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Jam Central Station: DelFest 2019 Preview

April 20, 2019 | Posted by Jeff Modzelewski




Delfest Late

The term “living legend” is one that should be reserved for those of unquestioned greatness. People who have had massive influence and are able to enjoy the results of their success and have their peers pay tribute to their work. Del McCoury is, without a doubt, a living legend in the bluegrass community. With a career that has spanned over 50 years, McCoury has influenced bluegrass players of all stripes for decades. His music pushed boundaries and his technical prowess is hard to match.

One way that McCoury helped grow the bluegrass community was by the creation of DelFest, the annual festival held in his honor in Cumberland, Maryland. Over the past decade, the festival has hosted some of the best in bluegrass music and led to some amazing collaborations. The festival has hosted nearly every big name in bluegrass since 2008, including Ricky Skaggs, Steep Canyon Rangers, Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn, Emmit Nershi Band, as well as the modern bluegrass heavyweights like Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, and many others. But DelFest hasn’t just been limited to bluegrass. Trey Anastasio Band, Warren Haynes, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and other artists that fall outside of the bluegrass bill have graced the DelFest stage. The 2019 version of DelFest is shaping up to be one of the best versions of the festival yet.


Delfest Lineup

As I said, the 2019 lineup is looking to be one of the best ever. Along with obvious mainstays The Del McCoury Band and The Travelin’ McCourys the festival will feature two sets from The String Cheese Incident as well as sets from Tyler Childers, Railroad Earth, Sam Bush Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, Trampled By Turtles, The Marcus King Band, Billy Strings, Keller Williams’ PettyGrass, The Steeldrivers, and many, many others. The music starts on Thursday afternoon and goes all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And to go along with the main sets, each night as a special late-night show, which will include shows from Billy Strings, Yonder, Larry Keel, Railroad Earth, and a Sunday night late night jam with the McCourys and plenty of special guests.

Basically, this is one of the best bluegrass lineups of the summer, period. There’s not too many places you’re going to see so many opportunities for collaborations, jam sessions, and the unexpected. Many of these artists already have histories of working together, and with some newer folks in the mix there’s no telling what’s going to happen.


May 23-26, Memorial Day weekend. Lots of great music happening this weekend, but DelFest is on the top of that list!


Alleghany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD. Because of the location on the fairgrounds, patrons can enjoy real flush toilets (as well as porta potties) and shower facilities on site. Camping is included but it’s “haul your stuff in” camping rather than car camping, and you do have to pay for parking. There are two options, an off-site option where you get shuttled to the site and an on-site option where you park on-site, but not in the camping area.


First and foremost, DelFest honors Del McCoury and all of the great music he has contributed to in his life. If you appreciate bluegrass you should appreciate Del. On top of that, the lineup itself is stacked. This is going to be a party and a great atmosphere. This is an event for kids, families, jam lovers, bluegrass lovers, musicians, and anyone looking for a good time. All the McCoury’s, 2 sets of Cheese, Billy Strings late night, and who knows what else. Who can ask for anything more?

Delfest Stage



Summer Camp adds artists
Summer Camp finalized their 2019 lineup with a few additions this week. New artists include Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Future Rock, Rob Garza of Thievery Corp. and others. This helps soften the blow of losing George Clinton on the lineup.

Strings & Sol announced
The bluegrass destination event Strings & Sol announced their 2019 event. The festival will take place at Now Sapphire and Dreams Resort & Spa in Puerto Morales, Mexico from December 12-16. The event will feature Yonder Mountain String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, The Del McCoury Band, Railroad Earth, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, The Travelin’ McCoury’s, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, and The Sweet Lillies. It will also feature artists at large Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman, so be prepared for some amazing collaborations over the course of the event.

Lineup change for Spafford
Spafford announced a change in their lineup this year. Drummer Cameron LaForest, who joined the group in 2017, will be departing. Founding drummer Nick Tkachyk will be returning to the group after a two year absence.

String Cheese Incident announce shows
The String Cheese Incident continue to roll out dates for their 25th anniversary. The band announced shows at the Dillon Amphitheater in Dillon, CO on July 16 and 17, Eugene Oregon’s Cuthbert Amphitheater on Sept. 27–29, San Francisco’s Fillmore Oct. 2 & 3, and the Fox Theater in Oakland on Oct. 4 and 5.

Yonder Mountain String Band add dates
The Yonder Mountain String Band added some spring dates for 2019. The band currently is scheduled to be on the road through late June with both headlining and festival shows booked.

May 3 Charlotte, NC Sounds Of The Summer
May 10 Rochester, NY Rochester Lilac Festival
May 23 & 24 Cumberland, MD DelFest
May 26 Chillicothe, IL Summer Camp Music Festival
May 29 Wichita, KS Wave
May 30 Ozark, AR Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain
May 31 Huntsville, AL SideTracks Music Hall #
June 1 Canton, NC Cold Mountain Music at Lake Logan
June 2 Isle Of Palms, SC The Windjammer
June 4 Annapolis, MD Rams Head On Stage #
June 5 Newport News, VA Boathouse Live #
June 6 Rocky Mount, VA Harvester Performance Center #
June 7 Wilmington, NC Brooklyn Arts Center at St. Andrews #
June 8 Greenville, NC The State Theatre #
June 21 Telluride, CO Sheridan Opera House
June 22 Telluride, CO 46th Telluride Bluegrass Festival

# with Great Peacock


Sweetwater 420 Festival
April 19-21
Centennial Olympic Park
Atlanta, GA
Widespread Panic, The Avett Brothers, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Rebelution, Moon Taxi, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, Turkuaz

May 16-18
Marvin’s Mountaintop
Masontown, WV
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong (x5), Aqueous, Litz, Mungion, Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers

May 23-26
Cumberland, MD
The Del McCoury Band, The String Cheese Incident, The Travelin’ McCourys, Trampled by Turtles, Railroad Earth, The Marcus King Band, Billy Strings

Summer Camp Music Festival
May 23-26
Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL
moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Big Gigantic, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Trampled by Turtles, Blues Traveler, Lotus, TAUK, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Spafford, ALO

Dark Star Jubilee
May 24-26
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH
3 nights of Dark Star Orchestra, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Leftover Salmon, Billy Strings, Dumpstaphunk, The Lil’ Smokies, Donna the Buffalo, The Nth Power

Camp Greensky
June 6-8
Wellston, MI
Greensky Bluegrass (3 nights), Del & Dawg, Stephen Marley, Billy Strings, Hiss Golden Messenger, Circles around the Sun, Ghost Light, The Rebirth Brass Band, Bombino

June 13-16
Manchester, TN
Phish, The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers, GRiZ, Nahko & Medicine for the People, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Jim James, Trampled By Turtles, The Wood Brothers, Shovels & Rope, The Record Company

Mountain Jam
June 13-16
Bethel Woods
Bethel, NY
Willie Nelson & Family, Phil Lesh & Friends, Gov’t Mule, The Avett Brothers, The Revivalists, Twiddle, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Dispatch, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Michael Franti & Spearhead

Keller in the Caverns
June 21-23
Pelham, TN
2 Keller Williams performances as well as Pettygrass, More Than A Little, and a Grateful Gospel Brunch

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 20-23
Telluride, CO
Brandi Carlisle, Sam Bush Band, Jim James, Greensky Bluegrass, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon: Stories from the Living Room, Punch Brothers, Railroad Earth

Electric Forest
June 27-30
Double JJ Ranch & Resort
Rothbury, MI
3 nights of The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, Lettuce, The Floozies, TAUK, Spafford, Twiddle, Ghost Light, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, The Nth Power, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Smoky Run Music Festival
June 28-30
Butler, OH
Gov’t Mule, Trampled by Turtles, Railroad Earth, Deer Tick, Son Volt, The Travelin’ McCoury’s & Jeff Austin Band present Grateful Ball, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Rumpke Mountain Boys

July 4-6
Snow Ridge Ski Resort
Turin, NY
moe., Drive By Truckers, Spafford, God Street Wine, Everyone Orchestra, Cory Wong, Max Creek

High Sierra
July 4-7
Quincy, CA
Greensky Bluegrass, Umphrey’s McGee, Dispatch, Del McCoury Band, Jim James, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Galactic, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, TAUK, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, ALO, Marcus King Band

4848 Festival
July 11-13
Snowshoe Mountain
Snowshoe, WV
Greensky Bluegrass, Umphrey’s McGee, The Infamous Stringdusters, Lettuce, Railroad Earth, Marcus King Band, Billy Strings, Turkuaz, Fruition

Ride Festival
July 12-14
Telluride, CO
Widespread Panic, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Big Something

Camp Bisco
July 18-20
Montage Mountain
Scranton, PA

FloydFest 19 “Journey Home”
July 24-28
Floyd, VA
Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band, The String Cheese Incident, Brandi Carlile Tyler Childers, Margo Price, Fantastic Negrito, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grace featuring Love Cannon

Peach Music Festival
July 25-28
Montage Mountain
Scranton, PA
Phil Lesh & Friends, Trey Anastasio Band, The String Cheese Incident, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, moe., Greensky Bluegrass, Lotus, Lettuce, Infamous Stringdusters, Yonder Mountain String Band, Allman Betts Band, Billy Strings

Werk Out
August 1-3
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH
The Werks, Big Gigantic, Claypool Lennon Delirium, The Floozies, Twiddle, Matisyahu, Turkuaz, Melvin Seals & JGB

Woodstock 50
August 16-18
Watkins Glen, NY
Dead & Co., Santana, Robert Plant & The Sensational Shape Shifters, Sturgill Simpson, Brandi Carlisle, Hot Tuna, Gary Clark Jr., John Fogerty, Margo Price, Marcus King Band.

Lockn’ Festival
August 22-25
Arrington, VA
Trey Anasasio Band w/ Derek Trucks, Tedeschi Trucks Band w/ Trey Anastasio, Bob Weir & Wolf Bros. w/ Susan Tedeschi, Otiel & Friends w/ Bob Weir, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, The Revivalists, Gary Clark Jr., Old Crow Medicine Show, moe., Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Twiddle

Borderlands Festival
September 21-22
Knox Farm State Park, NY
Greensky Bluegrass, Gov’t Mule, Shakey Graves, Mavis Staples, The Wood Brothers, The Infamous Stringdusters, Keller Williams Grateful Grass, Rayland Baxter

Strings & Sol
December 12-16
Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Yonder Mountain String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, The Del McCoury Band, Railroad Earth, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman

Jam Cruise
January 7-12
Miami, FL


Thanks again for stopping by. I’ll be back next week with more jam. Until then, check me out on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute concert announcements. Until next week, Jam On!