April 23, 2024
Annapolis, US 62 F

September 30 to October 1: Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival

Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival is a two-day beachfront music festival at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, MD, that highlights the best in regional and national bluegrass, jamgrass, and Americana music. Taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 30-October 1, this conservation-focused musical event was listed as a “Don’t-Miss Bay Music Festival” by Chesapeake Bay Magazine and anticipates drawing people from all over the country and the region to enjoy the unique destination of Annapolis, Maryland, and the entire Chesapeake Bay area. 

Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival headliners include Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Keller & The Keels, and Melvin Seals & JGB. Other national touring bands include Fruition, Lindsay Lou (band & artist-at-large), Cabinet, Cris Jacobs & Smooth Kentucky, Jon Stickley Trio, Arkansauce, The Dirty Grass Players, The High & Wides, Wicked Sycamore, and the Baygrass House Band—Geraldine.

NOTE: The event below, Arts Alive 25, was held on September 8, 2023.

“The Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival was born out of our team’s love of progressive bluegrass music, the desire to generate a fun community-oriented vibe, and a passion for protecting the Chesapeake Bay,” says festival co-founder Ron Peremel. “We created a unique music festival where just by having fun you’re helping the Bay. As we like to say: ‘Every Jam Saves the Bay!’”

The theme song for the festival is “In The Water” performed by Geraldine with Chris Jacobs. It was written by singer/songwriter/guitarist John Bolten, PhD, who is also the Chief of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Hydrological Sciences Lab. This man understands the water and why all of our actions have such a significant impact on the Chesapeake Bay. “In The Water” is from their recently released album Paw Paw. Geraldine will also be hosting “In the Water: From Bay to Grass” Video Series, partnering music with the non-profits on site at Sandy Point.

Annapolis Baygrass is a family-friendly event with plenty of offerings for all ages including interactive artist and conservation workshops, yoga classes, beach and yard games, a Kidzone, a craft vendor village, and other activities. 

Fresh lump crab cakes, roasted and raw oysters, gourmet BBQ, wood-fired pizzas, vegetarian delicacies, and other locally curated culinary options will be available at the festival. Attendees will enjoy tasty microbrews at the Baytoberfest Beer Garden, as well as fresh craft cocktails, mocktails, and wines provided by local and regional beverage partners at the waterfront Blue Crab Beach Bar.

An exceptional VIP option is available for those wishing to upgrade their experience with exclusive viewing areas, dining and lounge pavilion, chef-prepared hot meals, fresh-shucked oysters, snacks, free beverages, VIP parking, private entrance, and more. Learn more at www.baygrassfestival.com/VIP.

Sandy Point State Park, a 786-acre Maryland State Park located along the northwestern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, provides a perfect backdrop for this one-of-a-kind festival. Attendees will enjoy 14 bands on two alternating stages, with stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay and ample space to spread out and enjoy themselves in comfort and style on the sandy beaches. 

Annapolis Baygrass offers several local lodging partners and camping options nearby to make your weekend perfect. These heavily discounted options are first come, first serve basis and fit options for all budgets. Shuttle service will make your stay even easier, with Shuttle Passes serving select lodging locations going on sale soon. More information www.baygrassfestival.com/lodging.

More than a music festival, Annapolis Baygrass maintains its mission to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay.  10% of all proceeds from ticket, food, beverage, and merchandise sales will go to Maryland-based non-profit organizations including Watershed Stewards Academy, Oyster Recovery Partnership, and Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.

It was founded in 2022 by Ron Peremel, John Way, and Ron Katz, who share a passion for music, a love of the local region, and a desire to give back to the community by creating a music festival with a purpose.

Music can be a vehicle to bring awareness to mental health and grow a healthy, strong community. To increase mental health awareness and connect the public to wellness resources, the festival has partnered with VA Way, a non-profit organization run by Baygrass co-founder John Way, an Army Veteran and a Certified Veteran MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) Instructor.

Way says, “I have attended hundreds of shows and festivals for over 20 years and have seen firsthand how music has the power to heal the mind. We have a rare opportunity with Baygrass to bring important mental health information to a large audience in an incredibly positive and supportive setting.” Also partnered with Baygrass are American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the music-industry centric Backline.

Baygrass’ environmental ethos is evidenced in its adoption of the sustainability model, making it one of the only green festivals in Maryland. Actions to reduce the festival’s environmental footprint include using local food vendors and ingredients, compostable plates and utensils, reusable steel cups, refillable water stations, and a “no single-use plastic water bottles” policy. Learn more at: www.baygrassfestival.com/green-initiatives.

By celebrating the local region, giving back to the community, and curating a fantastic lineup of national artists, Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival aims to be a pillar in the local music scene and an annual music festival tradition for years to come!

Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival Full 2023 Lineup:

  • Yonder Mountain String Band
  • Railroad Earth
  • Keller & The Keels
  • Melvin Seals & JGB
  • Fruition
  • Lindsay Lou (band & artist-at-large)
  • Cabinet
  • Cris Jacobs & Smooth Kentucky
  • Jon Stickley Trio 
  • Arkansauce
  • The Dirty Grass Players
  • Geraldine
  • The High & Wides
  • Wicked Sycamore 

For more information and updates about the Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival, visit www.baygrassfestival.com, www.facebook.com/annapolisbaygrassfestival, www.instagram.com/annapolisbaygrassfestival, and www.twitter.com/baygrassfest.

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