Back in 2019, Kim and Joyce Kraemer had a terrific idea to restart the Naperville Bluegrass Festival, which had a popular run in Illinois under Terry and Jan Lease from 1986 to 2014. The Kraemers booked the same location, the Naperville Marriott Hotel, hired bands to perform, and received a lot of positive feedback from Illinois grassers who missed having an early season event each year.
Kim and Joyce created a new company, Midwest Bluegrass, and all seemed to be looking good for a return to bluegrass in Naperville.
And then we learned about COVID-19, just weeks before the late March date for the debut festival. So those arrangements had to be scrapped, as did plans to host the first fest in Naperville the following year.
But with COVID numbers in check, the Kraemers are looking forward to welcoming everyone this month for the very first Naperville Bluegrass Festival under their management, March 25-26. Headliners include The Gibson Brothers, Special Consensus, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, The Farm Hands, and The Baker Family.
The host hotel will be the Sheraton Lisle-Naperville, and special pricing is available for festival attendees ($104/night), with a reservation request available on the main festival web site. Jamming rooms will be set aside both days, and three instruments will be given away in raffles.
Full details can be found online.
Midwest Bluegras was established as a 501(c)(3) company, and Kim tells us that all monies made with this event will go towards relaunching other festivals previously hosted by the Leases, and to starting a youth bluegrass camp west of Chicago.
Best of luck Naperville!