The SamJam Bluegrass Festival, chosen as the winner of the 2018 Momentum Award for Best New Festival by the International Bluegrass Music Association, is scheduled for August 28 through September 1 at the Pike County Fairgrounds in Piketon.

Nationally-recognized bluegrass musicians, including Bluegrass and Country Hall of Fame member, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, will be featured at the festival. Several other award-winning bluegrass artists are scheduled to perform at the event as well, including Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Lonesome River Band, Sideline, The Seldom Scene, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and many more.

“The festival continues to grow and we are looking forward to welcoming bluegrass fans to southern Ohio,” said Sam Karr, a Marshall, Indiana resident who co-organizes Sam Jam Bluegrass Festival with Rick Greene, of Waverly. “Each year we try to bring fans the very best in bluegrass music and we believe this is a strong lineup that has great entertainment every day of the festival.”

The festival will begin with SamJam Hop, a new festival feature, on Wednesday, August 28. The SamJam Hop will take place at four local venues where a bluegrass band will perform for an hour and thirty minutes at each location. Uptown Bluegrass will perform at the Waverly Eagles at 5 p.m., Coal Cave Hollow Boys at the Lake White Club at 7 p.m., Nik & Sam at the Waverly Moose Lodge at 9 p.m. and the Sour Mash String Band at the outdoor pavilion at the The Grove in Piketon. Shuttle service will be available for SamJam Hop. Tickets are 10 dollars at each stop, but are free with a $120 weeklong festival ticket purchase

“This is a way to give our visitors a taste of southern Ohio and let them know we have a very welcoming community,” said Greene. “This will also give some area businesses a boost and is another way the festival can have a positive impact on the local economy. We have had a lot of positive comments and we know people are looking forward to this addition to the festival.”

After the SamJam Hop, the next four days of the festival will be held at the Pike County Fairgrounds. The festivities will be go on, rain or shine, and will be moved indoors should inclement weather occur.

The Thursday, August 29 lineup includes the Kody Norris Show, Lacy Creek, Billy Droze & Kentucky Blue, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, and Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out with special guest, Lou Reid.

Scheduled to perform on Friday, August 30 are Nathan and Chesi Arnett; the Ricky Wasson Band’s tribute to J.D. Crowe, featuring Doyle Lawson, Stuart Duncan, Ron Stewart and Don Rigsby; The Seldom Scene; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and the Appalachian Road Show.

The Saturday, August 31 lineup includes the Caleb Daugherty Band, the Band of Kelleys, Turning Ground, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder and Sideline.

On Sunday, September 1, the day will begin with a prayer service from 9 to 10 a.m., followed by gospel music by New Again. The lineup includes the winner of the Pinecastle Records National Band Competition winner, Hammertowne, Wildfire, Lonesome River Band and The Cleverlys. The festival will wrap up with the SamJam After Party featuring the Barnlizards and a cornhole tournament organized by Corntucky Cornhole.

In addition to SamJam Hop, two other new features have been added to the festival: jam session camp and Pinecastle Records National Band Competition.

The jam session camp, run by Russell Paswater, will teach jam session etiquette and will provide musicians with a networking opportunity.

The Pinecastle Records National Band Competition gives competing bands a chance to receive a three day recording experience in the Pinecastle Records studio, lodging accommodations provided. The winner of the competition will be added to the Sunday, September 1 festival lineup.

The Bluegrass Music Youth Camp, presented by Glenville State University, is returning to the 2019 SamJam Bluegrass Festival. The camp is for anyone five to 18 years of age. For more information about the camps and band competition, visit or the festival’s Facebook page at SamJam Bluegrass Festival.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the festival and ensure that our customers have a complete entertainment experience,” said Karr. “A lot of the activities we have also benefit the bluegrass music industry and promote bluegrass, and that’s is also important to Rick and me.”

The Yuengling Beer Garden is returning to the festival with 12-ounce cans of Yuengling, Yuengling Light and Yuengling Golden Pilsner for one dollar. The beer garden proceeds will benefit the Pike County Maker’s Guild. The Lake White Club will provide inflatables and a large assortment of foods will be available at the festival.

The cost of a weeklong festival ticket is $120. Day tickets are available for $45. Students who show college identification will receive a $10 rebate on a Sunday ticket price. Anyone 16 or younger will be admitted free of charge.

“We try to make sure the festival is affordable and we believe this is a great value for someone’s entertainment dollar. We also try to make the event inviting for families, that’s why we allow anyone 16 years of age or younger into the festival at no charge,” said Greene. “Sam and I have worked hard with the community to create a world-class music event in Pike County and we cannot thank our sponsors, partners and volunteers enough. We’ve all done this together.”

Corporate VIP sponsors for the festival include Todd Harris Realty, State Farm Insurance (Megan Carroll, Chillicothe and Angel Glass, Piketon), Ricer Equipment, Mark Porter Auto Mall, the Lake White Club, Dimit Truck & Trailer Repair, Ervco Sanitation, Tecumseh! Outdoor Drama, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, WXIZ 100.9 Cash FM and WXZQ 100.1 FM, WE Contracting, Yuengling, the Rudy Fest Bluegrass Festival, Bourbon 30 and the Bluegrass Jamboree.

Band sponsors for the event include Prussia Valley Dulcimers, Ritchie’s Backyard BBQ and Marketplace, Ohio Valley Bank, First National Bank, McDonald’s of Waverly, Rooster’s, D’Addario, Martin Guitars, GHS Strings, 94.3 Country — WKKJ, Waverly American Legion Post 142, Piketon VFW Post 2832, the Waverly Eagles, the Waverly Moose Lodge, The Grove, Piketon Comfort Inn, Waverly Ameristay, Waverly Tire, Klinger Accounting & Tax Services, Wiseman Brothers Fabricating and Steel, Higley Tent Rentals, Sport ‘N’ Shoes, Rockwater Campground, Dogwood Hills Golf Course, Byers Diesel Repair, Hoosier Guitar Company, and Liff-Weiss Productions.

For additional information, contact Karr at 812-699-0962, or Greene at 740-547-9059.

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