DelFest is held at the beautiful Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD (2.5 hrs from Baltimore and DC). The festival originated from the desire to create a family-friendly music festival celebrating the rich legacy of McCoury Music while creating a forum for world-class musical collaborations and to showcase fresh new talent with a down-home feeling. Produced in association with High Sierra Music, the 11th Annual DelFest will again offer a quality festival experience stamped with the unique McCoury touch.
Personally chosen by Del, the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD served as the perfect location for DelFest–nestled along the Potomac River in the scenic Appalachian Mountains, the Fairgrounds are convenient to four major airports and easily reached by rail or road. The city of Cumberland is also a great host offering multiple hotel options, a charming downtown and great amenities including biking, a steam train engine and museum, and some top notch dining.
In addition to traditional stage sets by these world-class artists, attendees can again expect to see one-of-a-kind collaborations, special guest sit-ins, various tributes to Del McCoury and his musical legacy, intimate appearances, both at unique “playshops” — informal workshops where the emphasis will be on performance rather than instruction — and in late night indoor performances and picking sessions. Delfest will be immediately preceded by a 3-day Music Academy hosted by The Travelin’ McCourys and other all star players.
DelFest kicked off its 11th annual musical gathering today (Thursday, May 24th), tucked away in the beautiful Allegany mountains of Cumberland, Maryland. Festivities kicked off at 4 p.m., welcoming attendees with a personal, open soundcheck by Del McCoury himself. The day continued with sunshine and upbeat, funky West Coast collective the California Honeydrops.
Powerhouse and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens followed after, with chilling renditions from classics like Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton, to name a few. As night fell, festival goers were captivated by a magical illustration of Del laughing, projected onto the rock face of the the festival’s natural cliff border.
The Infamous Stringdusters were greeted with a massive crowd and were later joined by Ronnie McCoury and Cody Kilby for the Bob Dylan standard, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” to celebrate Dylan’s birthday. Opening night continued into the wee hours with late-night sets from rising progressive bluegrass band The Lil Smokies and Portland-based rock-roots fusion Fruition.
Other notable daytime performances included Heaven McCoury’s band (Ronnie’s son) The Broomestix, West Coast Americana mavens The Brothers Comatose, and The Dawg Trio, comprised of David Grisman, son Sam Grisman, and banjo phenom Danny Barnes.
Per usual, Del and the boys took requests from the crowd with songs from the new record mixed in — including the Shawn Camp-penned “Hot Wired”, the band joined by Heaven McCoury (electric guitar), making for three generations of McCourys on the same stage. Greensky Bluegrass kept the crowd rowdy with their unique Michigan-bred brand of bluegrass, inviting Jon Stickley on stage, as well as a larger-than-life wearable cardboard art installation of Del himself.
DelFest continued its 11th annual musical gathering today (Sunday, May 26th), tucked away in beautiful Cumberland, Maryland. Festival-goers enjoyed exceptional performances on the Grandstand Stage beginning with The Broomestix’s “Gospel Warm Up”, followed by Dre & The Gospel Collective. Mandolin phenom and fan favorite Sierra Hull took to the main stage at 1:30 p.m. and after a short weather delay, Billy Strings, as expected, had the crowd up and dancing.
The Wood Brothers, backed by a picturesque sunset, played songs from their new record and favorites from past releases — closing with a rowdy rendition of “Ophelia”. The Del McCoury Band took the stage for the final time this weekend at 8 p.m., followed by an epic festival close-out set from Delfest veterans Old Crow Medicine Show in which the Grand Ole Opry mic stand was ushered out, Del joining the boys for a moving “Lost Highway”.
Fans quickly made their way to The Music Hall for late night sets by Horseshoes & Hand Grenades and The Travelin’ McCourys.