FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2013
BEAR ON THE SQUARE FESTIVAL REVEALS
MUSIC LINEUP; FREE ADMISSION ONCE AGAIN
The Bear on the Square Mountain Festival has posted its lineup of featured musicians for its 17th annual celebration the third weekend in April, and the performers include a group led by the son of Charlie Waller, co-founder, lead singer and guitarist of the classic bluegrass group The Country Gentlemen, and the Northeast Georgia-based BlueBilly Grit band which won the 2012 Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition.
For the second consecutive year, admission to the festival's MainStage concert tent will be free.
Glenda Pender, president of Bear on the Square, noted that once again the MainStage lineup offers a number of performing groups and individuals who will offer bluegrass and old-time music from the Southern Appalachian region, as well as other musical genres. The MainStage performers during the festival, scheduled Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21, in and around Dahlonega's Historic Public Square, will include the following:
* Tennessee-based Randy Waller & The Country Gentlemen and BlueBilly Grit, a local favorite from Northeast Georgia which captured the coveted first place trophy at last summer's Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition.
* Dahlonega bands: The Neel Pender Project, Curtis Jones & Mountain Gypsy Project, Gold Rush, and the Pick & Bow All Stars from the Georgia Pick & Bow Traditional Music School.
* Atlanta-based bands: The Georgia Crackers.
* Athens-based acts: Kenney-Blackmon String Band and The Solstice Sisters.
* Other acts: John Lilly from Charleston, W. Va., Sons of Bluegrass from East Tennessee State University, and Locust Honey from Swannanoa, N. C.
Sons of Bluegrass, comprised entirely of high caliber majors from the one-of-a-kind four-year B. A. in bluegrass music program at East Tennessee State University, will also be the featured band at the Live Country Auction, a pre-festival event on Friday night.
Glenda Pender, festival co-founder and current president, will once again lead the Sunday morning Gospel Jam on the MainStage, one of Bear on the Square's most popular events.
Pender also announced what she described as an "exciting new addition" to Bear on the Square's musical offerings. An Acoustic Open Mic session will be held from 3 until 4:30 p.m. on Saturday of this year's festival. The event will be held on the stage in the Workshop Tent, and those interested in performing are encouraged to sign up for 15-minute slots in advance at www.bearonthesquare.org or at the festival (if any openings are remaining). "This is a chance for all those musicians jamming on the square all weekend to get up and show off their talent on a Bear festival stage," said Pender, who added that Neel Pender will serve as emcee for the open mic session.
The highly entertaining and well-attended Bear on the Square Mountain Festival is held in Dahlonega the third weekend of April every year. Pre-festival events for the 17th yearly festival are scheduled on Friday, April 19, with the beginning of jamming on the Square as well as the auction that evening. Saturday and Sunday's schedule includes MainStage performances, the juried Mountain Marketplace, more jamming on the square, additional workshops, the Gospel Jam, an old-time Mountain Dance, and kids activities. More details about the festival, including the complete list of performers and artists, activities, sponsors and updates between now and the event, can be found at the Bear on the Square website.
Bear on the Square Mountain Festival, Inc., which stages the festival each year, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit cultural arts organization with the mission of preserving and celebrating the culture of the Southern Appalachians through the presentation of music, traditional craft and folkways. Tax deductible donations are welcome and can be sent to P.O. Box 338, Dahlonega, GA 30533.