Artists say the setting couldn’t get much better. “The natural environment has a transportive element, the way that you want music to be,” says Chris Ousley, guitarist and banjoist for the Sligo Creek Stompers. “It takes you someplace else.”
This year’s headliners are the high-energy Asheville, N.C., string band Town Mountain, D.C.-area powerhouse quartet Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Don Flemons, and Walter Martin, formerly of The Walkmen and now fresh off his third solo studio release. An array of mostly local performers will join them, from soloists like Julie Outrage and Sarah Cortana to ensembles like the Stompers, The Woodshedders and Moose Jaw.
The festival will have five stages: Two main ones, respectively, for bluegrass and more Americana sets, a third called the Fraser Stage, another dubbed the Half-Shell Stage on a dock (think oysters) and a singer-songwriter stage a short walk away to connecting Heritage Island.
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