Bluegrass friends have told me for years that I should check out the Appalachian Uprising Bluegrass Festival. So when I saw that Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, one of my favorites, was playing at the Uprising I decided this was my year to check it out. Great decision! I have been to both very large and very small festivals and I’d put this one right in the mix of the top festivals in the country. The lineup was, and always been great for a festival of this size. You’d have to be a bluegrass fan to understand, but I’m always amazed that national acts play at such small venues. To those not into bluegrass, it would be like, say the Eagles playing at your county fair. The main difference is of course the Eagles would not come out afterwards and jam with their fans. But that’s just bluegrass!
The one thing that stood out to me about this festival was that it was attended by not just bluegrass fans, but due to the lineup also included a rather “different” crowd. I’ve never been to a Grateful Dead show, but after the Uprising, I feel like I’ve experienced something rather close to one. A good part of the crowd was “Deadhead Like”. The other thing that stood out to me was that a lot of the younger non-bluegrass types brought their children. There were tons kids running around all weekend. Not teenagers, but younger. As you’ll see in the galleries, the kids really caught my eye. Not that kids aren’t at most bluegrass festivals, but as you’ll see in the photos, the “bluegrass kids” have never stood out to me like these kid.
Lastly, I should mention that the lineup met every expectation. As I noted, Nitty Gritty Dirt band is one of my favorites so there are a ton of shots of them playing. John McEuen (banjo player) even came over to me during one of the songs and asked that I get a shot of him showing the head of his new Deering banjo. Then gave me his business card to send it to him. Sam Bush was great as usual. And of course Del McCuory Band was great. Del even played with Sam Bush for a few.
If you’ve never been to the Uprising, put it on your list of must see shows!