Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival takes place Saturday, Sept 30 & Sunday, Oct 1 on the gorgeous beach at Sandy Point State Park along Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, MD. Highlighting the best in regional and national bluegrass, jamgrass, and Americana music, this conservation-focused musical event was listed as a “Don’t-Miss Bay Music Festival” by Chesapeake Bay Magazine. A family-friendly festival, Annapolis Baygrass anticipates drawing people from all over the country and the region to enjoy the unique beachfront destination, scrumptious local foods, and delightful cocktails and mocktails.
The event will host 14 bands across two alternating stages over two days, and Annapolis Baygrass is thrilled to announce the daily lineups!
Saturday headliners are Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, and Keller & The Keels. These three legendary bands have joined together in camaraderie for a unique tour, presented by Relix, and Annapolis Baygrass is their final stop! There will be a set by each, followed by a big jam to close out the night. Saturday daytime is full of flavor with the cinematic Jon Stickley Trio and Baltimore's own high energy The Dirty Grass Players and Baygrass House Stringband, Geraldine.
Sunday headliner, Melvin Seals and JGB, will be serving up a tasty mix that spans from blues to funk to rock to jazz, with a little R&B and gospel thrown in to spice things up. A powerful presence in the music industry for over 30 years, Seals is most revered for his high-spirited playing in the Jerry Garcia Band for 18 years. Melvin and JGB bring an intuitive, expressive style, soul, spontaneity, and remarkable chops to the table with John Kadlecik on lead guitar and vocals, John-Paul McLean's savory bass, Jeremy Hoenig on the drums and, of course, a heapin' helpin' of the wizard's magic on Hammond B-3 Organ and keyboards.
Sunday offers an eclectic assortment of bands to rock out and dance to—each adding their own stories, harmonious vocals, and fiery fingerpickin’ to the mix—including Fruition, Cabinet, Cris Jacobs & Smooth Kentucky, Arkansauce, and the Chesapeake Bay area’s Wicked Sycamore and The High & Wides.
Lindsay Lou will sweep you off your feet with her incredible vocals and beautiful lyrics—both with her band on Saturday, and as artist-at-large throughout the event.
“The Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival was born out of our team’s love of progressive bluegrass music, the desire to generate a fun community-oriented vibe, and a passion for protecting the Chesapeake Bay,” says festival co-founder Ron Peremel. “We created a unique music festival where just by having fun you're helping the Bay. As we like to say: ‘Every Jam Saves the Bay!’"
More than a music festival, Annapolis Baygrass maintains its mission to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay. 10% of all proceeds from ticket, food, beverage, and merchandise sales will go to Maryland-based non-profit organizations including Watershed Stewards Academy, Oyster Recovery Partnership, and Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.
Sandy Point State Park, a 786-acre Maryland State Park located along the northwestern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, provides a perfect backdrop for this one-of-a-kind festival with stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay and ample space to spread out and enjoy themselves in comfort and style on the sandy beaches. Annapolis Baygrass has plenty of offerings for all ages including interactive artist and conservation workshops, yoga classes, beach and yard games, a Kidzone, a craft vendor village, and other activities.
Fresh lump crab cakes, roasted and raw oysters, gourmet BBQ, Asian food, tacos, wood-fired pizzas, vegan and vegetarian delicacies, and other locally curated culinary options will be available at the festival. Attendees will enjoy tasty microbrews by our partners Pherm Brewing Company and Idiom Brewing Co. at the Baytoberfest Beer Garden, as well as fresh craft cocktails from Gray Wolf Spirits, The Wine Collective wines, and delicious non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails from Sobar at the waterfront Blue Crab Beach Bar.
An exceptional VIP option is available for those wishing to upgrade their experience with the beach-front VIP pavilion, exclusive viewing areas as well as a hot, gourmet meal hosted by our partners at Chesapeake Chef Service. Perks include chef-prepared hot meals, fresh-shucked oysters, snacks, free beverages, VIP parking, private entrance, as well as VIP Gift Bag with Annapolis Baygrass branded reusable steel cups and other merch. Learn more at www.baygrassfestival.com/VIP.
Heavily discounted nearby lodging partners, camping options (first serve basis and fit options for all budgets) and shuttle service make it an enjoyable and hassle-free weekend! Please note the deadline to reserve your camping spot at KOA is August 25. Shuttles will be serving the partnering lodging locations from 10am to post show Saturday and Sunday. Shuttle Passes are on sale now at the ticketing link. More information on lodging at www.baygrassfestival.com/lodging.
Baygrass’ environmental ethos is evidenced in its adoption of the sustainability model, making it one of the only green festivals in Maryland. Actions to reduce the festival's environmental footprint include using local food vendors and ingredients, compostable plates and utensils, reusable steel cups, refillable water stations, and a “no single-use plastic water bottles” policy. Learn more at: www.baygrassfestival.com/green-initiatives.
Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival was founded in 2022 by Ron Peremel, John Way, and Ron Katz, who share a passion for music, a love of the local region, and a desire to give back to the community by creating a music festival with a purpose. They brought in industry veterans to join the team: Executive Director Thom Bloom, Marketing Director Ellen Crawford, and Green/Sustainability Director Walter Wright.
Baygrass also draws attention to mental health education and recognizes that music is often an excellent vehicle to building and growing a healthy, strong community. To connect the public to wellness resources, the festival has partnered with non-profits VA Way, the music-industry centric Backline, and our beverage partner Sobar whose mission envisions "an environment where the stigma of alcoholism, addiction, mental illness, and not drinking alcohol is eliminated."
Baygrass co-founder and founder of VA WAY, John Way—an Army Veteran and a Certified Veteran MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) Instructor—says, “I have attended hundreds of shows and festivals for over 20 years and have seen firsthand how music has the power to heal the mind. We have a rare opportunity with Baygrass to bring important mental health information to a large audience in an incredibly positive and supportive setting. We’ve just partnered with Anne Arundel County Health Department to bring narcan training to the event as a harm reduction workshop for the community.”
Some of our other official Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival partners include Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County and The Lyric, Baltimore’s premiere live entertainment venue.
Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival has a theme song, “In The Water,” by Geraldine with special guest Cris Jacobs! The song was written by singer/songwriter/guitarist John Bolten, PhD, who is not only Geraldine’s bandleader but also the Chief of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Hydrological Sciences Lab—this man understands the water and why all of our actions have such a significant impact on the Chesapeake Bay. Listen here → https://linktr.ee/geraldineband.
Hear a bit from all of the Annapolis Baygrass artists on our Annapolis Baygrass Spotify Playlist.
By celebrating the local region, giving back to the community, and curating a fantastic lineup of musicians, Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival aims to be a pillar in the local music scene and an annual music festival tradition for years to come!