The iconic Bill Monroe Music Park and Campground, site of the long running Bean Blossom festivals in Indiana, has been purchased by a local family, determined to continue the music and upgrade the facilities, just as previous owners Dwight Dillman and his family had done this past two decades.
New owners Rex and Ben Voils are Bean Blossom born and raised, and live only a short distance from the park. They understand the legacy of Bill Monroe, and what the several festivals hosted there mean to the people that love this music, just as they do. Rex even worked for Mr. Monroe when he was younger, helping with maintenance and landscaping when the site was newly developed. With his nephew, Ben, the Voils plan to keep the same family atmosphere, and take seriously their obligation to preserve and perpetuate the traditions of this vaunted space.
They are only the third owners of the campground, which was started by Bill Monroe in 1951. After his death, former Blue Grass Boy, Dwight Dillman, took over and made considerable improvements to the site with new roads, better parking, and camping sites. After taking ownership today, the Voils have plans to build permanent showers and rest room facilities, upgrade the electrical system, and add a playground for children.
The Bill Monroe Museum and Bluegrass and Country Hall of Fame will remain at the park, as will the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Festival in June and Uncle Pen Days in September, plus The John Hartford Memorial Festival, the Southern Gospel Jubilee, the Bean Blossom Blues Festival, and Bikerfest.
Rex and Ben have already announced that Rhonda Vincent will appear in 2019, the first time since 2002, and that J.D. Crowe is coming out of retirement for a show with The New South next year as well. They are eager to continue the traditions that they have enjoyed for years.
It appears that the sounds of bluegrass will live on in Bean Blossom for yet another generation.