NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Bluegrass master Del McCoury offered up a holiday gift to music fans today with the announcement that he'll be hosting a world-class music festival over Memorial Day weekend in 2008. Produced in association with High Sierra Music, Delfest will build on McCoury's record in presenting a popular New Year's Eve concert at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
Though the inaugural lineup is still being built, it's clear that the bluegrass patriarch's wide-ranging appeal and cross-genre friendships are shaping the 3-day program. Besides appearances by the Del McCoury Band throughout the weekend, Vince Gill, Dierks Bentley, Keller Williams and The Keels, Sam Bush, David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Abig ail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck, the Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile, and Railroad Earth are among those already confirmed, many for multiple performances.
In addition to traditional stage sets by these artists, attendees can expect to see one-of-a-kind collaborations, special guest sit-ins, and various tributes to Del McCoury and his musical legacy. Each day's schedule will also feature more intimate appearances, both at unique "playshops" — informal workshops where the emphasis will be on performance rather than instruction–and in late night indoor performances and picking sessions. Whether they're "parking lot pickers" or just plain music fans, festival-goers will have plenty of opportunities to interact with their favorite artists. Rounding out the program, Delfest will include a band competition, with the winners invited to return for a regular set at the following year's gathering.
Yet while music will be central to Delfest, every aspect of the festival experience will be shaped by its host's concern for and appreciation of the fans. The festival will offer interactive children's programs, a craft fair featuring regional and international artisans, and an eclectic food court along with the chance to simply relax and camp with good friends in gorgeous weather. Personally chosen by Del, Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD is a perfect location, nestled along the Potomac River in the scenic Appalachian Mountains yet convenient to four major airports and easily reached by rail or road, with ample tent and RV camping on site as well as plentiful lodging nearby. Those who venture into the surrounding area will find a range of recreational options, including swimming, fishing, hiking, and biking. Finally, VIP packages will be available for those who want to take their Delfest experience to the ultimate level.
"I've had opportunities to host a festival before," say s McCoury, "but I always thought that if I was going to do it, I'd want to make sure that it was done right." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers