The sounds of American root music will rise from the 12th annual Bluegrass from the Forest festival when it opens Friday (May 13).
Nearly a dozen bands will perform during the three-day event, including headliners Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, as well as Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley.
“Each year we have at least two nationally acclaimed bands and several top regional bands,” said Greg Linder, festival coordinator.
“The music ranges from solid traditional to a bit out-of-the-box. Many of the bands have won or been nominated for Grammys and also received IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) awards,” he added.
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Linder said he attends a national trade show, plus regional festivals, during the year, scouting bands for the Shelton event.
“Our goal is to bring to light the world class musicianship that abounds in the bluegrass genre and draw more people into the world of bluegrass,” he said.
The festival also includes master workshops, a youth academy (they play on the main stage Sunday), food and craft vendors, jam sessions, camping and hot dogs at midnight.
The three-day festival typically attracts about 2,000 people, Linder said.
Award-winning bluegrass: Having started playing at age 4, Michael Cleveland is an 11-time bluegrass association Fiddle Player of the Year. His band, Flamekeeper, is a four-time association Instrumental Band of the Year award winner.
Ickes and Hensley: Hensley first appeared on the Grand Old Opry at age 11. He has since performed with Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, The Oak Ridge Boys and Janie Fricke. Ickes has been named Bluegrass Dobro Player of the Year 15 times. Their album, “Before the Sun Goes Down,” was nominated for a Grammy earlier this year.
Other performers: Also on the schedule are The North Country Bluegrass Band from Seattle, South Sound-based Runaway Train (including Linder) and Green Mountain Bluegrass Band from Eugene, Oregon.
The cause: Any profits from the event go to community projects via the Kristmas Town Kiwanis.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640
Bluegrass from the Forest
When: Friday (May 13)-Sunday.
Where: Shelton Performing Arts Center and High School campus, 3737 N. Shelton Springs Road, Shelton.
Tickets: $15 for Friday evening, Saturday afternoon or Saturday evening, and Sunday; $25 for all-day Saturday; $35 for a weekend pass. Children ages 12-17 get in for half price,s and children 11 and younger get in free with an adult. Tickets are available at Shelton Pro Build, Tuppers Floors, Olsen Furniture, Heritage Bank (Shelton), Music 6000 (Olympia), Mitchell’s Lumber (Belfair) and the Shelton/Mason County Chamber of Commerce. Online orders held at will call.