Clay Hess and his wife, Samantha, created their Burr Oak Bluegrass Weekend 2 years ago to be an opportunity for Ohio grassers to get together, enjoy some good music, and have some time to pick before the winter cold gives in to spring time each year. Hosting it in early March served as a welcome respite for folks in southeastern Ohio and western West Virginia, and they quickly outgrew the space they were using in a state park lodge.
So for year number three, they are moving to the historic Lafayette Hotel in Marietta, and renaming the event as the Ohio Bluegrass Winter Weekend.
The weekend of March 8-9 has been chosen, with a full-scale stage festival, band contest, band scramble, bluegrass karaoke, and instrument workshops, all held indoors at this beautiful downtown treasure of a grand hotel. Attendees can choose to also book a room in the Lafayette and pick until daybreak, or simply drive in for a day to take it all in.
Several of the top bands in Ohio are booked to perform, including Nightflyer, Caney Creek, and The Clay Hess Band, plus Heather and Tony Mabe from Virginia.
Things get started Friday evening around dinner time with a stage show, but the big day is Saturday. Instrumental workshops for the various bluegrass instruments start in the morning, followed by the band contest at noon. 20 bands will be accepted for the competition, with the top prize being a full album recorded, mixed, and mastered by Clay Hess at his 7flat Studio. Second and third place finishers get a $1500 and $1000 credit respectively towards an album recording project with Clay.
Full details about the Ohio Bluegrass Winter Weekend can be found online, including ticket and accommodations information, and contest application.