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Festival History

/Festival History
Festival History 2016-11-30T10:16:09+00:00

The Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music was founded in 1971 as a nonprofit, all volunteer, tax-exempt organization. Its purpose was, and remains, “to present and promote traditional American folk music”. Our first concert was with Ralph Stanley in January 1971.

Ralph and Bill Monroe asked us later that year if we would host the first bluegrass festival in the northeast United States. Thus was born the Delaware Bluegrass Festival on Labor Day Weekend 1972. That festival has become one of the nation’s premier Bluegrass events and continues until this day. Originally held in Bear, Delaware, the festival remained there until its move to the Salem County Fairgrounds near Woodstown, New Jersey in 1990.

Twenty-some years ago and still going strong! If you were there, and you see your rig, let us know!

Twenty-some years ago and still going strong! If you were there, and you see your rig, let us know!

Our primary interest has always been southern Appalachian old-time and bluegrass and related music styles. So in 1974 we presented the first year of the Brandywine Mountain Music Convention. That festival became legendary in old-time music circles and introduced a generation or two of musicians to the power and beauty of old-time music. The last year of Brandywine was on its 20th anniversary in 1993.

In addition, the Brandywine Friends of Old Time music has presented, and continues to present, a multitude of concerts over the years featuring a wide variety of what would now be termed “roots” musicians. Our interest has peppered our lineups in all our endeavors over the years with compatible music forms like Cajun, Canadian, blues and traditional country acts.