Stacy Grubb & The Clay Hess BandOctober 5-6 marked the premier of the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival. This event is destined to become a yearly pilgrimage for fans of bluegrass, gospel, and a wholesome good time. Held in historic Manteo, NC, the festival grounds (fondly referred to as "Bluegrass Island") provided a postcard-esque backdrop for the bands on stage as sailboats cruised the Roanoke Sound and the setting sun cast shades of magenta and amber across the crowd.
The Hickory Project
Aside from the presence of yours truly, West Virginia and the Panhandle region were well-represtend on this Road Trip. Drymill Road, Stoney Creek, Stacy Grubb, and The Hillbilly Gypsies showed the crowd what it means to be both wild and wonderful. It appears that people were impressed too since many of these bands are being welcomed back next year with arms wide open!
The Hillbilly Gypsies
While I went into this event partial to the Panhandle contingent, I came out quite fond of a few Outer Banks bands. To any local festival organizers reading this, be sure to add Banjo Island and Drifting Sands to the short list for your next event. They may have the beach to tempt us their way, but we've got the mountains (moonshine), right?!
Other shows deserving of shoutouts include The Hickory Project, Nothin' Fancy, Nu-Blu, and The Whiskey Rebellion, who even managed to cause a mini-rebellion as the VIP section turned into a bit of a dance party :)
For a first-year festival, things were pretty flawless. Aside from a few shuttle sagas, some confusion with a rule or two, and the loss of my press pass, my complaints are few. Planning for an even better Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival in 2013 is well underway as bands are booked and VIP tickets are already selling like crazy! For more information on next year's festival "Like" the new Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival on Facebook and check out their website at: http://www.obxbluegrassfestival.com
Stoney Creek Whiskey Rebellion
For more pictures from the 2012 Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, visit Pretty in the Panhandle on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151055089671816.423181.337235741815&type=1&l=5505f67e03