The 25th Annual Madison County Arts Council’s (MCAC’s) Bluff Mountain Festival will be held virtually on Saturday, June 12. MCAC was set to present the festival’s 25th anniversary last year, but it was cancelled because of the pandemic along with The Fiddlers of Madison County fundraiser and all other in-person programming. The council has merged the Bluff Mountain Festival with The Fiddlers of Madison County show for a high-quality virtual event. “These two events are both establishments in the traditional music community,” says festival director Brandon Johnson. “We all hurt at their loss because they’re occasions to play music, but they’re also occasions to gather with dear friends.”
Madison County native and musician Josh Goforth will produce the event and MCAC staff has provided support with sound equipment, booking the bands, organizing locations and acquiring other existing content to complement the virtual performances. Seven acts have been taped in two locations. The line-up includes The Jackhammers with Jake and Sarah Owen, David Holt and Goforth, White Rock Revival, Whitewater Bluegrass Company, Donna Ray Norton, Rhiannon & the Relics, Crooked Pine, Stoney Creek Boys and Betty Smith. In addition to the performances, there will be three videos highlighting Madison County, a trailer for the documentary Four Master Fiddlers and some footage of the Cole Mountain Cloggers and the Green Grass Cloggers from former festivals.
The show will run on MCAC’s Facebook page at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. It will be presented “live” and the audience will be able to donate electronically to MCAC. The show will also be streamed at 2 p.m. on YouTube, where it will remain permanently available. “The virtual festival could never be better than the in-person festival,” says Johnson. “However, virtual allows us to mix past and present performances. I’m really happy that we can share music from some of our friends that have passed on in the same program that features freshly recorded material. Bluff has become an institution that people build their calendars around and this festival is a testament to the resolve of a community.”
For more information or to donate, visit MadisonCountyArts.com/bluff-mountain-festival or call 828.649.1301.