NEPA Bluegrass Festival to Offer Much More Than Music

The Dishonest Fiddlers (above) consider themselves a “good-timin’ front porch band” and look forward to pleasing NEPA BG attendees with their variety of Americana, folk, roots, and country pickin’. Sorrento Family Estate Winery will add a new element to the NEPA BG Festival with a selection of their award-winning wines and spirits, as well as local craft beers.

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, June 1 to 4. 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 16th year that co-promoters Danny and Christa Stewart of Wyalusing (above) have brought the festival to Tunkhannock. Paige Capo is the key sponsor of this year’s event and makes many of the extras possible. Other sponsors include Ace Robbins, Shores Sisters, Lane Chiropractic, and Sorrento Family Estate Winery, selling wine spirits and local PA craft beers by the glass and bottle. 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, Little Roy and Lizzy, Fast Track, Junior Sisk & Rambler’s Choice, Dave Adkins, The Crowe Brothers, and Monroe Crossing.

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. Serene Green, the Dishonest Fiddlers, Beartracks Band, Mama Corn, Kenny Ray Horton, and the venerable Hillbilly Gypsies (above), who will close the Progressive Stage on Saturday night, are among them.

Christa is anxious to see the crowd’s reaction this year to Cosmic American Derelicts, who will make their NEPA BG debut and play for the final show on Friday evening. The Derelicts (above) call Bergenfield, NJ, home and offer a repertoire that is parts honky-tonk country bluegrass and blues, rock, and reggae/ska. The variety of genres stems from a 25-year evolution that saw the band shift in size as members proficient in so many different styles drifted in and out of the lineup.

Progressive Stage emcee Sandi Marola will host Bluegrass Trivia at 7 pm on Thursday evening. NEPA Yoga will be on site at 10 am on Friday to take guests to another level of relaxation before a weekend of jamming. Muckles Ink from Binghamton, NY, will be on hand printing and selling festival merchandise. Additional vendors will include Taco Bout Us NEPA, Henna, Yogi’s Potato Pancakes, Tunkhannock Lions Club, NEPA Yoga, Jelly.Bird.Dyes, and Hog Farm BBQ.

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. Patrons are also encouraged to fill out the questionnaires they receive at the gate and drop them off at the stage for a chance to win two weekend passes valued at $300.

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.”

Tickets are available online at, 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.

Serene Green is primarily composed of Northeast Pennsylvania natives who will return to the Festival this year with old favorites and new, original compositions.

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

Mama Corn, a quartet based in Pennsylvania, has rebounded from some challenging times and will bring new music to NEPA BG that showcases their age-old Appalachian sound.

Kenny Ray Horton is a gold record-winning singer/songwriter and Navy veteran who considers music an adventure that he can share with his audiences.

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

Unwind with NEPA Yoga instructors at this year’s NEPA BG Festival.

Yogi’s Potato Pancakes has been serving northeast Pennsylvanian’s for more than 50 years and will be one of numerous food vendors at the Festival.

Hog Farm BBQ will make its debut at NEPA BG with an expansive menu of pulled pork varieties, ribs, sandwiches and sides.

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