New Festival at The Caverns: Big Mouth Bluegrass Festival, July 1-2, 2023

Article Contributed by The Caverns | Published on Saturday, February 4, 2023

Sparks will fly Fourth of July weekend at The Caverns when a new bluegrass festival emerges from Payne’s Cove featuring a cavalcade of award-winning bluegrass artists. On July 1 & 2, 2023, The Caverns presents the inaugural Big Mouth Bluegrass Festival. In addition to all the explosive pickin’ on stage, the 2-day camping festival includes open cave jam sessions that any guest can participate in, All-American cookout cuisine from multiple food trucks, a special Sunday gospel brunch set, guided cave tours into the cool of The Caverns cave system, massive fireworks when the sun goes down, campground pickin’, and more.

Big Mouth Bluegrass Festival line-up features Dan Tyminski Band, Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Lonesome River Band, Appalachian Road Show, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, The Grascals, Sister Sadie, The Cleverlys, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Iron Horse, Missy Raines & Allegheny, Volunteer String Band, a Sunday gospel brunch set, and Blake Williams, the festival’s emcee. Becky Buller, an IBMA award-winner and local favorite, is the festival’s artist-in-residence and will collaborate onstage with artists to create special musical surprises throughout the weekend. All headlining sets take place in The Caverns’ scenic outdoor amphitheater surrounded by the rolling foothills of the Cumberland Plateau with more festival activities taking place in The Caverns world-famous cave venue.

“Big Mouth Bluegrass Festival is a return to the roots of The Caverns, and the festival’s name is a tribute to the historical name of the cave we call home today,” says Todd Mayo, The Caverns owner. “We cannot think of a better way to celebrate Fourth of July weekend than with a festival celebrating some of the greatest things about our country—bluegrass music, hot dogs and apple pie, fireworks, camping, pickin’ circles, and family and friends, new and old.”

With the recent addition of onsite camping, a new outdoor amphitheater stage, onsite food trucks and a permanent concessions building to complement the underground venue, The Caverns has become a destination festival site offering world class festival experiences. Conveniently located south of Nashville and north of Chattanooga in the foothills of Southeast Tennessee, the festival site makes an ideal location for a bluegrass festival.

“All music sounds naturally great inside the cave, but there is something extra special about hearing the ancient tones of fiddles and banjos underground,” says Joe Lurgio, The Caverns general manager. “And when those same instruments ring out and fill the cove above ground, it’s not lost on us, the artists and the fans that this little corner of Grundy County is a magical place to play and listen to this special music.”

Big Mouth Bluegrass Festival will also feature craft & food vendors. Interested vendors can reach out to Amanda Pelham, [email protected], for application information.

All patrons are encouraged to bring their instruments and join pickin’ circles in the campgrounds and inside the cave for pickin’ experiences like no other.

2-day tickets for Big Mouth Bluegrass Festival, which include free camping, start at only $79.50 making this festival an extraordinary value for bluegrass fans. Kids under 5 are free and kids 5-12 are eligible for a 2-day Young Grasser ticket for $40. RV guests can add a $25 daily pass for an RV campsite (hook-ups not available).

The festival will also offer a variety of VIP packages for those looking to upgrade their experience on any budget. VIP experiences start as low as $399 with perks like a premium campsite location, access to a VIP viewing area, access to a VIP lounge tent with delicious local catering, all day complimentary refreshments and snacks, open bar service in the evenings, and much more. For guests looking for a more luxurious experience, The Caverns offers onsite accommodations in its new climate-controlled Yurt Village with the Big Mouth VIP Yurt Package for two for $2,600 which includes access to VIP viewing and the VIP lounge tent, and more. Lastly, guests can opt for the comforts of a local lodge with The Caverns popular Stay & Cave packages for two for $1,080 which provide lodging in nearby Monteagle, shuttle transportation to and from the venue, VIP lounge tent access, merch and more.   

All tickets and packages go on sale on Friday, February 3rd at 12p CT at