ANNAPOLIS, MD — Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival is a two-day beachfront music festival at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, MD that highlights the best in regional and national bluegrass, jamgrass, and Americana music. Taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 30-October 1, this conservation-focused musical event was listed as a “Don’t-Miss Bay Music Festival” by Chesapeake Bay Magazine and anticipates drawing people from all over the country and the region to enjoy the unique destination of Annapolis, Maryland, and the entire Chesapeake Bay area.
Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival headliners include Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Keller & The Keels, and Melvin Seals & JGB. Other national touring bands include Fruition, Lindsay Lou (band & artist-at-large), Cabinet, Cris Jacobs & Smooth Kentucky, Jon Stickley Trio, Arkansauce, The Dirty Grass Players, The High & Wides, Wicked Sycamore, and the Baygrass House Band—Geraldine.
“The Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival was born out of our team’s love of progressive bluegrass music, the desire to generate a fun community-oriented vibe, and a passion for protecting the Chesapeake Bay,” says festival co-founder Ron Peremel. “We created a unique music festival where just by having fun you’re helping the Bay. As we like to say: ‘Every Jam Saves the Bay!’”
Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival is thrilled to announce a theme song, “In The Water,” by Geraldine with special guest Cris Jacobs! Listen here.
“In The Water” was written by singer/songwriter/guitarist John Bolten, PhD, who is also the Chief of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Hydrological Sciences Lab. This man understands the water and why all of our actions have such a significant impact on the Chesapeake Bay. “In The Water” is from their recently released album Paw Paw. Gerladine will also be hosting “In the Water: From Bay to Grass” Video Series, partnering music with the non-profits on site at Sandy Point.
Brad Kolodner spoke with Bolten more about “In The Water” on Bluegrass Country Radio:
Bolten says: The Chesapeake Bay supports more than 3,600 species of plants and animals and consists of nearly 12000 miles of coastline—more than the entire western coast of the U.S. It’s in dire need of attention. So we wrote a song to emphasize how all of our actions affect this precious resource and how it is shared with friends downstream and should be protected for future generations.
We tried to create a song that folks could connect with, just like we all are connected to water! Whether you know it or not, all of your actions, from what type of food you eat, to how we dispose of waste, and how we treat our backyards, they all affect our immediate environment and ultimately our water resources. Water availability, water use, and water quality—they are all tied together.
We are in this together… And we really are in the water. Just as we drink the same water that the dinosaurs drank, we affect the water around us, for better, or for worse—so it is up to us to protect it.
“We’re just floating by
on a river of days of lows and highs
We’re just drops of rain
Falling together down the darkened drain
We’re in the water
There must be something in the water…”
Annapolis Baygrass is a family-friendly event with plenty of offerings for all ages including interactive artist and conservation workshops, yoga classes, beach and yard games, a Kidzone, a craft vendor village, and other activities.
Fresh lump crab cakes, roasted and raw oysters, gourmet BBQ, wood-fired pizzas, vegetarian delicacies, and other locally curated culinary options will be available at the festival. Attendees will enjoy tasty microbrews at the Baytoberfest Beer Garden, as well as fresh craft cocktails, mocktails, and wines provided by local and regional beverage partners at the waterfront Blue Crab Beach Bar.
An exceptional VIP option is available for those wishing to upgrade their experience with exclusive viewing areas, dining and lounge pavilion, chef-prepared hot meals, fresh-shucked oysters, snacks, free beverages, VIP parking, private entrance, and more. Learn more at www.baygrassfestival.com/VIP.
Sandy Point State Park, a 786-acre Maryland State Park located along the northwestern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, provides a perfect backdrop for this one-of-a-kind festival. Attendees will enjoy 14 bands on two alternating stages, with stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay and ample space to spread out and enjoy themselves in comfort and style on the sandy beaches.
Annapolis Baygrass offers several local lodging partners and camping options nearby to make your weekend perfect. These heavily discounted options are first come, first serve basis and fit options for all budgets. Shuttle service will make your stay even easier, with Shuttle Passes serving select lodging locations going on sale soon. More information www.baygrassfestival.com/lodging.
More than a music festival, Annapolis Baygrass maintains its mission to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay. 10% of all proceeds from ticket, food, beverage, and merchandise sales will go to Maryland-based non-profit organizations including Watershed Stewards Academy, Oyster Recovery Partnership, and Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.
It was founded in 2022 by Ron Peremel, John Way, and Ron Katz, who share a passion for music, a love of the local region, and a desire to give back to the community by creating a music festival with a purpose. They brought in industry veterans to join the team: Executive Director Thom Bloom, Marketing Director Ellen Crawford, and Green/Sustainability Director Walter Wright.
Music can be a vehicle to bring awareness to mental health and grow a healthy, strong community. To increase mental health awareness and connect the public to wellness resources, the festival has partnered with VA Way, a non-profit organization run by Baygrass co-founder John Way, an Army Veteran and a Certified Veteran MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) Instructor.
Way says, “I have attended hundreds of shows and festivals for over 20 years and have seen firsthand how music has the power to heal the mind. We have a rare opportunity with Baygrass to bring important mental health information to a large audience in an incredibly positive and supportive setting.” Also partnered with Baygrass are American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the music-industry centric Backline.
Baygrass’ environmental ethos is evidenced in its adoption of the sustainability model, making it one of the only green festivals in Maryland. Actions to reduce the festival’s environmental footprint include using local food vendors and ingredients, compostable plates and utensils, reusable steel cups, refillable water stations, and a “no single-use plastic water bottles” policy. Learn more at: www.baygrassfestival.com/green-initiatives.
By celebrating the local region, giving back to the community, and curating a fantastic lineup of national artists, Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival aims to be a pillar in the local music scene and an annual music festival tradition for years to come!
Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival Full 2023 Lineup:
Yonder Mountain String Band
Keller & The Keels
Melvin Seals & JGB
Lindsay Lou (band & artist-at-large)
Cris Jacobs & Smooth Kentucky
Jon Stickley Trio
The Dirty Grass Players
The High & Wides