Welcome to the Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park & Campground


Photo by: MaryE YeomansNestled in the beautiful hills of Brown County in Southern Indiana there is a little slice of heaven called Bean Blossom. Bill Monroe fell in love with this small town, and the property he owned, calling it his home away from home for more than forty years. Once you visit, you too will experience the magic of Bean Blossom. Come experience the history, become a part of tradition and find out why so many call this the Mecca of bluegrass music.

We dedicate this site to the memory of Bill Monroe, the “Father Of Bluegrass,” and to the legacy of the style of music he left behind.

This year marks the forty-seventh year for the oldest, continuously running bluegrass festival in the world – the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival. Please join us as we continue to make history!

Photograph of Bill Monroe © 1990 by MaryE Yeomans. Used by permission of MaryE Yeomans and the University of Illinois Press.

2014 John Hartford Memorial Festival Line-up Announced

steamboat-headerThe John Hartford Memorial Festival has released another line up for the 2014 festival, happening May 29-31 at Bill Monroe’s Music Park & Campground in Bean Blossom, IN. Joining the initial line up of Peter Rowan, Pokey LaFarge, and Pert Near Sandstone will be Jamie Hartford & Friends, Danny Barnes, Larry and Jenny Keel, Mike Compton, The HillBenders, Leroy Troy, Bawn in the Mash, Rumpke Mountain Boys and many more. New to the festival will be Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys, The Haunted Windchimes, Scenic Roots, Julia Belle Swain Band, Old Salt Union, The Crunchy Western Boys, Sloppy Joe, The Downtown County Band, andMaria Carrelli.

Heading into its fourth year, the John Hartford Memorial Festival is on a mission to preserve and continue the legacy, music, and ideals of John Hartford; one of America’s most beloved songwriters, performers, and musicians. “I’m thrilled to be a part of honoring John’s memory and to bring life back into the songs he crafted,” said Mike Compton.

“I think John’s passion for sound and lyrics has been felt for decades, and has altered the path of string band music,” Compton continued. “He’s sort of the granddaddy of this Jamgrass scene. There’s an awful lot of his repertoire in the bedrock of the scene, from before the Aereo-Plain album to the present. John would be thrilled to know this festival is going on. Shoot, I reckon he does,” he said.

Grammy and IBMA award-winning recording artist Mike Compton has achieved a worldwide reputation as one of the modern masters of bluegrass mandolin. He has recorded with Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, and made music with John Hartford, recording a half-dozen records and touring extensively with him until John’s death in 2001. “Working for John for a half dozen years wasn’t always easy, but it was a growing experience for me that has shaped a lot of what I do now,” Compton concluded.

The John Hartford Memorial Festival is a 3-day, family-friendly music festival that takes place in scenic southern Indiana. The park offers cabin rentals, shaded camping, electric hook ups for RVs, hot showers, a fishing pond, playground, golf cart rentals and more, and is conveniently located near Brown County State Park. Campground and campfire acoustic pickin’ is encouraged and a usual sighting around the festival.

New to next year’s festival will be John Hartford Storytelling. John’s friends will share their memories and stories with the audience. While this informally happens every year, it will be an organized event held under the Boogie Tent at specific times. There will also be a Chompdown pitch-in breakfast with live music on Friday, May 30 from 10 am – Noon for all to participate in, and a Children’s Tent with planned activities. Pickers and players are encouraged to participate in the Old-Time Fiddling Contest and the John Hartford Songwriting Contest with cash prizes and more.

Three-day tickets for the 4th Annual John Hartford Memorial Festival are on sale now at a discounted price of $75. Camping and cabin rentals are additional and paid separately. For a limited time, they are offering an exclusive, groundbreaking ticket special where you pay $25 (non-refundable down payment) upfront, and pay the remaining balance by May 1, 2014. That’s an unprecedented deal that won’t be sticking around long. Festival ticket prices go up to $100 on January 1.

Order your tickets today to get the discounted price! Visit the website for further details and tickets. www.johnhartfordmemfest.com

2014 John Hartford Memorial Festival Line-up:

Peter Rowan
Pokey LaFarge
Pert Near Sandstone
Jamie Hartford and Friends
Larry and Jenny Keel
Danny Barnes
The HillBenders
Rumpke Mountain Boys
Bawn in the Mash
Mike Compton
Leroy Troy
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys
The Haunted Windchimes
Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin
Scenic Roots
The Henhouse Prowlers
The Downtown County Band
Eric Lambert & Friends
Julia Belle Swain Band
Ryan Spearman and Kelly Wells
Flatland Harmony Experiment
Deep Fried Pickle Project
Crunchy Western Boys
Betse Ellis
Colin O’Brien
New Old Calvary
The Whipstitch Sallies
Alex Riffle & the Stiff Riffs
Hickory Robot
Whiskey Bent Valley Boys
Sloppy Joe
Old Salt Union
The Worley Boys
Huckleberry Green
Ray Lawrence Jr
Maria Carrelli
White Lightning Boys
Cluster Pluck

Myron Dillman

Myron Dillman, 79, of Peru, IN, the father of Dwight Dillman, owner and operator of the Bean Blossom Bluegrass festivals, passed away on Sunday, November 3, 2013. Mr. D’s arrangements: Viewing is Thursday, November 7 from 1-7pm. Funeral is Friday, November 8 at 10am at Flowers Leedy Funeral home in Peru, IN. “Mr. D”, as Ralph Stanley called him, was a fiddle player and long-time bluegrass fan. The Bean Blossom festivals will never be the same again without Mr. D. watering the dusty roads, delivering ice to the fans, and making appearances on stage to play fiddle with Ralph and the Clinch Mountain Boys. May he rest in peace. Our sincerest sympathy to his family and his many friends.

Jim Peva

2013 IBMA Bluegrass Event of the Year Award

ibma-awards-logoThe Bill Monroe Music Park and Campground is proud to announce the 47th Annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival is the recipient of the 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Bluegrass Event of the Year Award. The winners of this year’s IBMA awards were announced last week during the association’s World of Bluegrass held in Raleigh, NC. Park owner and festival producer, Dwight Dillman said, “I just want to say that I appreciate you all for supporting Bean Blossom. Thanks to all the staff, the festival goers, the bands, sponsors, and IBMA. See you next year.”

The Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival is now established as the oldest continuous running bluegrass festival in the world. Throughout the years, the festival has received other honors including: recipient of the 2000 IBMA Bluegrass Event of the Year Award; recognized as a Local Legacy for the State of Indiana by the Library of Congress in May 2001 and becoming a permanent display; featured last year in USA Today’s “10 Great Places To Go To Bluegrass Festivals” and more.

The 47th Annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival held last June was sponsored by Dillman Furniture and Hope River Entertainment. The annual 8-day event included over 50 bluegrass bands, Youth Bluegrass Boot Camp, instrument and vocal workshops, jam sessions, camping, food, vendors, and so much more.

The 48th Annual Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival will take place June 12-21, 2014. Next year, the park will also host: the 2nd Annual Simply Mushroom-Morel Festival April 18-21; the 4th Annual John Hartford Memorial Festival May 29-31; the 5th Annual Bean Blossom Southern Gospel Jubilee July 10-12; the 16th Annual Bean Blossom Gospel Jubilee July 24-26; the 16th Annual Bean Blossom Blues Festival August 21-23; the Quafftober Fest September 19-20; 40th Annual Bill Monroe Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days Festival September 24-27; and the 8th Cedar Rock Haunted Trail every weekend in October 2014.

More on Bean Blossom
In October of 1951, while performing on the road, that Grand Ole Opry star Bill Monroe traveled to a small town in Indiana called Bean Blossom to perform at the Brown County Jamboree. He fell in love with the area immediately and in December of 1951 decided to purchase the property making it his home away from home.

In June, 1967, at the insistence of promoter Carlton Haney, Bill Monroe held his first two-day bluegrass festival, which he called a Blue Grass Celebration, at Bean Blossom. He brought his musician friends together to play the high lonesome sound he had pioneered. This first festival was held in the Brown County Jamboree Barn and was so well attended that Bill decided to have it annually and to build an outdoor stage to accommodate a bigger audience. In June of 1968, people from all over the country came to hear the Father of Bluegrass and his legendary Blue Grass Boys perform, as well as other top name bluegrass artists and Grand Ole Opry stars. The artists performed on a newly-constructed stage that sat at the bottom of a wooded amphitheater surrounded by loyal bluegrass fans. Festival patrons gathered in the fields, in the woods, at campsites, just about anywhere they felt like, so they could pick and sing the music they loved so much.

Over the years the festival has grown and the grounds have been improved. The sounds of bluegrass still echo through the hills and trees, with the spirit of Bill Monroe. Despite his death in 1996, the history and tradition at Bean Blossom continues.

39th Annual Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days Festival Line-Up and Hall of Fame Inductee, George Shuffler

The 39th Annual Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days Festival will be held September 18-21, 2013 at the Bill Monroe Memorial Bluegrass Music Park & Campground in Brown County, Indiana. The 4-day event includes a stellar line-up of over 30 bluegrass bands, instrument and vocal workshops, jam sessions, camping, food, vendors, and fellowship. Tickets can be purchased by phone (800) 414-4677 or at www.beanblossom.US.

George-ShufflerOn Saturday, September 21, George Shuffler will be inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame. George grew up in Burke County, NC where he taught himself to play on a mail-order guitar. He made his Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 17 performing with The Bailey Brothers. George toured 20 years with the Stanley Brothers where he developed his unique cross picking guitar style that has been a big influence to many musicians. He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame in 2011 and was a recipient of the North Carolina Heritage Award in 2007. For more information on George Shuffler, please visit blueridgeheritage.com.

Another highlight of the festival will be a CD Release Party held by the James King Band on Saturday, 21 who will be providing free biscuits and gravy for the fans.

The complete line-up for the 39th Annual Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days Festival includes the talents of:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition
Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time
The Boxcars
Kody Norris & Watauga Mountain Boys
Spinney Brothers
Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers
Darrell Webb Band
Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain

Thursday, September 19, 2013
The Grascals
Marty Raybon & Full Circle
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out
Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain
Spinney Brothers
Feller & Hill and the Bluegrass Buckaroos
Tommy Brown & County Line Grass

Friday, September 20, 2013
Wildwood Valley Boys
Cumberland Highlanders
Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys
Larry Stephenson Band
Tim Graves & Cherokee
American Drive
Karl Shiflett & The Big Country Show
Tommy Brown & County Line Grass
Ralph Stanley II

Saturday, September 21, 2013
George Shuffler
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Dr. Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys
Paul Williams & The Victory Trio
Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
Audie Blaylock & Redline
Kenny & Amanda Smith
James King Band

Emcees for The 39th Annual Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days Festival are the Legendary Tommy Lamb and George Riddle. Sound will be provided by Tom Feller Sound.

Each festival ticket includes: admission to the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, Country Star Museum and Uncle Pen’s cabin tour, plus all music and instrument workshops. There will be plenty of food concessions and merchants. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the fun. Shows take place rain or shine.

For more information including tickets, directions and complete schedule, please visit BeanBlossom.US. The 39th Annual Bill Monroe Hall of Fame & Uncle Days is sponsored by Martin Guitar, Dillman Furniture, and Hope River Entertainment.