By JAMES BELL
The fourth annual Lovegrass Music Festival is set to kick off at 5 p.m. Friday at Wilson State Park, offering family-friendly fun set to Bluegrass music and beautiful scenery.
Aimee Riegel, president of the Lovegrass Music Festival, said this year’s event is their biggest yet.
“We jumped into a whole new realm this year,” she said. “It’s much bigger.”
Around 300 attended last year’s festival, and Riegel estimates this year might be closer to 500.
Previous years have included blues, Americana and red dirt country, she said, but this year the event has a theme — “Back to the Roots” — and will exclusively feature bluegrass bands.
Selecting the bands that will perform is the work of the event’s board of directors and is a collaborative effort.
“We have an idea of who we would like to have and we have a board of five of us and each of us brings some ideas, bands we have heard, bands we have liked, new or something different,” Riegel said.
Riegel said the location can be tricky to find, but it’s the setting is too perfect to move the event.
“It’s about the scenery here, it’s gorgeous,” she said.
Attendees have the option to camp at the festival site for $20 a night that can be paid to the festival. Outside of the festival area, regular lake rules and fees apply.
While the festival is free, Reigel recommends attendees bring cash for activities and merchandise that will be available through the weekend.
Events include kayaking, hiking, musical instrument construction, a drum circle, and a band performing from a pontoon boat on the lake, along with the concerts and music planned for the entire weekend.
Even with a possibility of rain in the area forecast for this weekend, Riegel said the event will go on as planned.
“We are a rain or shine event,” she said. “But the weather looks great, so fingers crossed, the weather will stay like it is now.”
Riegal said the event would not be possible without support from numerous sponsors from the area.
“Each year, it is a struggle to raise the funds necessary to host such an event,” according to the event’s website. “However, due to the tremendous support of local agencies, businesses, and individuals coupled with the diligent efforts of our volunteer board of directors and committee, the event always becomes a memorable reality and a pure grassroots extravaganza.”
“We have several Hays area sponsors,” Riegel said, and without those sponsors, the event would not be possible. “We would like to thank those individuals for helping us out,”
A full schedule of events for the weekend can be found at their website, lovegrassmusicfestival.com/schedule-of-events.