Rudy Burchett onstage with The Grascals at Rudy Fest 2015
We had a chance to catch up this morning with Rudy Burchett of Rudy Fest about their plans going forward after the flash flood that ravaged the Carter County Fairgrounds on June 23. He was at the campground finishing the clean up when we spoke, and said that they hope to finish up and get out of there later today.
Rudy had two messages to share with regular festival attendees, and the fans and friends of Rudy Fest. First of all, he wants everyone to know that Rudy Fest will be back in 2018, but they haven’t decided yet where they will go. There are several options under consideration, but Rudy says they need a few more weeks to finalize their plans.
Secondly, he wants to thank everyone who has been sending notes, and calling or leaving texts. Everyone involved with the festival appreciates the concern that has been shown, though they haven’t been able to respond to all of them. Like we always say, bluegrass people is good people.
As you might expect, Rudy feels a bit shell shocked after going through the flooding.
“We’ve had some water during the festival before, but nothing like that. There were just new drains put in before this year. They handled 2 inches of rain just fine, but they couldn’t handle 5!
Walking around the campground on Saturday morning after the flood, I thought to myself, ‘This must be what it was like for the rebel soldiers after Gettysburg.'”
Their August festival at Mandolin Farms in Flemingsburg, KY is scheduled to go on as planned. That is one of the future locations being looked at to move Rudy Fest, since it is on top of a mountain, but Rudy and his crew want to think on that a bit more before announcing a decision.
All in all, Burchett feels fortunate that the flooding, which resulted in fast moving water up to four feet deep in some parts of the campground, wasn’t a greater disaster than it was.
“We feel very fortunate that there was no loss of life or serious injury.
Bluegrassers are tough. We’re going to continue, we just need a few more weeks to finalize future plans. Wherever we go will be a campground. We’ve been here 10 years, but it’s time to move on.”
Rudy promised to let us know when they are ready to announce more about 2018, and we’ll be sure to share it when he does. Long live Rudy Fest!