Major site improvements for 2023 Big Lick Bluegrass Festival

Once again promoter, Jeff Branch, is bringing bluegrass to Oakboro, NC for the Big Lick Bluegrass Festival. The festival park is under new ownership, and renovations are ongoing to enhance the outdoor venue. 

Branch says, “Things are improving with new ownership at the park. Phillip Austin from Oakboro purchased the park, and continues to add things for all to enjoy. 

“Currently, a new bath house is in construction process, and we hope to have it open by festival time. Next year the camping will be improved and relocated where the tractor pull track is.”

This year’s event offers an entire weekend of top-notch music. Thanks to the sponsorship of Union Power Cooperative, Touchstone Energy, Knee Deep in Bluegrass, and several others, Big Lick Bluegrass Festival presents the newest hot sensation in bluegrass and gospel music, Authentic Unlimited. Three of the members were formerly part of Doyle Lawson’s last Quicksilver configuration.

Also appearing for the first time will be the Tennessee Bluegrass Band, featuring young musical prodigies Aynsley Porchak on fiddle and Lincoln Hensley on banjo. Returning will be IBMA Entertainer of the Year nominees, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive, Backline, Deeper Shade of Blue, and Drive Time. Host for this year will be Sideline, making their last formal appearance as a touring band.

Branch stresses, “Thank you to those that supported me over the past 19 years. This year will be a special year as Sideline will be ending their tour in Big Lick.”

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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.