Bluegrass festival lineup set, tickets on sale

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MANCHESTER — In the deep southern Vermont winter, there's only one thing to look forward to that warms the soul — sunny days, fold-up chairs and quality pickin'.

The Green Mountain Bluegrass & Roots Festival returns Aug. 15-18 with headliners Mandolin Orange, Sam Bush and Darrell Scott. Others musicians include Twisted Pine, returning band Mipso and Lonely Heartstring Band to name a few.

"[Last year] surprised us on every level," festival promoter Jill Turpin said. "We weren't surprised at the talent. When we first started we had nothing. It was all word of mouth."

The festival allows campers and folk lovers to take over Hunter Park for a weekend in the summer with one large main stage, a dance tent, food trucks and vendors, craft makers and artisans and daily yoga classes. The 2019 lineup includes 30 bands with 13 returning. Roughly 2000 people attended the first year. The festival runs from Thursday to Sunday, with more acts added to the beginning and end dates this year, as well as late night artist led sets in the woods on the Lamplighter stage.

"The goal behind the whole festival was putting these amazing musicians together in one field for the weekend," Jill Turpin said. "We just want the entire experience [this year] to be the absolute best it can be."

The festival is Jill and John Turpin's brainchild. They have a home in Landgrove but commute from New Jersey. Jill Turpin praised Manchester and southern Vermont for it's "beautiful quality of life" and why she wouldn't want the event anywhere else, but noted that it was a process getting the town to trust the festival wouldn't leave after the first year.

"It was tough to do an event and be a newcomer in Manchester," she said. "[Residents] didn't quite understand what we were doing. That's why the people we had made a huge difference - blindly saying we believe in this and the vision. We would have not made it without them."

TPW Real Estate will go on to be a platinum sponsor for the second year.

This year's promotional material illustrates the Arlington covered bridge.

"We are called the Green Mountain Bluegrass & Roots Festival for a reason," she said. "We are not going anywhere - we're not going to move somewhere else."

Returning fiddler Christian Sedelmyer said the first year felt like "an instant community tradition."

"I am most looking forward to all the creative collaborations that will ensue throughout the weekend," Sedelmyer said. "John and Jill's [Turpin] vision of getting a bunch of musical contemporaries together and encouraging them to cherry pick each other's talents to come up with unique ideas to perform at Green Mountain is just about as exciting a prospect as there is as a musician."

Four-day pass tickets are now on sale for $125. Visit greenmountainbluegrass.com for more information.

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