Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First Susanville Bluegrass Festival

Well, the first annual Susanville Bluegrass Festival is in the books. After several years of helping put on events in various locations, and dealing with committees (yuck), I decided to put on my very own bluegrass festival. It was over a year in the making and finally, this last weekend, it occured! Normally, it will take 3-4 years for a new festival to break even on the costs. However, with only two bills left to pay, it appears that we may actually hvae made a few dollars on this brand new event. That's saying a lot since we started with only $400 TOTAL in sponsorship money. What a great time we had. Yeah, it was a lot of work, and there were a few glitches along the way, but over-all it went very well. We've got a whole list of improvments we're going to implement for next year that will make it even better.
There was quite a lot of camping area for both RV's and tents. Some had grass, and some did not.

Some of the camping area was very well shaded. If we grow large enough, this area has the potential to become the stage area.

Here's a great RV area the fairground manager let us use at the last minute. It worked out really well.

Here's a great RV area. No grass, but good power and water.

One of the first things you need to line up is a good sound man. I choose John Senior Sound because they are the best in the business. Sound will make or break you.

Here's John's sound techs.

The audience area is shaded all day!

A view of the stage. I like that it's permenant: no set up, no tear down.

Here's the Anderson Family girls singing away. They were the belles of the ball for sure.

California Borderline, a band from the Paradise and Chico area.

There was a TON of great jamming each night after the shows and before the festival started. On Friday and Saturday there was still parking lot picking going on at 4AM.

A HUGE hit at the festival was the quilter's room. I secured a room near the stage where folks could set up their quilting and sewing operations and do their thing for the entire week. The ladies LOVED it. This is the only bluegrass festival around where they get this type of thing set up for them. It was great.

They really liked the idea of being able to set things up and leave it there for several days. I think I made a lot of friends by doing this.

All in all it was a great time and there's been a very positive response. It's gonna happen again next year on the weekend right after Father's Day!


  1. Way to go. Looks like it was well attended indeed. Glad you had a great time putting this together. I'm sure you are already working on next years event.

    Have a terrific day. :)

  2. wow, i thought bluegrass was an Appalachian Mountain thing.

  3. Awesome bro. I'll give you a call to hear about the details. Congrats on breaking even on year one. That's pretty impressive.

  4. Great story and photos..a real labor of love it appears.