Joe Val Bluegrass Festival 2017

The Joe Val Bluegrass Festival is definitely one of the main events of the bluegrass calendar for pickers, students, and fans of bluegrass anywhere in the northeast region of the US. Folks come in from all over to see favorite bands, plus new bands on the scene, to take one of the over 50 workshops offered, and of course to jam and meet friends and make new ones every year.

Everything takes place at a Sheraton hotel in Framingham, MA and is organized by the Boston Bluegrass Union (BBU) which has been hosting shows, events, and educational opportunities for pickers since 1976. BBU was awarded a Distinguished Achievement Award by the International Bluegrass Music Association just last year for its many contributions to bluegrass music over the years.

The Joe Val Bluegrass Festival began in 1985 as a benefit for Joe Val, who was a bluegrass legend from the region who had been having serious health problems. Joe Val, the person, passed away, but his name lives on through the festival and the great times and sweet bluegrass it brings to so many people.

The fun starts even as one drives up to the hotel that is taken over by bluegrassers every year, since it is designed to look like a castle. (It used to be known as the Tara Castle.) Once inside the building, you never knows where you might stumble upon jams in the hallways, lobbies, and hotel rooms that people at any age and skill level are having. Then there are the designated workshop rooms, the Showcase Stage, and the Main Stage with three days full of entertainment listed in their schedules. This festival has been going strong ever since its inception in ’85, and will hopefully continue on for many more years to come.

Here are some videos and photos so you can get a taste for yourself.

First Joe Mullins and Jason Barie perform a fiddle tune called The Woodstock Hornpipe on the Main Stage Friday…

Don Rigsby and Richard Bennett sing The Old Crossroads…

Jeremy Middleton sings Yukon River with Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen…

Frank Solivan sings Dark Hollow…

  • We need to get this scheduled for the Black Hills !!