BY BARB BERGGOETZ
The atmosphere is laid back and festive. Blues music played by nationally touring acts flows from two main stages. Local bands, sprinkled throughout the 55-acre campgrounds, jam into the wee morning hours.
This is the Bean Blossom Blues Fest. The 18th annual event, August 25–27, is expected to draw 2,500–3,000 fans to Bill Monroe Music Park and Campground, five miles north of Nashville, Indiana. There’s nothing quite like it, says owner and organizer Grant Stuart.
“It’s a very intimate setting, to be up close and personal with national touring musicians,” says Stuart, owner of four Nashville shops, who took over event operations in 2014. “You don’t usually get a chance to meet and greet them personally at other venues.”
Since its inception, families, friends, and blues lovers of all ages have been gathering to hear well-known and new performers — and do some jamming of their own.
“Our festival is a big event for jammers,” explains Stuart. “A lot of people come here and meet their friends and perform together.”
Stuart says you’ll find local bands and musicians at multiple jam sites. “A number of local bands take that night off and play,” he says. “It’s a pretty professional jam.”
Festival guests can use campsites and 300 recreational vehicle sites. There are also free hotel shuttles provided to Nashville hotels, with discounted rates starting at $60.
“We’re a good venue to discover the blues and the up-and-coming blues players,” Stuart notes. “We pride ourselves in discovering talent.”
This year’s performers are Jeff Jensen, an American blues artist from Tennessee; Matt Tedder, The Voice TV contestant and guitarist from Texas; Ghost Town Blues Band from Tennessee; Carolyn Wonderland, a blues singer-songwriter from Texas; Tad Robinson, a singer-songwriter and harmonica player from Greencastle, Indiana; England’s Jack Broadbent, a blues slide guitar player and singer; Moreland & Arbuckle, an American electric blues/roots rock trio and harmonica players from Kansas; Elvin Bishop, a blues and rock musician from Oklahoma; and Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots from Tennessee.
For more information and tickets, visit beanblossomblues.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the gate.