Photo of three female-presenting musicians holding stringed instruments in front of some trees with the words "Wicked Sycamore" above them.
Wicked Sycamore is one of the bands set to play at the Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival.

The Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival has announced its lineup of performers, featuring 14 bands across two alternating stages over the two-day festival.

The music festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 30 and October 1, 2023, at Sandy Point State Park beach along the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis. It’s a conservation-focused event, highlighting the best in regional and national bluegrass, jamgrass, and Americana music. Chesapeake Bay Magazine named it a “Don’t-Miss Bay Music Festival.”

“A family friendly festival, Annapolis Baygrass anticipates drawing people from all over the country and the region to enjoy the unique beachfront destination, scrumptious local foods, and delightful cocktails and mocktails,” Erin Scholze wrote in a press release for the music festival.

Headliners for Saturday night are Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, and Keller & The Keels. Each band will play a set, then close out the evening with a big jam session together. During the day, “Saturday… is full of flavor with the cinematic Jon Stickley Trio and Baltimore’s own high energy The Dirty Grass Players and Baygrass House Stringband, Geraldine,” Scholze said.

Sunday’s headliner is Melvin Seals and JGB, performs a mix of blues, funk, rock, jazz, R&B, and gospel.

“A powerful presence in the music industry for over 30 years, Seals is most revered for his high-spirited playing in the Jerry Garcia Band for 18 years. Melvin and JGB bring an intuitive, expressive style, soul, spontaneity, and remarkable chops to the table,” Scholze said.

During the day on Sunday there will be a variety of bands for listening and dancing, including Fruition, Cabinet, Cris Jacobs & Smooth Kentucky, Arkansauce, and the Chesapeake Bay area’s Wicked Sycamore, and The High & Wides. 

Lindsay Lou is performing with her band on Saturday and will be an artist-at-large at the entire event throughout the weekend.

“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,” said 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!’”

There will be activities for all ages, including interactive artist and conservation workshops, yoga classes, beach and yard games, a Kidzone, a craft vendor village, and other activities.

Food choices will be plentiful, including Fresh lump crab cakes, roasted and raw oysters, gourmet BBQ, Asian food, tacos, wood-fired pizzas, vegan and vegetarian delicacies, and other locally curated culinary options. There will be microbrews from Pherm Brewing Company and Idiom Brewing Co. at the Baytoberfest Beer Garden, as well as fresh craft cocktails from Gray Wolf Spirits, The Wine Collective wines, and delicious non-alcoholics drinks and mocktails from Sobar at the waterfront Blue Crab Beach Bar.

Annapolis Baygrass aims to be more than a music festival, with a mission to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay. To that end, 10% of all proceeds from ticket, food, beverage, and merchandise sales will go to Maryland-based nonprofit organizations, including Watershed Stewards Academy, Oyster Recovery Partnership, and Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.

“Baygrass also draws attention to mental health education and recognizes that music is often an excellent vehicle to building and growing a healthy, strong community” Scholze said. The festival aspires to connect the public to wellness resources, and to that end, has partnered with nonprofits VA Way, the music industry-centric Backline, and their beverage partner Sobar, whose mission “envisions an environment where the stigma of alcoholism, addiction, mental illness, and not drinking alcohol is eliminated.”

Baygrass co-founder and founder of VA WAY, John Way—an Army Veteran and a Certified Veteran MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) Instructor—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. We’ve just partnered with Anne Arundel County Health Department to bring narcan training to the event as a harm reduction workshop for the community.”

Annapolis Baygrass has a Spotify playlist with music from all the artists performing, which you can access by clicking this link.

Learn about the festival’s environmental and sustainability model, which makes it one of the only green festivals in Maryland, by clicking this link.

“Heavily discounted nearby lodging partners, camping options (first serve basis and fit options for all budgets) and shuttle service make it an enjoyable and hassle-free weekend!” Scholze said. The deadline to reserve a camping spot at KOA (Kampgrounds of America) is August 25. More information on lodging is available by clicking this link.

Shuttles will be available from all the partnering lodging locations from 10:00 am to post-show on Saturday and Sunday. Shuttle passes are on sale now, and available by clicking this link.

Two-day ticket prices range from $110 for kids’ (ages 10 – 15) General Admission to $365 for adult VIP passes. Kids 9 and under are admitted free. Shuttle passes are $25. All ticketing information is available by clicking this link.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *