This post is a contribution from Amanda Webb, who will be a regular correspondent when Bluegrass Today goes live – soon, I promise!
What do you get when you combine one man’s love for music, a desire to meet a need, and a supportive bluegrass community? You get Pickin’ on Cystic Fibrosis, a bluegrass festival that gives all profits from ticket sales and raffles to Hunt for a Cure. Pickin on Cystic Fibrosis is a three day outdoor festival held at the KC Campground in Milan, Michigan, on September 8-10, 2011.
Five years ago Jimmy Kittle began having indoor benefit concerts in Fremont, Michigan. From those early concerts Pickin’ on Cystic Fibrosis was born. Kittle hopes this festival will not only raise much needed funds for research but will also educate people about the CF. “Most of the money raised for Cystic Fibrosis research is from grass roots efforts. I started this festival in order to do my part,” says Kittle.
Because the festival draws a diverse crowd Jimmy says it is a win win situation. “We get a lot of people [attend the festival] that are connected with CF that don’t know anything about bluegrass. They just want to raise awareness and help promote research efforts. So a lot of new bluegrass fans are made,” he says.
Jimmy has been involved with bluegrass music since the 1970s both as a musician and a sound technician. Those that know Jimmy well know his son has CF and that he has been involved with Hunt for a Cure for the past six years. “Working as a sound tech I stay busy during the summer at festivals which is when Hunt for a Cure has most of their fund raising events. So that’s another reason I started this festival. I wanted to contribute to the cause,” he says.
Many of the bands that perform are just as dedicated to the cause as Jimmy and donate their time and talents. Among this year’s bands are Detour Bluegrass, Jerry Butler & the Blu-J’s, and the recently reformed Travelers.
To get tickets and information and to see the entire band line-up check out Pickin’ on Cystic Fibrosis.
You might also want to check out the other events sponsored by Hunt For a Cure. For camping reservations, pricing, or facility information visit KC Campground. If you want to learn more about or Cystic Fibrosis and the research being done go to the Cystic Fibrosis website.