In an effort to continue reaching bluegrass fans all over the world, virtual tours are now being offered while the doors remain closed at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum due to COVID-19.
The Hall of Fame produced a virtual tour led by Executive Director Chris Joslin, and they premiered Friday morning via The Bluegrass Situation — the world’s largest community for American roots music, culture and lifestyle.
“People can’t come here to visit the museum in person, so we wanted to take the museum to people,” Joslin said. “We want to make it accessible and at least maybe paint a clear picture of what there is to experience through the videos, and we could integrate music in there as well.”
Within the Hall of Fame, several core exhibits explore a chronological history of bluegrass music. From the early sources to contemporary interpretations, the exhibits tell the story of bluegrass music via documentary-style films, artifacts, images and hands-on experiences with instruments.
Filmed by Tanner-West and edited by the Hall of Fame to include historical images and video, Joslin takes virtual visitors through each area commenting on the exhibits and concluding each area with a live performance of a song that was significant to that specific era.
Joslin said the Hall of Fame already draws people from all over the country, but going online can help generate even more exposure while everyone is at home and online — potentially leading to more tourism dollars and maintaining a positive economic impact in Owensboro down the road.
“That’s one of the reasons why we exist is that we’re part of a larger economic strategy here in Owensboro with tourism, especially cultural tourism — a lot of people gravitate towards that because it feels authentic,” Joslin said. “Bluegrass music is uniquely Kentucky, and one could argue that Owensboro is close to the source, close to the home of Bill Monroe.”
Joslin is hoping confident the tours will catch on and create some buzz for when things reopen.
“We hope this helps us reclaim the momentum we already had when we get to the other side of this thing.”
The Owensboro Health coronavirus hotline is available 24/7 by calling 877-888-6647. Call the hotline before seeking in-person care. More information from OH can be found here.
For the latest information and data on COVID-19 in Kentucky visit kycovid19.ky.gov or dial the Kentucky state hotline at 800-722-5725.
For the latest health guidelines and resources from the CDC, visit their website here.