Kudos to Bean Blossom

USA WeekendThis past weekend’s USA Weekend, a magazine supplement to many of America’s weekend newspapers, has, as its feature article, an assessment of the 10 top places to hear authentic American music. As far as the magazine is concerned the top summertime destination for those wanting to enjoy bluegrass music is Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park & Campground, Bean Blossom, Indiana, the home of the Bill Monroe Memorial Bluegrass Festival.

I asked Jim Peva, author of Bean Blossom: Its People and Its Music, what attractions there were for visitors this summer. He provided this list of forthcoming events ….

  • Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival June 14-21, 2008
  • Rock Hill MusicFest June 28, 2008
  • Bean Blossom Gospel Jubilee July 30-August 2, 2008
  • Bean Blossom Blues, Brews & BBQ September 4-6, 2008
  • Friends UV Nature & Knowledge F.U.N.K. Fest Sept 12-14, 2008
  • Bean Blossom BikerFest September 18-20, 2008
  • Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days Sept. 24-27, 2008
  • Hillbilly Wagon Train Jam October 2-4, 2008

The line-up for the first of these, the forthcoming 42nd Annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bluegrass Festival, June 14-21, includes the Grascals, Ralph Stanley, Seldom Scene, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Osborne, Cherryholmes, IIIrd Tyme Out, Jesse McReynolds, John Cowan, Larry Sparks, Marty Raybon, the Lewis Family, Ronny Reno, Lonesome River, and many, many others; over 50 bands in all.

We also hear from a reliable yet anonymous source that Earl Scruggs will make an unscheduled appearance at Bean Blossom on Saturday, June 14.

A complete band listing for this event and lots more is available at www.beanblossom.com, the Bean Blossom website.

Peva brought me up to date with the situation regarding the once-mooted sale of the site ……

“The for sale sign at Bean Blossom has been taken down. A not for profit foundation, the Bean Blossom Brown County Jamboree Preservation Foundation, doing business as the Bean Blossom Jamboree Foundation, or BBJF, has been incorporated for the purpose of raising money to purchase and operate the Bean Blossom festival grounds in perpetuity. Dwight Dillman [the owner of the park and campgrounds] does not want the festivals to end and is working to further the interests of the foundation. A web site is under construction at www.bbjfoundation.org and should be on line by June 1.”

Contact details for those who want to visit are …..

  • Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground 5163 SR 135 N Bean Blossom, Indiana 46160
  • Phone: 800-414-4677 or 812-988-6422 Fax: 812-988-1203

Details for Jim Peva’s excellent book are as follows ‚Ķ‚Ķ.

Bean Blossom: Its People and Its MusicPublished by Infinity Publishing, Paperback, 12 May 2006, ISBN13: 9780741432100 ISBN10: 0741432102

In June 2000, American Profile.com published an interesting overview relating to bluegrass at Bean Blossom for those interested in learning more about it.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.