Preview: DelFest (5/22-5/25)
Greg   May 13, 2014 at 4:27 pm   0 Comments

By: Chelsea Wright

The 7th Annual DelFest is a folk & bluegrass music festival that will leave you waiting for its arrival next year. It all begins Memorial Day weekend, from May 22nd to May 25th, 2014 at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, Maryland. Visit for tickets and more information.

DelFest is nothing short of four satisfying days, filled with some of the best and most well-known bluegrass musicians around. The founder of DelFest, sir Del McCoury himself, will be headlining the festival with his band. The Del McCoury Band is a unique and downright dirty bluegrass combo, consisting of Del, his sons Ronnie on mandolin and Rob on Banjo, Alan Bartram on Bass, and Jason Carter on fiddle. Del and his guys will start off the festival with a fresh dose of some sweet tunes, to prepare guests for many other amazing acts.

Yonder Mountain String Band, now a regular at DelFest, will be back for their 5th year. For those unfamiliar with the term Yonder, it is sure to become clear why they continue to be a headliner at one of the largest bluegrass festivals in the country. Having played together as a quartet since 1998, Yonder recently (April 2014) became a trio, including the likes of Dave Johnston on Banjo, guitarist Adam Aijala and bassist Ben Kaufmann. Yonder will continue to please, as they have in the past. Jeff Austin, formerly of YMSB, will be an artist at large at DelFest this year.

Following the two main headliners, The String Cheese Incident will be switching up the pace as one of the main attractions of DelFest, playing two full sets. This will be their first time playing this festival, and they will be bringing a new element to the stage with their unique style. Their sound incorporates progressive rock, electronica, calypso, funk, jazz, reggae, country and latin, with some sweet bluegrass twang to wrap it all up. This is another act that is not to be missed, as they play their 20th year together as a group.

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn-what more is there to say? Bela Fleck is known as the worlds most renown banjo player-truly a world-class musician. He will be performing at DelFest this year with his wife Abigail Washburn who is a claw-hammer banjoist, and singer/songwriter. Bela Fleck is involved in many musical endeavors, traveling all over the world to play with various other well-known musicians such as Chick Corea, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer, The Marcus Roberts Trio, and of course Bela Fleck and the Flecktones-his band of 25 years. With Abigail’s old-time americana sound accompanying Bela Flecks pristine banjo playing, the crowd will surely be fulfilled by their performance.

Then there’s The Devil Makes Three-quite an interesting trio-truly a gem, originally from a small town in Vermont. TDM3 describe their sound as “garage-y ragtime, punkified blues, old n’ new timey without settling upon a particular era, inspired as much by mountain music as by Preservation Hall Jazz”. One can only imagine the imprint this group will have on your ears, for if you haven’t heard them yet you are sure to enjoy them at DelFest.

Another amazing addition to DelFest, The Carolina Chocolate Drops will be returning for their second year. The Drops are an old time string band from North Carolina. They bring a sweet and wholesome blues sound.

On top of all of the performances, the Allegany County Fairgrounds is laid out in such a way, that anyone seasoned in festivals will appreciate. It is nestled in the Potomac river valley in the Appalachian mountains; there is a river for swimming and fishing, located on the left side of the fairgrounds. DelFest has much to offer-there are intimate Artist Playshops, activities available for children in the KidZone, an Art & Crafts Faire, and of course, food available on site. There will be parking passes available, and free camping for those who purchase multi-day passes. Late night show tickets are available, and can be purchased separately from the festival passes (festival passes do not include the late night shows).

Along with the guarantee of a weekend full of amazing music by 29 different bands, DelFest offers an Academy during the week before the festival. The Academy is a 3 day intensive learning experience, in which musicians of any skill level-beginner to advanced-will share their days, taking instruction from the members of The Travelin’ McCoury’s. To join them, guitar lessons will be taught by Cody Kilby of Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, joined by Leigh Gibson of the Gibson Brothers. Jesse Brock of the Gibson Brothers (IBMA’s mandolin player of the year), will be giving instruction for those interested in mandolin. You can view the prices and dates for DelFest Academy here:

Map of Festival Grounds

Daily Music Schedule

Thursday May 22nd

Grandstand Stage

5:00 pm-6:00 pm The Del McCoury Band

6:45 pm-7:45 pm The Deadly Gentlemen

8:30 pm-9:45 pm The Devil Makes Three

10:15 pm-11:45 pm Greensky Bluegrass


Friday May 23rd

Grandstand Stage

11:00 am-11:30 am The Unseen Strangers

12:15 pm-1:15 pm Shook Twins

2:00 pm-3:00 pm Joe Craven

3:45 pm-4:45 pm The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

5:45 pm-7:15 pm Yonder Mountain String Band

8:05 pm-9:40 pm The Del McCoury Band

10:20 pm-11:40 pm Railroad Earth


Music Hall

1:00 pm-1:30 pm TBA-Open Artist Submission

2:15 pm-3:15 pm Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

4:00 pm-5:15 pm Rebecca Frazier and Hit & Run

12:15 am-1:00 am Cabinet

1:45 am-3:15 am Greensky Bluegrass


Potomac Stage

11:15 am-11:45 am TBA-Open Artist Submission

12:30 pm-1:00 pm TBA-Open Artist Submission

1:45 pm-2:15 pm TBA-Open Artist Submission

3:00 pm-4:00 pm Chris Jones & The Night Drivers

4:45 pm-5:45 pm The Deadly Gentleman

6:30 pm-7:30 pm Jim Lauderdale


Saturday May 24th

Grandstand Stage

11:00 am-12:05 pm Spirit Family Reunion

12:30 pm-1:45 pm Sierra Hull

2:15 pm-3:20 pm Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott

4:00 pm-5:10 pm Carolina Chocolate Drops

6:00 pm-7:25 pm The Del McCoury Band

8:15 pm-9:30 pm Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby with Kentucky Thunder

10:15 pm-11:40 pm The Travelin’ McCourys


Music Hall

11:30 am-12:15 pm Joe Craven

1:00 pm-2:00 pm Chris Jones & The Night Drivers

3:00 pm-4:00 pm The Gibson Brothers

4:45 pm-5:40 pm Jim Lauderdale

12:15 am-1:00 am Shook Twins

1:45 am-3:15 am Railroad Earth


Potomac Stage

10:00 am-10:25 am TBA-Open Artist Submission

11:00 am-12:00 pm The Duhks

12:45 pm-1:45 pm Cabinet

2:30 pm-3:30 pm The California Honeydrops

4:15 pm-5:30 pm The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band


Sunday May 25th:

Grandstand Stage

10:45 am-11:45 am The Gibson Brothers

12:30 pm-1:30 pm The Duhks

2:15 pm-3:15 pm Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn

4:00 pm-5:15 pm Hot Rize

6:00 pm-7:15 pm The Del McCoury Band

8:15 pm-11:40 pm The String Cheese Incident (2 Sets)


Music Hall

12:45 pm-1:30 pm Joe Craven

2:30 pm-3:15 pm The McCoury Family Jam

4:15 pm-5:15 pm Kruger Brothers

12:15 am-1:00 am The California Honeydrops

1:45 am-3:15 am The Travelin’ McCourys


Potomac Stage

11:30 am-12:15 pm T Sisters

1:00 pm-2:00 pm The Unseen Strangers

2:45 pm-3:45 pm Sierra Hull

4:30 pm-5:30 pm Spirit Family Reunion