The ninth annual ROMP: Bluegrass Roots and Branches Festival is barely a month away.
And Danny Clark, marketing director for the International Bluegrass Music Museum, said, “Our advance ticket sales are averaging 10 percent ahead of last year to date. They’re coming from all over the U.S. and several foreign countries.”
If that trend continues through the end of the June 28-30 festival, ticket sales could top the 15,000 mark this year.
Last year’s festival at Yellow Creek Park, which was headlined by Steve Martin and Emmylou Harris, sold 13,693 tickets.
That event was easily the largest of the 27 bluegrass festivals Owensboro has had since 1985.
It was 44 percent larger than the previous record of 9,500 total tickets sold for the International Bluegrass Music Association Fan Fest at English Park in 1995.
ROMP is the museum’s largest fundraiser.
This year’s festival is headlined by Vince Gill and Old Crow Medicine Show.
“We’re getting a lot of buzz about them as well as the Punch Brothers and the Carolina Chocolate Drops,” Clark said. “And we’re starting to hear a lot about Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three as well as The Deadly Gentlemen. There are several acts with big followings.”
Some Rye Grass, a Japanese supergroup, will be performing at the festival, and it’s expected to draw some fans from Japan.
Clark said members of Monroeville, NewTown, the 23 String Band, The Deadly Gentlemen and the Lonesome River Band will be conducting workshops during the festival.
When the final act leaves the stage each night, the “after party” begins in the park’s Pioneer Village.
“The after-party stage this year will be on the porch of the one of the cabins,” Clark said. “That will make it a lot more rustic.”
The after parties, which run into the wee hours of the morning, “are a big selling point for the festival,” he said. “They draw a mostly younger crowd that camps on site.”
The party was so popular last year that Bawn in the Mash, a Paducah-based band, asked to perform at the after party rather than on the main stage, Clark said.
Other bands performing for the after parties are Farewell Drifters, Renegade String Band, Belfry Fellows, The Deadly Gentlemen and The 23 String Band.
Last year, Clark said, “We had just under 500 campers. We expect to have even more this year.”
Camping for the festival is $10 per person.
Advance tickets through June 15 are $30 for a single day and $85 for all three days.
Museum members can get a three-day pass for $60 and college students for $65.
Children 14 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.
At the gate, tickets are $35 for one day and $90 for three. There are no student or members discounts at the gate.
Acts scheduled to perform include Snap Jackson & the Knock on Wood Players, Some Rye Grass, Jesse McReynolds & Friends performing a tribute to Jerry Garcia, Vince Gill, Greensky Bluegrass, Grandview Junction, Higher Ground, Don Stanley & Middle Creek, Renegade String Band, Belfry Fellows, Monroeville, Town Mountain, The Farewell Drifters, Lonesome River Band, The Deadly Gentlemen, Punch Brothers, County Line Bluegrass, Kentucky BlueGrass AllStars, Arnold Shultz Revival, The Expedition Show, NewTown, NewFound Road, Bearfoot, Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three, The 23 String Band, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Old Crow Medicine Show.
For information and tickets, call the museum at 926-7891.