Music of Kentucky - Festivals


Singers gather annually at Benton on the fourth Sunday in May to sing from a shape note hymn and tune book called The Southern Harmony, and Musical Companion. This event, first organized in 1884 and called The Big Singing or Big Singing Day, is considered by many to be the oldest indigenous musical tradition in the United States. It was organized by James Roberts Lemon, a newspaper owner and publisher in western Kentucky.

Ashland is also home to the Summer Motion festival and Poage Landing Days, while Olive Hill also hosts the International Strange Music Weekend and the Shriner's Bluegrass Festival. The Renfro Valley Barn Dance has been held in Renfro Valley since 1939. Owensboro has ROMP (River Of Music Party) the last part of June every year. Other festivals include the Forkland Heritage Festival and Revue in Gravel Switch.

Lexington is host to the oldest bluegrass music festival in the state. The Festival of the Bluegrass is held every June at the Kentucky Horse Park and considered one of the premier traditional bluegrass festivals in the country.

Wilmore, Kentucky is home to the Ichthus Music Festival. Ichthus is a Christian music festival held each year on the Ichthus Farm. Notable bands such as Switchfoot, Relient K, Pillar, and P.O.D. have all played at past Ichthus festivals.

Mount Sterling is home to the Gateway Music Festival.

Boomslang: A Celebration of Sound & Art is an annual multi-venue music festival in Lexington, sponsored by the University of Kentucky's college radio station, WRFL. The festival is an extension of WRFL's mission to provide a platform for non-mainstream, non-commercial music and other programming not found elsewhere in the region, featuring a variety of artists from both the region and from around the world. Genres tend to be experimental in nature, but have included everything from alternative rock, post-rock, electronic, hip hop, punk rock, metal, and psychedelic rock bands. Other festival features have included dance performances, local craft booths, fashion and art installations, workshops, literary events and film screenings, with a special focus on the artists and arts organizers that make Lexington unique.

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Famous quotes containing the word festivals:

    Why wont they let a year die without bringing in a new one on the instant, cant they use birth control on time? I want an interregnum. The stupid years patter on with unrelenting feet, never stopping—rising to little monotonous peaks in our imaginations at festivals like New Year’s and Easter and Christmas—But, goodness, why need they do it?
    John Dos Passos (1896–1970)

    This is certainly not the place for a discourse about what festivals are for. Discussions on this theme were plentiful during that phase of preparation and on the whole were fruitless. My experience is that discussion is fruitless. What sets forth and demonstrates is the sight of events in action, is living through these events and understanding them.
    Doris Lessing (b. 1919)