Hundreds gathered this past weekend at Baltimore’s own Druid Lake Park to celebrate the seventh annual Charm City Bluegrass Festival. Celebrating one of the lesser known genres in the contemporary music scene, the event served as more than a simple concert on the city’s west side. Rather, the festival allowed fans to experience some of their favorite bands alongside plenty of fans that shared the same passion as them.
Despite the rain on the first day, concertgoers covered the field with blankets and lawn chairs as they sat back and basked in the sun as bands took their turn performing their sets on the mainstage. Closer to the front, the most eager fans stood in a pit, many with ice cold craft beers in their hand as they let they the sweet melody of bluegrass set the tone for their Saturday afternoon.
Acts such as Deer Tick, Steep Canyon Rangers and Baltimore’s very own The Bridge, who performed in front of a passionate hometown crowd that gave them a warm welcome as they took the stage. These bands, along with many others on the bill showcased their own style of Bluegrass, giving each band unique qualities within their music that showed the hidden depth of the genre and the creative ability of the artists performing. The music continued steadily throughout the day as various medleys of banjos, fiddles, mandolins and guitars strum melodically to the accompaniment of classic bluegrass lyrics that made listeners reminisce of their most memorable summer nights.
Playing just as much of a role in the festival were the vendors, who populated a camp of tents across the festival grounds with delicious food and unique items for sale. Bubble wands, handmade clothes and kayaks sat on display as wandering visitors browsed the wide variety of gadgets for them to choose from. Meanwhile, local breweries and food trucks maintained steady lines of customers thanks in part to a mouth-watering aroma that came from their kitchen and wafted into the crowd. Needless to say, the festival was rich in culture from all aspects that created for an atmosphere of good vibes and pleasant music.
The considerable number of families and their kids was a positive sight, as there were excited children running all over the festival grounds. Seeing the younger generation take interest in a classic genre such as bluegrass was refreshing during a time where the digital world reigns supreme in influencing the musical interests of the youth.
The attendance, performances, and the overall atmosphere was a joy to be a part of and proved why Baltimore holds the Charm City Bluegrass festival annually. Whether you are new to the genre or an avid listener, the experience of this year’s festival was nothing short of delightful and should certainly be a priority for local music fans to visit when it makes its return next year.