Ramona Bluegrass Festival


Howdy Folks! 

We are currently waiting to figure out the details for our 9th ANNUAL RAMONA BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL for this year.

The following may or may not be the case for this year – stay tuned to find out….. We’ll update the site as soon as we get it figured out.

We will again be returning back to our wonderful venue at the Ramona Outdoor Community Center at 421 Aqua Lane (Main St. east – left on 5th – Right on Aqua) for an entire afternoon (from 1 – 6) of great bluegrass music and many other festivities. We will again be sharing our weekend with the Ramona Country Fair, which goes for four days from Thursday through Sunday. << http://www.ramonachamber.com/ramona-country-fair >>  There will be lots of great stuff going on….. rides, eats, drinks, workshops, festival T-shirt sales and more. Y’all Come! We’ll be having several great bluegrass groups for your listening enjoyment….. (see the lineup tab for groups & times)

….. and like last year, we’ll be sponsored by the Ramona Chamber of Commerce so….. Admission will be FREE!




The OLD WEST ENCAMPMENT WILL be happening this year  as a separate event in May at the Ramona Outdoor Community Center off Aqua Lane.  Contact Jim Cooper for info (760 789 1097)














The following is content from prior years………………

Speakin of the Old West, at the east side Venue by the rodeo arena, we’ll be expanding (in fact, darn near doubling in size) our format from last year with our focus on Old West History. There will be an ENCAMPMENT (which you will be able to walk through as you come in through our festival entrance) where several outfits will be holed up for a few days as they make they’re way across the west….. Mountain Men, a Civil War Era camp, a saloon, a prairie schooner and the Cowboys….. maybe even a teepee. You’ll be able to visit their camps,  talk and learn about how life was lived in the 1700 – 1800’s. We’ll still be having the (hardly, strictly) Old West Music as well on a third stage nearby. You will walk through the Old West Encampment Area as you head over to the rodeo arena bleachers to see the performers on the “HAPPY TRAILS” Stage.

On Thursday, May 1st and Friday May 2nd there will be approximately 700 5th and 6th graders from the Ramona School District visiting the Encampment for historic learning purposes. You can find the schedule on the Encampment tab under “LineUp”.

Check out the “Encampment” page and pics at the “Lineup” tab >> “Old West Encampment” button.

Things have really come together for this year…… we’re fortunate enough to be having 31 (!!!) groups appear on our THREE STAGES :

Appearing on the Bluegrass FOGGY MOUNTAIN & ROCKY TOP STAGES:

  • Hot Club of Cow Town, swingin in from Austin on Saturday Night – They brought the house down last year!
  • Bluegrass, Etc. will return to our festival for performances on both Sat. & Sunday
  • James Reams & the Barnstormers – Heading our way from Arizona for a big set on Sat.
  • Lonesome Otis, our good friends from a bit north and Chris all the way from Nashville
  • Bluegrass Brethren – Wonderful Gospel songs on Sunday
  • Windy Ridge – Blowing down from up north
  • Chris Stuart and Janet Beazley – w/ their Harmony Singer Workshop
  • Hay Dudes – Comin at us all the way from the San Louis Obispo Area
  • Taildraggers – Draggin their tails back for a return show
  • Next Generation Band – a return sound from some fantastic young pickers
  • High Mountain Road – Opens the festival on Sat morning
  • Mohavi Soul – Fresh from a new CD release
  • Virtual Strangers – Strangers no more! They’re back again
  • Chris Clarke & Plow – Appalachian Bluegrass Sounds
  • Prairie Sky – Some sweet Sat. afternoon sounds
  • Shirthouse Band – Harmony Central
  • Box Canyon – Comin on Strong

Appearing onThe Old West HAPPY TAILS STAGE:

  • Judy Taylor – and her wild west show with 6 shooters and lariats & whips – & a beautiful voice!
  • Lacemakers – Celtic Music Set
  • Trails & Rails – Old West Music at it’s best!
  • The Moves – A new sound from some younger musicians
  • Old Town Road – We’re finally getting these guys at our Fest
  • Cowboy Jack – the Hank Show
  • The Ash Street Ramblers – Loads of experience with this gorup
  • Johnny High-Hat – Lots of instruments & great tune selcetions
  • Ridge Runners – Mountain Music
  • Cowboy Angels – some real experienced balladeers
  • Orchard Thieves – Newtown Music for the young & restless
  • Sunnyside Strings – A local Ramona Group
  • Pony Tales – These ladys will bring it all down home
  • Gabriel Hampton – Another Great Ramona Musician

We have solidified commitments from these fine musicians and performers for helping us out at our 5th Annual Ramona Bluegrass and Old West Fest at the Ramona Rodeo Grounds in Ramona CA.  You can see when their set times will be – go to the “Lineup” Tab and down to the appropriate “Performance Schedule“.

Some of these bands, along with some other fine musicians, will also be leading MUSIC WORKSHOPS during both days of the festival. This will be a great opportunity for kids – of ALL ages – to bring their instrument and play along with some great teachers for this fantastic learning experience. These workshops are FREE to festival attendees. There will be workshops in Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar, Banjo, Dobro and definitely Chris Stuart & Janet Beazley’s FANTASTIC HARMONY Workshops. Bluegrass, Etc. will be doing a full band workshop on Sunday. Check out the schedule and sign up instructions under the “INFO” tab:

  • Band Workshop by James Reams & the Barnstormers
  • Celtic Instrument Workshp –  the Lacemakers
  • Playing REALLY FAST – Bluegrass, Etc.
  • Mandolin Techniques led by Peter Lauderbach
  • Banjo Slim – with Jason Weiss
  • Harmony Workshops by Chris Stuart & Janet Beazley
  • Mandolin / Fiddle – Hay Dudes
  • Hot Club of Cowtown 3 concurrent western swing workshops:
  •    Slap Bass Workshop – Jake Irwin
  •    Western Swing Fiddle – Elana James
  •    Western Swing Guitar – Whit Smith
  • Beginning Mandolin – B.K. Nicholson
  • Dobro – Calvin Patton
  • Guitar – James Reams

And a whole lot of other wonderful things to do

  • Kid’s Korner
  • Fantastic Face Painting – these folks are terrific and really good!
  • A whole mess of wonderful Vendors
  • A bunch of bluegrass instruments that can be picked up and handled, presented by Jon Hasz of the Ramona Music Center
  • Fireside Storytelling after the Music dies down at the Big Pavilion Fireplace.

We’ll also be doing a raffle for a brand new DEERING GOODTIME BANJO with gig bag. See the tab under “Tickets” for details about this fine instrument.

It’s guaranteed to be a great couple of days of music and festivities with both day & night jams, fireside story telling and impromptu break out jams in the camping area and the SOUTH-SIDE JAM IT UP area where band members mingle with all the other pickers and demonstrate some great licks, as well as anywhere you decide you want to set up and start pickin. That’s what makes a great bluegrass festival a jammin bluegrass festival!

Saturday May 3rd we kick things off at 10am with High Mountain Road and continue this shindig until 9pm. when “HOT CLUB OF COWTOWN” closes out the day with some Django Reinheart style Texas Swing (7:30 – 9:00). I’m here ta tell ya that this is gonna be some mighty fine DANCE MUSIC so put on yer boots & hats & make sure and be there by 7:30 to KICK UP YER HEELS  and bring a can of red paint cause we’re planning on paintin the town! We’re hardly, strictly old school bluegrass on Saturday night and Hot Club will prove it to ya!

On Sunday, May 4th the show starts at 10am and continues until 5pm. I don’t know how to tell you about how much ENERGY these musicians put out! A few of these groups are bleeding edge NEWGRASS……..

Not to say you won’t get a Stetson full of really great ole traditional bluegrass music. Check out Lonesome Otis, for instance….. Chris, their guitarist makes the trip out from Nashville for our festival….. Tennessee Style ….. Bluegrass, Etc. will dazzle with speed….. Bluegrass Bethren will be bringing some grand ole Sunday GOSPEL music your way – Chris Clarke will bring it on home with some good ole Appalachian style sounds….  The Hay  Dudes, Old Town Road, Box Canyon and the Taildraggers mix it up with all manner of old and new bluegrass styles and Next Generation, The Moves and the Orchard Thieves makes way for the younger folks comin up behind us oldsters with some fantastic licks. The Lacemakers mix in the old country historic aspects of our bluegrass instruments with the original Celtic touch. Chris & Janet, Prairie Sky and the Shirthouse Band show us what great harmonies are all about. Judy Taylor, the Cowboy Angels and Cowboy Jack Johnson along with the Pony Tails will be whippin up great tunes on the Happy Trails Stage. Trails & Rails will take you back 100 years and Johnny High-Hat will astound you.

Camping at this festival is becoming a favorite with so much space, trees, the creek and the jamming, Ramona Style…. Add in:    our great vendors, good food and lots of things to drink, incredible musicians, an Authentic Old West Encampment, lots of other stuff to do and the hospitality of the friendly folks in Ramona and you’ve got yourself an amazing down-home experience in store for your entire family!

 Add in our wonderful batch of musicians on 3 stages on a beautiful weekend – what more could we ask for?