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.

DelFest
Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
Merlefest
High Water festival
Mardi Gras Texas Style
Winter Wonder Grass Series
Moonrunners Music Festival

Brown County Cabins
Comfort Inn
Abbey Inn
Creekside Retreat
Always Inn

Ticket & Initial Lineup Announcement Nov. 26:
Save The Date! Join us May 29 – June 1, 2019 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”. Ticket sales and the lineup announcement will take place on Monday, November 26. Just like years past, we will announce the lineup, and offer tickets, first to those on our email list. There will be a ticket cap. We listened to your feedback and will continue to limit the amount of multi-day tickets sold to just 2,000 Full-Festival Tickets. We want to make sure that you continue to have ample wiggle room.
Bill Monroe Music Park Under New Ownership:
The Bill Monroe Music Park and Campground is under new ownership. The iconic site was recently purchased by Rex & Ben Voils. The Voils family has deep roots in the local community and they’ve already started new construction projects on the grounds! This family knows and respects the culture and lore associated with the hallowed grounds.
We’re delighted to share with y’all that new restrooms and showers are being installed on the property. In a recent interview with Bluegrass Today the Voils were quoted as saying “Ground has already been broken on new restrooms and showers and electrical upgrades are on the way…” Read more about this in an article by John Lawless at Bluegrass Today.
Festival Contests Update:
Both the JHMF Songwriter’s Challenge and the 3rd annual John Hartford Memorial Band Contest will begin accepting entries at 12:01 AM ET on January 1, 2019.
Last year’s band contest winner, Barbaro, is officially our first booked band for JHMF9. That’s one of the prizes, the band contest winner receives $1,000 and a contract for Hartford Stage slot for the following year. Click here to see Barbaro’s preliminary performance on the Hippie Hill Stage at JHMF8. Don’t forget the band contests will begin accepting submissions on Jan 1, 2019.  Learn about the band contest by clicking here. We do consider our contestants for booking, and we have booked many of them, whether they won or not!  Grab your instrument, string up, tune up, and come on, let’s pick. 1st Place Prize: $1000, 2nd Place: $500, 3rd Place: $300, 4th Place: $200.
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.

 

Tickets Now On Sale:
See below for special E-Blast password.
Tickets are now on sale and today we released the first tier of 500, Discounted 4-Day Early Bird tickets. We suggest you get ’em now before they sell out and then the price increases. This tier of tickets has sold out quickly the past three years. Our ticket prices are structured to give a break to the first 500 sold. Once a tier sells out ticket prices increase to the next tier.  Get ’em now you Hartford Head!
From now until Monday, November 26 at 4:20am ET, you will need a password to buy a 4-Day Early Bird Ticket.
  • Your password is jhmf9 the password is all lowercase and no spaces.
  • Once you get to our Brown Paper Ticket Page select the hyperlink that says “Enter a Password or Discount Code
  • Enter the password and select the “jhmf9 4 Day Full Fest Ticket” option.
  • Remember, the password is jhmf9 all lowercase and no spaces. Click Here to buy tickets.
There Is A Ticket Cap:
We listened to your feedback and will continue to limit the amount of multi-day tickets sold to just 2,000 Full-Festival Tickets. We want to make sure that you continue to have ample wiggle room. Single day tickets will go on sale at a later date.
Camping Information:
The campground and the facilities are maintained and operated by The Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground.

We strongly urge you to make plans and reserve your camping spot with hookups now. If you’d rather not RSVP a spot with hookups, primitive 3-Day and 4-Day camping passes are available on our ticketing page. 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. Click Here for the site map and camping information.

Farewell to Dave Versch of Dancin’ Dave’s:

Dancin’ Dave’s Festival Camping has been providing accommodations for festival goers since 1998. David had been attending music festivals since long before then, where he earned his nickname by two-stepping. It was from his love of music festivals and encouragement from friends that Dancin’ Dave’s Festival Camping was born. Dancin’ Dave’s and crew have been our festival friends, providing camping accommodations at JHMF for several years. Dave passed away on October 26, 2018. He will forever be missed and loved by so many.

A few years back, Dancin’ Dave’s co-worker and friend, Susan Byer took the reins as sole proprietor of Dancin’ Dave’s Festival Camping. Susan has been working and dancing with Dave since 2009 when they met on a festival dance floor. If you would like to know more about Dave’s history of adventures check out his blog here.

Susan of Dancin’ Dave’s will be at JHMF9 and you can RSVP your camp site with them.
Contests open Jan 1, 2019:
Both our contests kick off New Year’s Day!  Bands, Songwriters, get your act together, visit the web site and enter to win JHMF exposure, $$$ and bragging rights.
Our 2019 JHMF Band Competition Prizes are:
1st Place $1000, a Hartford main stage slot at the 2020 John Hartford Memorial Festival and reimbursement of primitive camping fees paid to the park.
2nd Place $500
3rd Place $300
4th place $200
Our John Hartford Song Challenge Prizes are:
1st Place $200, two full fest tickets, Song Challenge Showcase performance on the Hartford Stage, an invitation to return for our 2020 Song Challenge Showcase and more.
2nd Place $100, one full fest ticket and Hartford Stage Showcase performance.
3rd Place $50, one full fest ticket and Hartford Stage Showcase performance.
4th & 5th Places one full fest ticket each and Hartford Stage Showcase performance.
More prizes to be announced later. All of our contest entries are considered for booking. We pride ourselves in booking past contestants.
Check The Web Site:
Be sure to check in often athartfordfest.com to stay abreast of the latest fest info including early bird ticket sales, lineup releases, new festival recap videos, photos, contest playlists, artist bios, news and the Morning Bugle Blog.
Our most recent blog post features a very familiar JHMF face and staff member, the multi-talented, Scott Nelson! Read all about Scott and his involvement with JHMF and Flatland Harmony Experiment AND check out his brand new stop motion animated video based on his JHMF award winning song “Joanne Revisited”, using Scott’s handcrafted sets and beyond cool puppets. Watch this outstanding art video now on YouTube.
Christmas time is near! Pick up the new “John Hartford’s Mammoth Collection Of Fiddle Tunes via the fine folks at the official John HartfordWeb Site. 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.
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.

 

 

Words from the Festival Organizers:

When asked about the festival he founded John Hotze said “The mood I hope to achieve at the Hartford fest is a party mood. A mood of having lots of fun. I think that’s what John would like. He would be all over the campground picking and jamming all night long. I would like to see the jammers get up and dance to the Jamgrass and others to get up and flatfoot when some good fiddlin’ goes down. I’d like to hear lots of laughter. I never started this venture for money. I would be very happy to let it just sustain itself both to honor John and provide a venue for more performers. My vision is to narrow the scope of the festival to be Hartford centered, that is booking bands & entertainers that have been greatly influenced by John and entertainers that also cover John’s songs.” – John Hotze To read more about Hotze click here.

Festival producer Tom Burkhart said “At JHMF we treat everyone the same and will never have any audience areas reserved for VIP because we feel that everyone attending is very important. Much of our motivation comes straight from a line in the John Hartford song, Josephs Dream. Just when you think it can’t get no better then it does”. – Tom Burkhart

Camping Information:
The campground and the facilities are maintained and operated by The Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground.

We strongly urge you to make plans and reserve your camping spot with hookups now. If you’d rather not RSVP a spot with hookups, primitive 3-Day and 4-Day camping passes are available on our ticketing page. 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. Click Here for the site map and camping information.

Contests open Jan 1, 2019:
Both of our contests will open up for submissions on Jan 1. Bands and Songwriters get your acts together, visit the web site and enter to win cash prizes, JHMF exposure and bragging rights.
Congratulation to Barbaro from Winoma, MN, for winning our 2nd annual Band Contest. Barbaro was officially the First Band Booked for 2019.
Our 2019 JHMF Band Competition Prizes are:
1st Place $1000, a Hartford main stage slot at the 2020 John Hartford Memorial Festival and reimbursement of primitive camping fees paid to the park.
2nd Place $500
3rd Place $300
4th place $200
Registration for the band contest will remain open until Thursday, February 28. Qualifying bands will be narrowed down to 12 competing bands. Click here to read the rules and enter the Band Competition.
Congratulation to Will Kimble from Cincinnati, OH, for winning last years Songwriters Challenge.
Our John Hartford Song Challenge Prizes are:
1st Place $200, two full fest tickets, Song Challenge Showcase performance on the Hartford Stage, an invitation to return for our 2020 Song Challenge Showcase and more.
2nd Place $100, one full fest ticket and Hartford Stage Showcase performance.
3rd Place $50, one full fest ticket and Hartford Stage Showcase performance.
4th & 5th Places one full fest ticket each and Hartford Stage Showcase performance.
Contest Deadline for Songwriting is Sunday, March 31st, 2019 or when we reach 35 entries. Click here to read the rules and enter the Song Challenge.
More prizes to be announced later. All of our contest entries are considered for booking. We pride ourselves in booking past contestants.
Vince Herman – Artist At Large:
A few years ago, we introduced an “Artist at Large” program meaning that we book an artist whose gig is to pop up here and there and guest in our featured artist’s sets. This year our Artist at Large is none other than JHMF favorite and festival friend, Vince Herman.
In addition to being an Artist at Large he will also rock the main stage with a set on Saturday billed as Vince Herman and Friends!
Best known for being one of the founding members of Leftover Salmon, Vince Herman is a cosmic creative entity in the singer/songwriter world. Vince is also a mighty fine picker having recorded 11 albums. Leftover Salmon started in 1989 and became more and more popular over the sixteen years that followed. Herman also formed Great American Taxi, who released their debut album in 2007. We love Vince Herman’s realness. Vince is well known for his sincere friendliness. In addition to playing on stage you can bet Vince will be all over the campground jamming. How will you find him? Just look for the largest gathering in the campground and you will see Vince, with a grin as big as his personality, right in the center, picking and singing!
All Hartford Sets:
All Hartfod Sets at JHMF8:
In keeping with our legacy and mission to direct awareness to our namesake, John Hartford, we will once again open the main stage every day with 100% all Hartford sets. Join your friends at the main stage each day for kickoff sets featuring The Mighty Pines,Flatland Harmony Experiment, The Matchsellers, and Chris Dollar.
The Opening Ceremony With Nolan Strupeck:

Who is this young man and why is he featured here? If you are a JHMF veteran, you’ve surely seen little Nolan Strupeck at one time or another, standing right up front, center stage with either his banjo or fiddle. Nolan is two months older than our festival, and will turn 9 in March. He attends with his folks Ben and Kristy, and now with new little sister, Juni. They hail from LaPorte, IN.

Last year, thanks to emcee Kurt Hubbard and JHMF favs, New Old Cavalry, Nolan sang a song to open the N.O.C. set at the Boogie Stage. Nolan’s Dad, Ben, told me, “We discovered Nolan’s interest in music at the John Hartford Memorial Festival, at the tender age of 2, as a matter of fact! We were camped on Rude Dog Hill when he heard a neighboring band practicing and he started playing our tent string like a stand-up base. It was wild. This was JHMF2, our first year, and we have not missed a year since. We found him his beloved Dixie banjo uke immediately after that festival. The following year in 2013, Kelly Wells and Ryan Spearman mailed Nolan his very first fiddle. He’s outgrown his first fiddle and his first little banjo, and continues to enjoy playing both instruments, plus more! He can pick a few tunes on a mandolin and also plays piano by ear.” Nolan has been traveling to many festivals with his folks, soaking it all in. It was a special Valentine’s Day song to his mom, posted on FB, that stole my heart. Nolan sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, a’cappella, decked out in a suit, holding a huge bouquet of flowers.

Folks, I help plan our Opening Ceremony, held on the Hartford Stage on Wednesday, Festival week, to kick off the fest. Each year Katie Harford Hogue leads us in prayer and opening comments, we perform the Star-Spangled Banner medlied with “Wolves A Howlin”, and our Grand Master of Ceremonies, Hondo Thompson, recites John Hartford’s “I Reckon” followed by our core planning group, “The Volunteer Jug Band”, performing a John Hartford song, all in fun. Always searching for something new, I wondered if Nolan might want to help us out as a JHMF9 Honorary Jug Band member. I could see and hear him singing this particular touching and special John Hartford song. I messaged his folks with my idea and his mom, Kristi, told me that Nolan’s New Year’s resolution was to “increase his stage activity”. It was Karma. Please join us for the opening ceremony on Wednesday, May 29th, at 4:10 pm, on the Hartford Stage and you can hear Nolan Strupeck sing “In Tall Buildings”. “I play music because it makes me feel good and I do it for smiles most of all. I love playing up on stage, it is so much fun! I go to a lot of music festivals and the John Hartford Memorial Festival is my favorite. John Hartford inspires me to dance and play music and I want to be just like him.” -Nolan Strupeck.

Bring Kleenex, or opt to just tilt your head and water the ground with your happy tears… -Ernie Hill
Final Notes:
Our mission is to continue the legacy of John Hartford, The Father of Newgrass. Our lineup will always feature a genre busting mix of musical styles reflected in the long discography of John Hartford. You should expect everything from deep thoughtful songwriting to whimsical fun stuff, from Bluegrass to Jamgrass, Stringband to well… the sky is the limit! We encourage you to visit our festival website and read all about John Hartford. You can also visit the Official Hartford Family site at johnhartford.com and peruse the largest selection of John Hartford music and merch anywhere. We have been and shall remain, John Hartford centered. This was and is the vision of our founder, John Hotze.
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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