Audie Blaylock & Redline perform at the 2012 Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival in North Creek.
For 11 years, the Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival has drawn country music enthusiasts from all over the Northeastern U.S. to enjoy several days of authentic, homegrown mountain music performed by acclaimed groups and individuals.
Held in Ski Bowl Park, the annual event is well known for its wide variety of performers and the musicianship of those who participate.
The festival is renowned for attracting true enthusiasts of this idiom of country music, which is uniquely American.
This year’s festival is to be held from Friday Aug. 14 through Sunday Aug. 17.
The idea of holding a bluegrass festival in North Creek was initiated in early 2004 by the event’s former co-chairs Joel Beaudin and Rusty Leigh.
Fate and good luck brought these two entrepreneurs together — and the Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival was born, festival publicist Lloyd Burch said this week.
“Joel and Rusty thought it would be a good community event,” Burch said. “Joel wanted something that showcased the area and Rusty had the entertainment connections — and bluegrass is the music of the mountains.”
Although the 12 headline bands start their performances on Friday Aug. 15, the gates open on Aug. 14 for early arrivals who seek to park their campers.
A free concert, sponsored by the Town of Johnsburg will be offered that evening from 7 to 10 p.m., featuring local bands.
The bluegrass festival performances officially begin Friday Aug. 15 at 11:30 a.m. and will continue in 45-minute sets until 10:15 p.m. Seven bands are set to perform the first day.
On Aug. 16 the music will start at 9 a.m. and continue until 10:45 p.m. with nine bands performing. An open mic session is to be held from 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday morning will begin with a non-denominational gospel service led by Mike and Mary Robinson 9 a.m. to from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each of the days. Thereafter, six entertainers will each perform a 30-minute gospel set. At 1 p.m. the regular bluegrass program will continue with 45-minute sets.
Food and craft vendors will be on site for the weekend. People attending the festival are asked to bring their own chairs.
Raffle drawings, including a guitar donated by Dave Nichols of Custom Pearl Inlay will take place from 6:45 to 7 p.m.
In early 2007 Upper Hudson Festivals was registered with the state as a not-for-profit organization, citing a commitment to community service, Burch continued.
“In the past, proceeds from the festival have benefited many local charities — and we have raised about $15,000 to $16,000 for them over our 11 years,” Burch said, noting prior donations to North Country Ministry, Johnsburg Central School, The Hardship Fund and the regional Veterans Memorial Wall.
2014 Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival Band lineup includes:
Zink and Company
Amy Gallatin and Stillwaters
The Katahdin Valley Boys
Smokey Greene & Friends
The Seth Sawyer Band
Dave Nichols & Spare Change
Washington County Line
Three-day admission with camping: $60 per person
Friday only: $25 after 5 p.m.
Saturday only: $30 after 5 p.m.
Sunday only: $15
Children 15 and under are free with a supervising parent or adult.