Festival Organizers made a serious effort this past summer to find out how they could take an already successful event, the Donegal Insurance Group Bluegrass Festival, and, as Emeril Lagasse would say: “Kick it up a few notches.” Two issues stood out. Sunday afternoon shows in the open Festival Event Tent had had an unfortunate tendency in recent years to be cool, and damp, and quite windy; correctly described as “moderately uncomfortable” at times. The idea of moving the performances to the Tolley Dental Stage, the central focus of the Festival’s new Tolley Dental Zone, at the equally new James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center at Shenandoah University, has had great appeal to many Bluegrass Festival regulars. The second issue involved a return to the old-school “festival-length” shows that started on Sunday morning and ran well into the evening, allowing attendees, if they wished, to go to church, lunch, and Weekend-in-the-Park, and, then to the Bluegrass Festival in the early afternoon. It is, therefore, with great pleasure that Festival President, Mike Stanfield, announces that the Donegal Insurance Group Bluegrass Festival will return to its old schedule, with a show that stretches from 10:00am well into the afternoon, with the earlier acts doing two sets in rotation; and, the legendary Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver coming on for one full-length concert at 4:00pm.
Doyle Lawson is best known as a traditional bluegrass and gospel musician. He is an accomplished mandolin player, vocalist, producer, and leader of the 6-man group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2012. Continuously successful across the years, Lawson and his band won song of the year at the International Bluegrass Music Awards for “Little Mountain Church House” in 1989. In 1997, “There’s a Light Guiding Me” was a 39th Annual Grammy Award nominee for Best Southern Gospel, Country Gospel or Bluegrass Gospel Album. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver provided the background vocals to the song “Dazzling Blue” on Paul Simon’s 2011 album “So Beautiful or So What;” and, in 2015, their album, “In Session,” was nominated for Best Bluegrass Album at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.
Doyle Lawson will be joined by top-notch bluegrass acts: Josh Grigsby and County Line, Linda Lay and Springfield Exit, and Nothin’ Fancy. The 2018 Donegal Insurance Group Bluegrass Festival Schedule is:
- 09:00am – Doors open
- 10:00am – Josh Grigsby and County Line – First Set
- 11:00am – Linda Lay and Springfield Exit – First Set
- 12:00pm – Nothin’ Fancy – First Set
- 01:00pm – Josh Grigsby and County Line – Second Set
- 02:00pm – Linda Lay and Springfield Exit – Second Set
- 03:00pm – Nothin’ Fancy – Second Set
- 04:00pm – Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver – Complete 90-minute Concert
Tickets will once again be $35.00 for Reserved Seating and $30.00 for General Admission Seating. They are available for on-line purchase; and, for those who prefer, physical Ticket Forms are available at the web site and may be mailed in; or, can be filled in, in person, at Apple Blossom Headquarters.