17th NEPA Bluegrass Festival to Offer Much More Than Music

Hillbilly Biscuits (above), formerly Hillbilly Gypsies, will return to the Progressive Stage at NEPA Bluegrass Festival this year and close out the Friday night lineup. Christa and Danny Stewart (below) will host their 17th NEPA Bluegrass Festival at Lazy Brook Park, Tunkhannock, from May 30 to June 2.

The clock is ticking down to the return of the NEPA Bluegrass Festival, which will be held in Lazy Brook Park in Tunkhannock from Thursday to Sunday, May 30 to June 2. Not only does the festival feature a stellar line-up of nationally and internationally known bluegrass artists, attendees will be able to purchase great food, browse merchandise from new and returning vendors, get tips on picking techniques from professional musicians, and enjoy music from some alternative bands who blend traditional bluegrass with their own variations on Americana music.

This is the 17th year that co-promoters Danny and Christa Stewart of Wyalusing have brought the festival to Tunkhannock. Key sponsors of this year’s event include Paige Capo, Shores Sisters, Ace Robbins, NEPA Yoga, Susquehanna Brewing Company, selling local PA craft beers by the glass and bottle, and Deep Roots Hard Cider of Sugar Run, also offering adult beverages for purchase. Free camping is available for those purchasing weekend passes, which afford festival goers with full access to everything that happens from dawn to dark.

The NEPA Bluegrass Festival is more than just a concert, it’s a huge social experience,” said Christa. “We solicit a wide variety of talent to provide services and activities beyond the wonderful music.”

Headline acts on the Traditional Stage this year include the The Kody Norris Show, U.S. Navy Band Country Current, and Little Roy & Lizzy. New to the Traditional Stage this year will be Becky Buller, Tim Shelton Syndicate, and the Price Sisters. Steven Simpson will return as emcee of the Traditional Stage. Some bands will perform on both stages.

On Friday and Saturday, the Progressive Stage that sits alongside Tunkhannock Creek, will play host to hugely popular bands that bend the rules to create new sounds that still come across as classic. Plate Scrapers, Bear Tracks, Mason Porter, Tim Shelton Syndicate, and Hillbilly Biscuits, who will close the Progressive Stage on Friday night, are among them. The complete lineup will be accessible online by May 10 at www.nepabluegrass.com.

Christa is anxious to see the crowd’s reaction this year to The Tim Shelton Syndicate (above), comprised of former NewFound Road members Tim Shelton, Junior Williams, and Joe Booher, as well as Pittsburgh native Avery Welter on guitar and Sam Lauderbaugh on Bass. Custom-made for the Progressive Stage, the Syndicate is as adept at hard-driving bluegrass as they are heart-wrenching country ballads and classic rock. In fact, their 2022 debut album features appearances by country music legend Vince Gill and fiddle great Jenee Fleenor.

Progressive Stage emcee Sandi Marola will host Bluegrass Trivia at 7 pm on Thursday evening. NEPA Yoga will be on site both Friday and Saturday to take guests to another level of relaxation before a weekend of jamming. There will be a gospel sing and jam on Sunday morning. Muckles Ink from Binghamton, NY, will be on hand throughout the event printing and selling festival merchandise.

Additional vendors will include Horr’s Hot Dogs (above), Ruby Blue Concessions, The Lunch Box, Loose Shoe Brew, J&M Concessions, Tunkhannock Lions Club, Jelly.Bird.Dyes., Metta Physica Fine Reiki Infused Goods, Family Traditions RV Rentals, and Wilding Creations. Cibo’s Pizza will be open late at the Progressive Stage, and an Asian-themed vegan food truck will be added to this year’s line-up. There will be instructional workshops on Saturday, and Danny Stewart’s Jam Tent will be open all weekend.

We’re fortunate to have been doing this long enough to personally get to know our musicians, vendors, emcees, and instructors,” Christa stated. “We have a history of friendship and supporting each other, so we know that they are bringing quality products and services to our festival.”

Festival-goers are encouraged to bring their instruments with them. In addition to pop-up picking parties throughout Lazy Brook Park from morning to night, there will be a series of professional workshops focusing on specific instruments.

Tickets are available online at www.nepabluegrass.com, and regular updates are posted on the NEPA Bluegrass Festival Facebook page. Free camping is available only to those who purchase weekend passes, which are $120 per person and can also be purchased at the gate. Day passes are also available, but day ticket holders must be out of the park by midnight. Lazy Brook Park is located at 3042 SR 6, Tunkhannock, across the highway from Deer Park Lumber.

The Beartracks Band was formed in 2004 and is led by cousins Julie Hogan (left) and Tom Venne.

Mason Porter and his band hail from West Chester, PA, and are well-known for blending earthy, Appalachian sounds with urban rhythms for a dance-able, high-energy show.

Jelly.Bird.Dyes is one of several returning vendors slated for this year’s NEPA BG Festival.

Cibo’s Pizza was a big hit in the Progressive Stage area at last year’s NEPA Bluegrass Festival, and they stay open late!



  1. Do you have 50/50 raffles

    1. Author

      That would be a question for the promoters. Please visit their website.
      Thank You.

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