Ricky Skaggs to perform at the 2016 Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival

Bluegrass musician Ricky Skaggs performs at a rally for  Mitt Romney

Bluegrass musician Ricky Skaggs performs at a rally for Mitt Romney

The 45th annual Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival returns to the Salem County Fairgrounds Sept 2-4, 2016.

It’s a big deal for bluegrass fans. Just this week, the festival received an “Event of the Year” nomination by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

A total of 23 acts will perform at the three-day event, including some of the genre’s top musicians, such as Seldom Scene, Ricky Skaggs, Claire Lynch and the Grammy award-winning Steep Canyon Rangers.

In addition to his show with Kentucky Thunder, Skaggs will lead a tribute to the recently departed bluegrass legend the late Dr. Ralph Stanley, who helped the festival get its start back in 1972.

Jamming all weekend long with other bluegrass enthusiasts is another key component of the fun.

Even novice pickers can get in on the jam party with the return of Jam Central Station, a place dedicated to beginners who want to meet up.

Heidi Olson will also be back to host the Wernick Method Jam Class from 10 a.m. until noon each day of the festival. Tickets must be bought separately from festival admission and cost $75 ($70 in advance) for the entire series or $30 for a single class.

Attendees just looking to kick up their heels can join the clogging workshops on Friday and Saturday at 3 p.m.

The festival is family-friendly, so bring the kiddos. A children’s stage will have live entertainment all afternoon on Friday and Saturday.

Young musicians can enroll in the Kids Academy for five sessions of two-hour long music instruction for fiddle, mandolin, banjo, resonator guitar and bass. Lessons are open to kids ages 6 to 18-years and cost $25.

Weekend-long passes cost $110 for adults, $95 for seniors and $60 for students, ages 12 to 16 years ($99, $86 and $55 respectively, if purchased in advance). Single day tickets are also available. Children under age 12 can enter for free. Tickets can be bought online here.

Weekend ticket holders are entitled to camp on the festival grounds for free.

Though leashed dogs may attend, you’ll probably want to leave Fido at home. With the exception of service animals, dogs are not permitted in the concert or food areas. Even in the camping area, they must be leashed at all times or crated. There is also a very strict two-complaints-and-you’re-out barking policy.

Friday, Sept. 2, and Saturday, Sept. 3, 1 p.m. to midnight; Sunday, Sept., 4, 11 a.m to 7 p.m. – 725 Rte. 40, Pilesgrove Twp., NJ.

Mainstage schedule

FRIDAY Sept 2, 2016

12:00 – 12:45 Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass12:55 – 1:40 Uncle Earl Reunion1:50 – 2:35  Audie Blaylock & Redline2:45 – 3:30. Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen3:40 – 4:40 Malpass Brothers

4:40 Dinner Break5:30 – 6:20 Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass6:30 – 7:20: Uncle Earl Reunion7:30 – 8:20 Audie Blaylock & Redline8:30 – 9:20  Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen9:30 – 11:00 Steep Canyon Rangers


SATURDAY Sept 3, 2016

12:00 – 12:45 Kruger Bros.12:55 – 1:40 Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur1:50 –  2:35 Sister Sadie2:45 – 3:30 Boxcars3:40 – 4:25 Claire Lynch Band

4:25  Dinner Break5:30 – 6:10 Kruger Brothers6:20 – 7:00 Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur7:10 – 7:50 Sister Sadie8:00 – 8:40 Boxcars8:50 – 9:35 Claire Lynch Band9:45 – 10:15 Tribute to Ralph Stanley with Ricky Skaggs and Special Guests10:15 – 11:15 Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder


SUNDAY Sept 4, 2016

11:00  CabGrass (from the Cab Calloway School of the Arts)11:30  Kid’s Academy Showcase12:00 – 12:50 Chris Henry and Hard Core Bluegrass1:00 – 1:50  Charm City Junction2:00 – 2:50  Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass3:00 – 3:50 Mike Compton and Joe Newberry4:00 – 4:50 Kathy Kallick Band5:00 – 6:00 Seldom Scene

2015 Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival photos

2014 Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival photos

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