In July, Del McCoury began sending out hand rolled parchment invitations to a select group of deserving musical participants to join his DelFest 2018 Bluegrass Congress. On Memorial Day weekend (May 24-27), the Bluegrass Congress, which includes Ricky Skaggs, David Grisman, Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Bryan Sutton, and Stuart Duncan, will officially be called to order. These musicians represent the best at what they do in the field of bluegrass and will convene on Saturday evening (May 26), joining the Del McCoury Band for a picking party like none other in festival history. In addition to the Saturday evening show, most members of Congress will play their own set during DelFest (see lineup below).
Along with the primary Congress, this year’s lineup is heavy on picking with fan favorites like Old Crow Medicine Show, The Wood Brothers, Elephant Revival, and Fruition. The initial 2018 DelFest lineup is as follows (with more artists to be announced in the coming months):
The Del McCoury Band
The Travelin’ McCourys
The Bluegrass Congress (The Del McCoury Band, David Grisman, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Bryan Sutton, Stuart Duncan)
Old Crow Medicine Show
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
The Jerry Douglas Band
The Wood Brothers
Bryan Sutton Band
The Kruger Brothers
Joe Craven & The Sometimers
The Lil Smokies
The Brothers Comatose
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Birds of Chicago
Jon Stickley Trio
Dré & The Gospel Collective
Joe Craven (emcee)
DelFest 2018 will take place from May 24-27, 2018, and once again be held at the beautiful Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, Maryland. The festival originated from the desire to create a family-friendly music festival celebrating the rich legacy of McCoury music while creating a forum for world-class musical collaborations and to showcase fresh new talent with a down-home feeling. Produced in association with High Sierra Music, the 11th Annual DelFest will offer a quality festival experience stamped with the unique McCoury touch. Personally chosen by Del, the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD (2.5 hours from Baltimore and D.C.) serves as the perfect location for DelFest, nestled along the Potomac River in the scenic Appalachian Mountains. The fairgrounds are conveniently located near four major airports and can be easily reached by rail or road. The city of Cumberland, MD, is a welcoming host offering multiple hotel options, a charming downtown, and great amenities that include biking, a steam train engine and museum, and top-notch dining.
In addition to traditional stage sets by these world-class artists, attendees can once again expect to see one-of-a-kind collaborations, special guest sit-ins, various tributes to Del McCoury and his musical legacy, intimate appearances, and late night indoor performances and picking sessions. DelFest will be immediately preceded by a 3-day music academy hosted by The Travelin’ McCourys and friends. DelFest Academy, which takes place May 21-23, provides all levels of musicians an opportunity to learn from some of the best pickers in the world.
Four-day general admission festival tickets are currently on sale at www.delfest.com. DELuxe, RV, and parking passes will go on sale in early January. Please visit the DelFest website and Facebook page for updates and more information.