So how do you promote an inaugural bluegrass festival that no one has ever heard of? Get a Sasquatch suit and have someone run around in it at various events.
At least this is the answer that the organizers of the upcoming River Stomp Bluegrass Festival came up with.
“We have been to several places and events and had our Sasquatch running around and people getting their picture with it. Several of our sponsors have said, ‘We would love to have your Sasquatch come out,’” said River Stomp Bluegrass Festival President/CEO Ben Parker.
So will the Sasquatch mascot do the trick and get people to the festival? Organizers will find out when the festival takes place Friday, Oct. 11, and Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Whitley County Fairgrounds near Williamsburg.
The festival’s name River Stomp came about sort of by accident.
Parker said that organizers tossed around several possible names for the festival, and decided that they probably wanted something with the word river in it since the fairgrounds are located near the intersection of the Clear Fork and Cumberland rivers.
There is an old song called Bluegrass Stomp, and the festival’s title was a kind of play on that. Parker said organizers checked around and couldn’t find another bluegrass festivals anywhere close by with a similar name and decided on River Stomp as the festival’s name.
The festival will feature gospel music Friday evening and bluegrass and gospel music Saturday.
The festival will start at 3:30 p.m. Friday with an open microphone followed by Straight Creek at 5 p.m. followed by Crystal Water, Virgil Bowling and Peerless Mountain and Heidi and Ryan.
The festival will resume at 10 a.m. Saturday with an open microphone. One Way Up will perform starting at noon, followed by Highway 204, Sunset Canyon, Bobby Hamblin and The Lawless, Kentucky Just Us, and Tidal Wave Road.
The festival is slated to conclude about 10 p.m. Saturday.
The goal of the festival is to promote bluegrass and local music in the Whitley County and Williamsburg area, Parker noted.
“We want to promote local music in the area. If you don’t stay on it, it will die out pretty easy. We have a real rich history of it around here. We just want to keep it going with some local talent, and try to get people out of the house and supporting local music,” Parker said. “We do want to make it an annual event.”
Admission is $10 per day for adults or $15 for a weekend pass. Admission for children is free.
Parker said that the group may eventually have to increase the admission price, but the goal is to have a festival, which doesn’t have a large admission charge and that people can afford to go to.
“We are going to try and keep it (the admission price) as low as we can,” he added.
There will be free tent camping at the event. There is a $40 charge for campers with electric hook-ups.
No seating is provided and attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn or camping chair.
For more information, contact Parker at (606) 515-8600. Vendors or sponsors can contact Trish Parker at (606) 215-9578. For promotions contact Robert Sulfridge at (606) 309-7655 or Carly Parker at (606) 765-9883.
Also view the festival’s website at http://Riverstompbluegrassfestival.com, or the River Stomp Bluegrass Festival’s Facebook page.