly event!”

“I’m not in it to make money. I just want to promote local NC bluegrass bands,” Reavis concluded.

Plans are already underway for another festival next year.

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.