ROMP ticket sales top 4,200

Thursday is the last day to buy cheaper advance tickets for next week’s eighth annual ROMP: Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival at Yellow Creek Park.

Adult tickets for all three days of the June 23-25 event are $70 now. They go to $75 on Friday.

Single-day tickets are $25. That price will be the same at the gate.

Children 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.

Gabrielle Gray, executive director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum, which sponsors the festival, said 4,258 tickets had been sold through Sunday to people in 48 states (including Alaska) and the District of Columbia.

That’s up from 654 tickets a year ago.

Most ticket sales in past years have been at the gate.

Bluegrass fans have already bought tickets this year from four other countries — Australia, Canada, Japan and the Netherlands.

Steve Martin and Emmylou Harris are the biggest names in the lineup, and they are accounting for a lion’s share of advance ticket sales locally.

But bands like the Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Infamous Stringdusters and Minnesota-based Trampled by Turtles are also attracting a wide fan base to the festival, Gray said.

The rest of the lineup includes the Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile, Tony Rice with Mountain Heart, Pete & Joan Wernick, Audie Blaylock & Redline, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, Sarah Jarosz, Josh Williams, The 23 String Band, The Professors of Bluegrass, Loose Cannon, Fade 2 Blue, Travis Chandler & Avery County, County Line Bluegrass, Harpeth Rising, Bawn in the Mash, Howard’s Creek, Kentucky BlueGrass AllStars and King’s Highway.

“This year’s lineup has created quiet a buzz,” Gray said. “We’ve heard from people who have attended festivals in Florida, Michigan and California this year. And people there are talking about ROMP.”

But the lineup isn’t the only thing drawing fans from around the world, Gray said.

ROMP’s prices are among the lowest in the country, especially among those with big names in the lineup.

“It’s an attractive package,” Gray said. “Affordability is a big factor. Most places Steve Martin is playing this year have ticket prices of more than $100, just for him and The Steep Canyon Rangers.

“Once people know this is the go-to place for great music, a beautiful park, the museum and great food, they’ll keep coming back,” she said.

With the larger crowds expected this year, the festival is adding more food options. Famous Bistro, The Miller House, Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn and Colby’s will have food booths at Yellow Creek Park.

Gray said a vegan/vegetarian concessionaire is coming from Asheville, N.C., and Starbucks will also be available.

Other concessionaires will sell lemonade, kettle corn, roasted ears of corn, roasted nuts and ice cream.

The park will also see an explosion in tent camping this year.

People who buy three-day passes can camp free in the park. Many festivals charge for camping.

More than 250 campsites have been reserved this year, Gray said.

“They’ll have between two and 10 people each,” she said.

That means more than 500 people will be camping in the park.

“We’ll have more primitive camping than RVs this year,” Gray said. “But most people will be staying in hotels.”

She said camp shower tents will also be available at the park — without hot water.

“They’re filling up fast,” Karen Miller, executive director of the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said Monday. “There is definitely a shortage of rooms this year.”

This year, ROMP is adding an after-hours party each night in the Pioneer Village at Yellow Creek Park.

The Farewell Drifters and Coralee & the Townies will perform the first after-hours show. The Vespers are scheduled for the second night, and the 23 String Band will end the festival, performing from midnight June 25 into the early morning hours of June 26.

After the bands leave the stage, Pioneer Village will be open for jamming as long as people want to pick, Gray said.

She said instrument workshops will be offered at the park on June 24-25.

At 1 p.m. on June 24, Paul Kowert and T. Martin Stam will lead a bass workshop

Gabe Witcher and Scott Moore will lead a fiddle workshop at 2 p.m.

At 3 p.m., Chris Thile and David Howard will conduct a mandolin workshop.

The 4 p.m. banjo workshop will be led by Noam Pikelny, Tony Wray and Cody Looper

And at 5 p.m. Chris Eldridge and Tony Wray will conduct a guitar workshop.

On June 25, Becky Buller and Randy Lanham will lead a fiddle workshop at 1 p.m.

Jason McKendree will conduct a banjo workshop at 2 p.m.

At 3 p.m., Spencer Strickland, Nick Keen and Sarah Jarosz will lead a mandolin workshop.

And at 4 p.m., Kenny Smith and Roy Curry will conduct a guitar workshop.

On the Web

To purchase tickets, go to http://www.bluegrassmuseum.org or call 926-7891.

For a complete ROMP schedule, check http://www.bluegrass-museum.org/general/romp.php.

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