Since the late ‘50s, Del McCoury has been an icon of bluegrass music. Almost 20 years ago, a special thing happened- McCoury found himself on a stage with Phish, putting on an amazing collaboration for excited fans. In that amazing moment, an idea was born: Delfest.
Located only an hour away from Morgantown in the small town of Cumberland, Maryland, Delfest has become one of the most popular bluegrass festivals in the nation. Although it is a smaller festival, the quality of the music and art creates an intimate setting for musicians of all kinds to come and collaborate together.
Starting in 2008, Delfest has done nothing but grow. Partnered with Stan Strickland, from Rainmaker Music Management, and Roy Carter, from High Sierra Music, McCoury and his family have dedicated much of their lives to making Delfest an extension of their home.
This year’s festival will feature headliners such as The Tavelin’ McCourys, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, Sam Bush Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Wood Brothers, The Infamous Stringdusters, Keller Williams and more.
The festival is located at the Allegany County Fairgrounds. Nestled next to the North Branch of the Potomac River and a lush mountain ridge, the campsite is serene and peaceful. Delfest offers two stages for optimal entertainment. The main stage, or the Grandstand Stage, is for bigger guests, whereas the Potomac Stage is perfect for a small, more intimate, artist.
Dave Williams, President of McClarran & WIlliams advertising firm, has worked with McCoury for years and has gotten to know him well.
“Delfest is a very, very unique event because it is based around the flexible and broad music of Del McCoury,” Williams said. “If he isn’t the father of blue grass, he was certainly in the room when he was born.”
Although Delfest is the event, Del McCoury is the attraction. More than 10,000 people come from all over the country just to be part of his “family” for the weekend.
“Delfest continues to broaden horizons and make it a unique experience,” William said. “If you attend Delfest, you’ll see Del running around in his golf cart. They really take it personally that you are their guests.”
With a big heart and an even bigger smile, McCoury has helped the local community more than words can express. In the past nine years, McCoury and his family have started the Delfest Academy, a week long music program, and the Delfest Foundation, a charity which gives back to the local community.
Not only does McCoury love Cumberland, but Cumberland loves him. In the past nine years, McCoury has done amazing things for the small town and Appalachia in general. In fact, more than 1,000 residents fought for Delfest to stay in town. McCoury has never forgotten this local support and continues to give back.
“He’s a national treasure. Del has always been thinking outside of bluegrass,” Williams said. “If you come to the festival, you get to see the way they view the world, and we’re just fortunate to be at the party.”
The ninth annual Delfest will kick off on May 26 at the Allegany Fairgrounds in Cumberland, Maryland.
For more information about Delfest or to buy tickets, visit http://delfest.com/.