Bluegrass Festival Returns to Medical Lake After Gray Fire 

Since 2002, the Blue Waters Bluegrass Festival has been bringing talented bluegrass musicians to the shores of Medical Lake at Waterfront Park, just a 20-minute drive west of downtown Spokane. Over the years, Blue Waters has brought some of the biggest names in bluegrass music to the Inland Northwest. This year’s festival, which runs Aug. 9-11, is no exception. The 2024 lineup includes New Dangerfield, a black musician string band, noted as being “on a mission to liberate the Black string band tradition;” Full Chord, an up-and-coming Michigan-based band that won the 2022 Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition; The Jacob Jolliff Band; Rock Ridge; True North Duo and other musicians from around the Inland Northwest. 

This year’s festival also includes the 6th installment of the “Blue Waters Tribute Set,” which will showcase “The Roots of Bluegrass.” For the Saturday evening set, members of several of the bands playing the festival will join together into a rotating superband that will play a one-off of a series of tunes that gave rise to the music now known as bluegrass. This unique one-time-only set will give a historical perspective of the roots of bluegrass and will be narrated by the festival’s music director Kevin Brown.  

2024 also finds the Bluewaters Bluegrass Festival and the City of Medical Lake recovering from the Gray Fire. Festival organizers have been coordinating closely with city officials to make this year another successful festival despite the challenges of the fire recovery. Much of the landscape surrounding the festival has been impacted, but fortunately the festival grounds were spared from the brunt of the fire. “We are looking forward to bringing bluegrass music lovers back to Waterfront Park and supporting the Medical Lake community,” says one of the festival organizers, Nick Burgis. 

Blue Waters is an inclusive and family-friendly event. Children under 12 are free with parent or guardian and dry tent and RV camping sites are available to festival goers. Get tickets and find more info at (OTO) 

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