Medical Lake bluegrass festival returning with more folky tunes

click to enlarge Kevin Pace and The Early Edition perform at the Blue Waters Bluegrass Festival in 2013.
Kevin Pace and The Early Edition perform at the Blue Waters Bluegrass Festival in 2013.

The Blue Waters Bluegrass Festival has now existed for nearly a decade and a half, finding its way back to the banks of Medical Lake annually to provide listeners with lineups chock full of notable acts falling under its namesake genre. In years past, it's boasted the presence of artists such as Della Mae, the Greencards, the Steep Canyon Rangers, Dan Tyminski and the Infamous Stringdusters. 

This Friday, August 12, the festival kicks off its 2016 incarnation, which lasts until the 14th. The venue is Medical Lake's rustic Waterfront Park. This year, headliners include Chatham County Line and Front Country. Full lineup information and ticket details can be found on the festival's website. The Blue Waters Festival is notable not only for the musical acts it brings in, but also for the natural beauty of its setting, providing listeners with an aesthetic backdrop to the music that serves as the main event, and pairing perfectly with the comfortable warmth that sets in as the sun sets on each of the festival's evenings. 

It's a multi-day affair, with single day passes available on top of full weekend packages. For each band's performance, bluegrass fans lounge on the grass in front of the stage. Some listeners sit on blankets, others in chairs, but everyone is relaxed and ready to soak in the sounds. Festival attendees can even choose to camp out for the weekend, minimizing the need for movement. 

Furthermore, the festival isn't just for grown-ups — kids are welcome, too, a fact emphasized by the existence of the festival's accompanying Youth Camp, which offers instruction on bluegrass instruments and vocals, and builds to a performance by the kiddos on the festival's main stage. 

Bluegrass fans of all ages, shapes, sizes, and backgrounds should have no trouble finding a niche here.