Nov 162018
 

Hey this series is already evolving into a BIG HIT for my enthusiastic festival loving readers of many communities of music. I have been ongoing in this relentless pursuit of over 200 yearly festival reports for almost 6 years now, and it continues with an Indiana festival in it’s ninth year called The John Hartford Memorial Festival. As always you can click HERE for my previous year’s coverage.

Brown County Cabins
Comfort Inn
Abbey Inn
Creekside Retreat
Always Inn

We now have 6 Songwriting contests under our belt. Over 150 John Hartford inspired songs have been submitted and our web site playlist is at 60+ songs. Click here to listen to our 2018 winner, Will Kimble and watch the entire showcase video. While you’re there, you can scroll through playlists and interviews dating back to 2013. The 2019 John Hartford Songwriter’s Challenge will kickoff at 12:01 AM ET on Jan 1, 2019. Read all the rules and guidelines by clicking here. So far, each of our songwriting winners have been booked for JHMF festivals! We consider all compliant entries for booking so please, get your act together and enter.
New Videos:
We recently uploaded tons of festival footage from our Band and Songwriters contests. You can view all the new, and soon to be new, videos by clicking here. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and stay up-to-date on all our published videos. We’ve got plenty of new and vintage material that we’ll upload throughout the year.
JHMF goes to IBMA:
World of Bluegrass, The International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual gathering of music loves in Raleigh, NC, is the place to be to meet and greet with Bluegrass Elite. At the weeklong gathering you’ll find up and coming stars and new acts, meet talent buyers, venue owners and tons of music aficionados.
Once again JHMF was well represented by promoters Tom Burkhart, John Hotze and Randy Kilper. Tom had this to say, “We had an amazing time at the IBMA convention in Raleigh NC. It’s a great place to see tons of new, and not so new, bluegrass bands from all over the world playing their music everywhere. We enjoyed meeting other festival organizers with whom we exchanged ideas to improve all our events. The Gig Fair allowed bands to apply to play at JHMF. We made sure to see many of the ones that we interviewed at their showcase performances.” One of our dear JHMF sponsors, Deering Banjos, recently published a firsthand account in their Deering newletter. For an enlightening firsthand experience by Jamie Latte  click here.
John Hartford’s Mammoth Collection of Fiddle Tunes:
Initially released at JHMF8, This massive, comprehensive collection of mostly never heard before fiddle tunes, scripted in John Hartford’s own handwriting, is a must have for any Hartford Head. Katie Harford Hogue, Matt Combs and Greg Reisch have pulled off a truly incredible feat in such a short time, pouring over nearly a thousand fiddle tunes that were handwritten by John, in 68 spiral notebooks, to come up with 176 mighty fine tunes. The book is loaded with drawings by John, never before publicly viewed photographs, stories by those closest to this man, who was iconic to the Newgrass movement, and who is still being celebrated over the world. As a bonus, click “listen” at the book’s website to hear each of the tunes performed by Matt Combs. Read about the book in an article by Ernie, by clicking here. You may also order the book by visiting the official John Hartford Site by clicking here.
Camping Info:

The campground and the facilities are maintained and operated by theBill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground.

Reservations are not required for primitive camping but are highly recommended for RV campsites. Primitive camping locations are spread throughout the park and are first come first serve. If you would like to reserve a site with hook ups you must call the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground at (812) 988-4639. We urge you to do this as soon as you can. These sites are coveted and will go fast.

For any additional questions about camping reservations, camping with hook-up prices, or anything else regarding camping, call the Campground.
See You May 29 – June 1, 2019:
Where in the world can you go to sit back, relax, leave your worries at the gate, enjoy the campground atmosphere and listen to or participate in campfire jamming?  Where can you go to experience the most exciting, thoroughly entertaining bunch of pickers and singers ever assembled in the most laid back atmosphere in the country? Join us May 29 – June 1, in Bean Blossom, Indiana at the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground for the 9th annual John Hartford Memorial Festival, “The Most Laid Back Festival in America!” That’s where it all takes place.
Be sure to check in often at www.hartfordfest.com to stay abreast of the latest info including early bird ticket sales, lineup releases, festival videos, photos, contest playlists, artist bios, news and the Morning Bugle Blog which will soon feature a very familiar face of staff member, the multi-talented Scott Nelson.
Welcome to JHMF9:
We are a family friendly, kid friendly, dog friendly, jam friendly, just plain friendly bluegrass and folk music festival. We strive to reach the right number of people for your maximum comfort and will continue to limit the amount of multi-day tickets sold to just 2,000 Full-Festival Tickets. Fill up your steam powered Aereo-Plain and follow your friends to Bean Blossom, IN, May 29 – June, 1 and enjoy The John Hartford Memorial Festival “The Most Laid-Back Festival In America”. 40+ bands, camping, jamming, dancing, contests and much more. Sit back, relax and leave your worries at home. Click here to purchase tickets.
Hourly Stage Schedule Announcement:
We are tickled to announce the Hourly Stage Schedule! In a little over a month every stage will soon be overflowing with folks plying their musical wares for you. Over forty bands will be spread over three stages (Hartford, Boogie, Hippy Hill) throughout the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground in beautiful Bean Blossom, IN. Start planning your festival fun with the help of the hourly stage schedule. Click here to see the schedule on our web site. *Schedule times are subject to change.
Ticket Sales – Get ’em While You Can:
Tickets to the festival are sold in four tiers. Pick ’em up while you still can as the first two tiers have already sold out. Tickets will be available at the gate unless we sell all 2,000 passes in advance. Just like previous years we are capping attendance. Get your tickets now, save a few bucks, and get ready to kick back and relax. Full Festival and Single Day tickets are on sale and available by clicking here. Don’t forget to look over your JHMF Family tree. Something missing? Maybe it’s someone you love. Share the love and bring your family, friends and (happy and leashed) dogs.
Camping Information:
The campground and the facilities are maintained and operated by The Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground. Primitive camping locations are spread throughout the park and are first come first serve. No single day or two day camping passes will be sold on our web site, they will be available to purchase at the gate. If you would like to reserve a site with hook ups, or you have any camping questions, you must call the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground at (812) 988-6422.
Dancin’ Dave’s – Camping The Easy Way:
Dancin’ Dave’s

Dancin’ Dave’s Festival Camping takes the “rough” out of roughing it. Offering first-class accommodations so that those traveling from the opposite coast, across the pond, or just across town, can have a full festival experience without the hassle of having to pack everything needed for a comfortable stay. They do all the work. Just show up, stay for the party and leave the tear-down to them. Camping has never been so easy. Click Here to RSVP with Dancin’ Dave’s.

The Low Down On Where To Stay:
The Brown County Inn

If camping is not for you, please make reservations now at our JHMF official host hotel, The Brown County Inn. Full restaurant and bar, year-round covered and enclosed open-air pool pavilion with a 2,500 square foot sun-deck and live entertainment. Located just six miles from the park, and only a three-block walk from beautiful downtown Nashville, IN. We’ve negotiated a special price just for our festival family! Visit their web site by clicking here and use the promo code JHMF9 for a discount on your room.

Songwriting Contest Announces Top 10 Winners:
Barker Thompson
Congratulations to Barker Thompson from St. Louis, MO our JHMF9 Songwriter’s Challenge winner with his song Banjo Clown! In our closest contest ever, Barker’s song edged Derek Kretzer’s “Man in a Hat”, by just one point! For his prize song Barker won $200 and two full festival passes.
The John Hartford Memorial Festival expresses our deepest gratitude to each songwriter who has entered our songwriting contests. Your craft is special to us and your music is enriching and enlightening. John Hartford would be honored to know how his music has inspired you and us.

Check back soon to listen to the top ten playlist and to read an interview with Barker. Be sure to watch the top 5, live on Friday, at the Hartford Stage, along with last year’s winner, Will Kimble! In the meantime, please visit our website contest pages, select Songwriter’s Challenge, and you’ll find our 2018 Top Ten playlist, and subsequent playlists all the way back to our very first event! Since its inception, we have listened to hundreds of John Hartford inspired songs and our playlist is now up to 80! Here’s how the top 10 played out:

1st- Barker Thompson of St. Loius, MO. Banjo Clown
2nd- Derek Kretzer of Bluemont, VA. Man In A Hat
3rd- Jim Boose of LeCompton, KS. If I Could Sing Like John Hartford
4th- Eric Davis of Middletown, IL. Predawn Glow
5th- Robert Thatcher of Signal Mt. TN, and Tom Brown of Dalton, GA. The Day the Julia Belle Came to Town
6th- Mace Hathaway of McClelland,  IA. If I Had My Way
7th- Beth Nelson of Olathe, KS. Steamboat Blow That Whistle High
8th- Scott Randle of St. Louis, MO. Oh How The River Has Changed
9th- Miriam Allen of Asheville, NC. I Would Not Be Here Blues
10th- James Lee Tarbet  of Imperial, MO. Lost Heroes
Updates at the Bill Monroe Music Park:
New Shower _ Restroom Complex
New Shower and Restroom Complex

Raise your hands, wiggle in the middle and stomp your feet because we have a reason to celebrate! The Voils family (who recently purchased the festival grounds) have made many facility updates to the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground. Check out this recent photo of the progress being made on the new shower and restroom facility. Stay tuned as more updates are planned for the very near future.

The JHMF Volunteer Jug Band:
JHMF Volunteer Jug Band
Just who is the Volunteer Jug Band? For the last several years you’ve seen and heard the Volunteer Jug Band as the entertainment for the Opening Ceremony. Unlike most festivals, we are a mission oriented event, in that we are not only honoring a ground-breaking and trend setting artist in the late John Hartford, but we are also continuing a legacy, so our opening ceremony is an official reminder that we are going to do just that. Held on Wednesday around 4:10PM ET on the Hartford Stage, we kick off with Katie Harford Hogue, giving her time to express her words of welcome and contemplative thoughts about our gathering in honor of her father and our Grand Master of Ceremonies, Hondo Thompson, will recite “I Reckon” from the album, John Hartford Looks At Life.
For the last several years, Ernie Hill, Danny “Hootenanny” Clark and Jon Griffin, along with Tom Burkhart on the Jug, have performed a medley of “The Star Spangled Banner and Wolves A Howlin”, the latter being a traditional hill song made popular by John Hartford. After that the JHMF Volunteer Jug Band joins in a John Hartford Song and invites the audience to sing along with “Hey Babe, Wanna Boogie”. Folks, the above mentioned musicians are part of the band along with festival creator John Hotze, artist relations coordinator Randy Kilper, festival volunteer recruiter and grounds supervisor Bob Riley, special ops Chris Pin and the man who literally brings music to your ears, soundman Dan Bent. We’ll also be joined onstage with some of our spouses, Patti Hill, Clare Burkhart, Terry Riley, Cheryl Kilper and Leslie Pin.
We do not practice and we do not apologize. What we do is join together to culminate a year of planning, booking, recruiting, writing, fussing, yelling and loving each other, all in about five minutes on the stage as a sigh of relief and realization of another year of bringing you a great event! This year we have invited a special little fellow and festival friend, Nolan Strupeck to join us as he performs, “In Tall Buildings”. Please come on in early and help us kick this thing into high gear, we’ll help you settle on down into laid back.
Visit The Bean Blossom Bluegrass Museum:
These shoes were recently found by the new owners (The Voils Family) of the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground! Hopefully they’ll be on display for the 9th annual John Hartford Memorial Festival. Don’t forget, your pass gets you free access to the Bluegrass Museum in Bean Blossom. Uncle Pen’s cabin is also on display and will be the location of the Pete Wernick Jam Camp taught by Jeff Burke. Itchin’ to pick? Click here to sign up for the jam class.
See You May 29 – June 1, 2019:
Where in the world can you go to sit back, relax, leave your worries at the gate, enjoy the campground atmosphere and listen to or participate in campfire jamming?  Where can you go to experience the most exciting, thoroughly entertaining bunch of pickers and singers ever assembled in the most laid back atmosphere in the country? Join us May 29 – June 1, in Bean Blossom, Indiana at the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground for the 9th annual John Hartford Memorial Festival, “The Most Laid Back Festival in America!” That’s where it all takes place.

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