WAVERLY – The award-winning SamJam Bluegrass Festival returns to the Pike County Fairgrounds in Piketon from Aug. 31-Sept. 4 and again showcases some of bluegrass music’s top talent.
The lineup includes multiple Grammy Award and International Bluegrass Music Association award winners.
“This lineup is a powerhouse from start to finish. Every day of the event has superior talent that is recognizable to bluegrass fans and that is our standard and what we think is the measure of a great festival,” said Co-organizer Sam Karr. “We’ve heard the bands tell us how excited they are to play here and that makes our fans excited to see their performances.”
The event kicks off on Wednesday, Aug. 31 with The SamJam Hop, where bluegrass bands play at local venues to give visitors a taste of southern Ohio. Performances are at 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at The Grove, The Waverly Eagles and Ritchie’s, respectively.
The remainder of the festival occurs at the Pike County Fairgrounds. Thursday, Sept. 1 features performances by Keith Prater and Lacy Creek (1 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.); Bourbon Revival (2 p.m. & 6 p.m.); The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys (3 p.m. & 7 p.m.); Balsam Range (8 p.m.); and closing act The No Joke Jimmys – featuring Jamie Johnson, Brandon Rickman, Ron Stewart, Darren Nicholson, Adam Haynes, Terry Eldredge and Kyle Perkins.
On Friday, Sept. 2, the action gets started with Lincoln Mash and Heather Alley (1 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.) and they are followed by Blue Mafia (2 p.m. & 6 p.m.), The Tim Shelton Syndicate (3 p.m. & 7 p.m.), Breaking Grass (8 p.m.) and The Travelin’ McCourys (close).
“All of the bands in this year’s lineup are exceptional and we are hearing a lot of buzz about The Travelin’ McCourys, who will be making their SamJam debut,” Karr said. “It’s also something of a homecoming for their fiddle player Jason Carter, who is from Greenup County and is recognized on the Country Music Highway.”
Saturday gets started with Charlie Woods & Deep Hollow (1 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.) and continues with Sideline (2 p.m.), The Goodwin Brothers (3 & 6 p.m.), The Cleverlys (7 p.m.), The Steeldrivers (8:30 p.m.), and another Sideline performance to close out the day.
Sunday begins with a 1 p.m. performance by Turning Ground, which is followed by Hammertowne (2:30 p.m.) and a Sideline All-Star Jam (4 p.m.). An after party will begin at 7 p.m. in the Budweiser King of Beers Garden, which will be selling $1 cans of Anheuser-Busch products all week.
Tickets are $45 on Thursday, $50 on Friday, $50 on Saturday, and $30 on Sunday. Customers can save significantly by purchasing a weeklong pass for $130. All SamJam Hop locations are free.
SamJam’s Corporate VIP Sponsors include Todd Harris Realty, Ricer Equipment, Megan Carroll State Farm, The Waverly Eagles, Budweiser, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, Olds Firestop & Protection, Nourse of Waverly Automall, the Pike County Sheriff’s Department, WE Contracting, Dimit Truck & Trailer Repair, Ole Smoky Moonshine, The Grove, First Capital Recovery, Ecopro Pest Solutions, and the Bluegrass in the Valley radio program. Band sponsors include Ohio Valley Bank, First National Bank of Waverly, U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, McDonald’s of Waverly, the Piketon VFW, Wiseman Brothers Fabricating & Steel, Waverly Tire, Paige Capos, the Comfort Inn (Piketon), the Ameristay Hotel (Waverly), Rural King, Klinger Tax & Accounting Services, Higley Tent Rentals, Sport ‘N’ Shoes and Dogwood Hills Golf Course.
Co-organizer Rick Greene said the local support of the event has been exceptional and is the driving force behind the event.
“It’s pretty simple. Without these sponsors there is no SamJam Bluegrass Festival, which has a $3.5 million economic impact on Pike County each year,” he said. “That’s why we encourage people to support our sponsors because they are investing in Pike County. Our sponsorship support has continued to grow and, as a result, the festival has continued to grow.”
Greene added that SamJam would also not be possible without the support of the people who make up the Pike County Senior Fair Board.
“This is an event that would typically be seen in Ohio’s metro areas or places with larger populations and Pike County is playing above the bar. We have a wonderful fairgrounds with great people who work hard and it and that gives us certain advantages,” he said. “I’m so proud of this event because we have built it together as a community of local people, local organizations and our tremendous bluegrass supporters who have come to love Pike County.”
Greene said the event fills local hotels, impacts restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores and a variety of service providers. The hundred of campers who fill the fairgrounds and all those proceeds benefit the Pike County 4-H program. The festival’s parent company Southern Ohio Multimedia also donates to a variety of local charities and fundraisers.
Tickets are available online or at the gate. To purchase tickets, or for more information on the festival, visit www.samjambluegrass.com. More information is also available on the festival’s Facebook page at SamJam Bluegrass Festival.
“At this point it appears we will have a record number of campers,” Karr said. “This could be our largest event so far and we’re excited to welcome everyone back to Piketon.”