Six years ago an idea was born about having a bluegrass festival on Briedert’s green in historical downtown Frankfort, Illinois. Something that is unique about this two-day music festival is that is completely free.The family friendly atmosphere draws people from around the country to the small town of Frankfort to hear award winning Bluegrass musicians. Along with the main stage acts there are also workshops, a jam tent, kids area, food and craft vendors. The Frankfort Bluegrass Committee and all of their volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year to raise money for the non-for-profit festival.
One of the ways that they are able to keep the festival free is from the fundraiser held every year at Smokey Barque. A fundraiser will be held April 30 at Smokey Barque from 6-10pm. There will be three floors of live music, food, cash bar, raffles, silent auction split the pot and more. Amanda Thompson (Bluegrass committee member) says,“Having it at Smokey Barque is great, the restaurant has been there for the festival from the start by hosting the fundraiser every year and you can view the festival grounds from the restaurant itself. We are happy to partner with Tommy and his restaurant.” So why have a fundraiser? Since the festival is non-for-profit and there are no actual tickets for the festival, money is the main purpose of the fundraiser. “There are many costs associated with the festival such as lodging, kids activities, accounting, insurance, T-shirts and more besides just the musical performers. It takes a village and we are glad to have Frankfort be that village,”stated Amanda. “We are glad to have this festival be a free festival when people are so concerned over the cost of most activities and musical events.”
This years festival will be held Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10 rain or shine. Musical acts this year are The Grascals, Grammy Nominated Special Consensus, Roland White Band, Sierra Hull, Gibson Brothers, Chicago’s own Robbie Fulks, Billy Strings, Honey Dewdrops, North Carolina’s Nu-Blu, Eric Lambert and Chris Walz, Flatland Harmony Experiment, Still Shine, Growler, Coyote Riot , Chicago New-grass from Miles Over Mountains, Bluegrass Escape, Anderlik, Otto and Church, Mad Bread, Wandering Boys, Found Hounds and Homestretch Ride. Tickets will be available starting February 15, they will be $20 ahead of time and $25 at the door. Steve Haberichter (Bluegrass Committee Member) and owner of Down Home guitars adds, “We are anticipating a great turnout for the 6th Annual Frankfort Bluegrass Fest Fundraiser at Smokey Barque. Great Music, food, raffles and more. Come show your support.”