Suwannee Spring Reunion Schedule Announced! Sam Bush, Railroad Earth, Steep Canyon Rangers, Peter Rowan, Donna the Buffalo

Article Contributed by Dreamspider Pu… | Published on Thursday, February 22, 2024

Suwannee Spring Reunion takes place Thursday through Sunday, March 21-24 at The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP). Set in the midst of 800 acres of majestic Spanish moss-draped oak and cypress trees along the Suwannee River, this family-friendly festival boasts four days and nights of music rooted in Americana, newgrass, bluegrass, folk, blues, and more. Featuring music on multiple stages, with many repeat performers throughout the weekend, we are happy to announce the schedule for the 2024 edition of the festival!

“Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida, would seem the most unlikely of bluegrass epicenters, but legends and new stars alike flock there every spring for an in-the-know festival,” wrote Rolling Stone.

This stellar lineup promises an exciting start to the long weekend’s festivities with Keller Williams’ PettyGrass ft. The HillBenders headlining Thursday night—bringing bluegrass versions of Tom Petty Hits; get ready to sing along at SOSMP’s gorgeous Amphitheater Stage. Prior to PettyGrass the Amphitheater Stage are The Steels Wheels, who are rolling into Florida with a brand new album, Sideways, in hand— they also perform in the Music Hall later that night. Alt-country honky-tonk rebels Town Mountain (also bringing a fresh new release: Dance Me Down Easy: The Woodstock Sessions EP), will close out the night on the Amp Stage with their first set of the weekend (Thu/Fri).

Over on the Porch Stage on Thursday we see the first sets of the weekend from Country-soul rocker Leon Timbo & The Family Band (Thu/Fri), the soul-folk of Hattie & Joe Craven Trio (Thur/Fri/Sat), and the first set from The Grass is Dead (Thu/Sun). Sloppy Joe opens the festival at 4pm on the Amphitheater stage and can also be heard throughout the weekend on various stages and in the campground at their own, open call, pickin’ party site—Slopryland.

Before the legendary Sam Bush takes center stage on Friday night, Americana blues icon Bettye Lavette makes her stage debut at the Park on the Amphitheater Stage. With their first set of the weekend, Railroad Earth (Fri/Sat) closes up the late night on the Amp Stage. In the midst of all that goodness on Friday—and in between the aforementioned sets—over on The Porch Stage will be Darrell Scott (also playing Sat), Town Mountain, and the first of a few sets from roots rockin’ troubadours Donna the Buffalo (Fri/Sat/Sun).

Saturday night is a double dose with Railroad Earth returning The Amp Stage, preceded by what is sure to be a soul-stirring set of mountain music by Steep Canyon Rangers. Donna the Buffalo is sure to keep everybody dancing to the wee hours, closing the stage late-night.

Saturday on the Porch Stage we see the first sets of the weekend by Peter Rowan & The Walls of Time Band (Peter Rowan, Chris Henry, David Mansfield III, David Grier, Mike Bub, Larry Atamanuik); and The Mosier Brothers Band (featuring Jeff Mosier’s Scruggs'-style banjo prowess and Johnny Mosier’s rockin guitar chops, founders of Blueground Undergrass—a former Suwannee staple act (Fri/Sat/Sun)). Also on the Porch on Saturday is rising bluegrass star Colby T Helms & The Virginia Creepers. Currently on tour with a new album: Tales of Misfortune, Helms makes his Suwannee debut Friday in the Dance Tent.

Sunday, dubbed “Vassar Sunday” by regular attendees and staff, is a musical day of gathering, celebration, and rememberance of those who came and played before (Vassar Clements, Sue Cunninham, Guy Clark, Col. Bruce Hampton, just to name a few) and those who carry on the traditions of what started at the park way back in 1997. Fueled with anticipation, Donna the Buffalo will close out the evening with a special set—bringing up to the stage just about every artist who is left at the fest. Other performances that day leading into the finale include Jim Lauderdale, Verlon Thompson, The Mosier Brothers, and Peter Rowan & The Walls of Time Band.

The weekend is jam-packed with multiple sets by many at all of the festival stages (Amphitheater Stage, Porch Stage, Dance Tent Stage, Music Hall, & Music Farmers Stage) Along with some of those mentioned above, there will be multiple sets by Jim Lauderdale (Sat/Sun), Verlon Thompson (Fri/Sat/Sun), Roy Book Binder (Fri/Sat), Shawn Camp (Fri/Sat), Seth Walker (Fri/Sat), Jon Stickley Trio (Fri/Sat),  Fireside Collective (Fri/Sat), David Grier (Fri), Nikki Talley Band (Thu, Sun), Free Range Strange (Sat), Habanero Honeys (Sat), Quartermoon (Fri/Sat and throughout the weekend hosting campground pickin’ at the Bill Monroe Shrine), John Mailander: Artist-at-Large through the weekend, and Magic Moon Traveling Circus.

Something special to note about the lineup is that it includes artists with storied histories of epic Suwannee performances over the years. Matching the history on the stage, longtime park hosts, Randy and Beth Judy, are partnered with the Spirit of the Suwannee to make sure that every piece needed to make an epic weekend. It is home to generations of families who have gathered year after year to experience that shared connection to the music and the commitment to the notion of something bigger than ourselves.

Festival Director Beth Judy says “From the very beginning, in 1997, with our first festival at SOSMP (SpringFest), we set an intention of a community of love and healing and music and positive impact on the lives of the people who were there. And we attracted those people who needed that in their lives, and many of them are still coming. The Suwannee Spring Reunion is a new version of the events we began so long ago when music festivals were just starting to pop up again after Jerry’s passing. SpringFest and MagFest had changed and evolved over the years and now we are gathering everyone together for the  big reunion and revival of what commenced during those early years.”

“There’s this unique, communal spirit here, where it’s homelike for us,” says Sam Bush in an interview with Rolling Stone’s Garret Woodward. “And you find yourself thinking about some of our brethren that aren’t here anymore, but especially Vassar [Clements] — he ruled this place.”

“‘It was probably around 2004 [when we first played the park],” Steep Canyon Rangers singer-banjoist Graham Sharp tells Woodward, ‘We’ve been able to trace our band and its evolution through this festival, from being a traditional bluegrass band to being whatever the hell we are now — this place is a natural home for that.’”

They say the stars come out at night. And at Suwannee that is not only true in seeing the clear nighttime skies, but also throughout the park. Many of the festival musicians convene in the campgrounds when things light up at night. There are literally dozens of theme camps, many of them with clever fun names, that have their own style and vibe. There will also be daily Umalumina Yoga with Rhonda Bell.

The Suwannee Spring Reunion community has something going on around the clock. That said, if sleep is important to you, there are plenty of camping areas where it’s low key, so sleep is a possibility. No recorded or amplified music is permitted in the campground during this festival, so any music happening is live and acoustic.

A couple of workshops in the Music Hall to watch out for are The Devil's Box - A Fiddle Workshop with
Joe Craven, John Mailander & Lyndsay Pruett (Fri) and Colby T Helms is leading a workshop on guitar influences and styles (Sat).

Stay tuned for further news about a wide range of hand-on workshops on the Music Farmers Stage, sponsored by the festival’s nonprofit arm, Live Oak Music and Arts Foundation (LOMAF). There will be a raffle to raise money for LOMAF, which is earmarked for music and arts programs locally in North Florida schools and includes the Suwannee Spirit Kids Music Camp.

Multi-day Weekend Tickets include primitive camping. Prices go to the next tier on March 1. Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Military/Student discounts available as well as RV upgrades, golf carts, and other amenities. For complete ticket information, visit

Suwannee Spring Reunion 2024 Lineup & Days Performing
Sam Bush (Fri)
Railroad Earth (Fri/Sat)
Steep Canyon Rangers (Sat)
Peter Rowan Walls of Time Band (Sat/Sun)
Donna the Buffalo (Fri/Sat/Sun)
Keller Williams’ PettyGrass ft. The HillBenders (Thu)
Bettye LaVette (Fri)
The Steel Wheels (Thu x 2)
Darrell Scott (Fri/Sat)
Town Mountain (Thu/Fri)
Seth Walker (Fri/Sat)
Jon Stickley Trio (Fri/Sat)
Fireside Collective (Fri/Sat)
Jim Lauderdale (Sat/Sun)
Donna the Buffalo with Jim Lauderdale (Sat)
Verlon Thomson with Jim Lauderdale (Sat)
Verlon Thompson  (Fri/Sat/Sun)
Shawn Camp (Fri/Sat)
Shawn Camp & Verlon Thompson (Sat)
Shawn Camp & Verlon Thompson doing the songs of Guy Clark (Fri)
The Mosier Brothers Band (Fri/Sat/Sun)
The Grass Is Dead (Thu/Sun)
Roy Book Binder (Thu/Fri/Sat)
Hattie & Joe Craven Trio (Thu/Fri/Sat)
David Grier (Fri)
Leon Timbo & The Family Band (Thu/Fri)
Colby T Helms & The Virginia Creepers (Fri/Sat)
Nikki Talley Band (Thu/Sun)
Free Range Strange (Sat x2)
Sloppy Joe (all)
Quartermoon (all)
Habanero Honeys (Sat)
John Mailander: Artist At Large (all)
Magic Moon Traveling Circus