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Another Toe Tapping Line Up

Published: 17 August 2009

The award-winning 18th Annual Appalachian & Bluegrass Music Festival – better known as the Bluegrass Festival – was launched today (Monday 17th August) at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh. 


Bluegrass 2009Three generations of Bluegrass fans were in attendance as organisers announced an international line-up of some of the world’s best known Bluegrass performers including current European Bluegrass Band of the Year, Acousticure and the famous Malpass Brothers from the USA. Local bands include the Broken String Band, Northern Exposure and the Knotty Pine String Band. 

Organiser of the festival, Richard Hurst, said, “Once again, we are delighted to announce an excellent line-up of renowned performers and very much look forward to a weekend-long feast of outstanding Bluegrass music - all in the beautiful surroundings and rich cultural setting of the Ulster American Folk Park. 

“The combination of the museum setting and wonderful sounds of Bluegrass music makes this a very special event for all ages. Visitors can wander through the museum each afternoon of the festival, take in the sounds of the music, the sights of old Ulster and the American Frontier and smells of freshly baked soda bread, corn bread and log fires”, said Richard Hurst.     

As well as a host of Bluegrass bands, visitors can also look forward to dance and instrument workshops, a Bluegrass camp for kids as well as the long-established McAuley Lecture Series with American roots music expert Professor Jack Bernhardt from North Carolina.

The Bluegrass festival, which last year attracted over 10,000 visitors, will begin on Friday the 4th September and finish with the ‘Spirit of Bluegrass’ gospel concert, headlined by the Malpass Brothers as well as married duo Kenny and Amanda Smith on Sunday 6th September. 

‘Bluegrass in the Park’ – which is where the various Bluegrass and Old-Time bands perform throughout the Museum - will take place from 1pm – 5pm on Friday 4th September, and from 12.30pm – 6.30pm on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September. The seated Bluegrass evening concerts will run on Friday and Saturday with a special gospel concert on Sunday. 

Partners and sponsors of the festival include Omagh District Council, Community Relations Council, US Consulate General Belfast, The Silverbirch Hotel, TC Autos and Signal Signs. 

For tickets, full programme, festival news and further information, visit or contact the Ticket Line : + 44 (0) 28 8224 3292 


Media contact: Kathryn Kirk, JPR, or 028 9076 0066 

Notes to the editor:

Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and it is a sub-genre of country music and has its own roots in Irish, Scottish and English traditional music. Bluegrass was inspired by the music of emigrants from the United Kingdom and Ireland (particularly the Scots-Irish emigrants in Appalachia), as well as jazz and blues. In bluegrass, as in jazz, each instrument takes a turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others revert to backing; this is in contrast to old-time music, in which all instruments play the melody together or one instrument carries the lead throughout while the others provide accompaniment. Traditional bluegrass is typically based around acoustic stringed instruments, such as acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, and upright bass, with or without vocals.


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