Eighth annual Baygrass Bluegrass set - The Grass is Dead Tickets
The Grass Is Dead are a force of nature in bluegrass and Grateful Dead music. More than merely paying tribute to the Dead, these hot pickers have been seamlessly weaving bluegrass, blues, rock and funk into a unique sonic experience. Pulling from such diverse influences as Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, John Hartford, Allman Brothers Band, Pink Floyd and so many others, The Grass Is Dead have created a sound that not only pays homage to roots music and the songs of the Dead and Jerry Garcia, but expertly travels through time and space to explore the galactic and psychedelic nature of music itself.

Islamorada Community Entertainment’s eighth annual Craft Beer and Baygrass Bluegrass Festival is bringing multiple award-winning artists from across the United States to Founders Park, as well as craft beer breweries. This year’s three-day event is set for Friday through Sunday, Jan. 17-19. 

“We’ve invited our favorite Florida brewers to join with some of the country’s top bluegrass, newgrass and Americana performers for three days of great music in the Florida Keys,” said David Feder, president of ICE. “We’ve got something for everyone, including square dancing Friday and a pickin’ party Saturday in the Morada Way Arts and Cultural District, followed by a grand finale concert all day Sunday in Founders Park with some of the most talented, soon to be known, and known artists. It’s three days of impromptu jamming, amazing beer and fun for the whole family.”

The main concert — on Sunday, Jan. 19 — at Islamorada Founders Park, MM 87, runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (gates open at 10 a.m.) Tickets start at $35; options also include craft beer tasting and VIPs. All advance tickets will receive a free stainless steel pint cup and can be purchased at baygrassbluegrass.com or the gate, with 17 and younger free. 

Eighth annual Baygrass Bluegrass set - A group of people standing on a stage holding a guitar - Uproot Hootenanny
A picker’s paradise, this four-piece band features some of South Florida’s top string instrument players. From bluegrass classics to Irish-folksy vibes, Uproot Hootenanny has that certain string band charm that has all ages leaving the show with a smile. Along with their own originals, they do some pretty awesome covers that range from the Rolling Stones to Johnny Cash.
Eighth annual Baygrass Bluegrass set - George Tovar et al. posing for the camera - Public Relations
Indy, folky, bluegrassy band music with a favorable twist of soul, rock, Americana and more. This group of talented and diverse multi-instrumentalists give a performance not to be missed!

The festival will include two stages for continuous music, musical instrument vendors, food trucks, and art and crafts vendors.  On Friday, Jan. 17, the weekend kicks off with a 6 p.m. “Square Dancing in the Streets Party.” On Saturday, Jan. 18, a Pickin’ Party with a full night of music on two stages and a craft beer tap takeover starts at 4 p.m. Both events are a $10 donation per adult; those 17 and younger are admitted free. 

“Every year, we curate up and coming bands that we think festival attendees will love,” said Robby McClung, the festival’s producer, “including Grass is Dead, The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers, Chatham Rabbits, The Coppertones, Uproot Hootenanny and more, all in the beautiful Florida Keys. Plus, there will be there will be several of Florida’s best craft breweries doing tastings and special releases throughout the weekend. Also, we want everyone to remember to bring their instruments so they can join in on the impromptu jam sessions happening throughout the weekend.” 

Eighth annual Baygrass Bluegrass set - A man and a woman standing on a stage - Bass guitar
Chatham Rabbits make old traditions new again. This husband and wife team, Sarah and Austin McCombie, tell passed down stories, heart-worn and heavy, with infectious harmonies.

During the concert, attendees can enjoy a swim at the bayfront beach, along with a full day of music and fun. Blankets and lawn chairs are permitted, but coolers are not.

Proceeds from the Festival help fund local arts and music scholarships — more than $750,000 awarded to date — for local Keys artists and students. 

More information is at keysice.com or baygrassbluegrass.com.

— Contributed


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