The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s grand opening is Oct. 18 through 20, 2018. The building, located at 311 West Second St. in Owensboro, opens its doors with three days of music highlighting the rich past, dynamic present and exciting future of bluegrass music.
The journey to the new facility began with the inception of bluegrass music’s trade organization, the International Bluegrass Music Association in 1986 in Owensboro.
“The dream to create a stand-alone museum, hall of fame, and theater was kept alive with a passionate board of trustees, a dedicated executive director and a number of generous donors,” said IBMA founding board member and current BMHFM board chairman Terry Woodward. “The city of Owensboro, under the leadership of former Mayor Ron Payne and the city commissioners, decided to make this project part of the revitalization of downtown Owensboro. After five years of fundraising, the project is becoming a reality and the dream is coming true.”
Regarding details of the new exhibit space, Executive Director Chris Joslin said that the new BMHFM is a completely new experience compared to its original location.
“We have twice the exhibit space with a fresh perspective on everything from concept and design to layout, graphics, images, music and artifacts,” Joslin said. “At the center of everything is the Hall of Fame exhibit that pays tribute to bluegrass music’s most important figures.”
The new facility will feature weekly concerts in the 447-seat Woodward Theatre.
On Thursday, Oct. 18, the grand opening begins with a Hall of Fame celebration night. Hall of Fame members performing include Bobby Osborne, Doyle Lawson, Larry Sparks, Rodney Dillard and Paul Williams. Artists honoring Hall of Fame inductees include Tim O’Brien, Stuart Duncan, Charlie Cushman, Mike Bub, Larry Stephenson and Mike Scott. The “house band” will feature Sierra Hull, Stuart Duncan, Charlie Cushman, Mike Bub, Tim Stafford and Josh Swift. This event is by invitation only and closed to the public.
On Friday, Oct. 19, Sam Bush will perform to a sold out audience at the first ticketed event in Woodward Theatre.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, a free concert takes place on the outdoor stage that is sponsored by Jagoe Homes. Food vendors and beverage stations will be available. Space is limited with no seating provided. Gates will open at noon with High Fidelity taking the stage at 1 p.m. Front Country will follow at 3 p.m., Town Mountain at 5 p.m. and Yonder Mountain String Band at 7 p.m.
After the grand opening, the BMHFM will be open to the public for tours of exhibits and the Hall of Fame Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.
More information about the grand opening can be found at bluegrassmuseum.org/grandopening.
For tickets and information about upcoming concerts, please go to bluegrassmuseum.org/tickets.