Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

For the five Wisconsinites that make up Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, in all began in 2010when they found themselves holding acoustic instruments at a party in a living room in the college town of Stevens Point, Wis. The music and revelry from then is still going strong today, from the mountain west to the river towns of the Midwest that the quintet calls home, and all across America.

April Verch

April Verch Band

While April Verch (pictured at right with band members) is perhaps best known for playing traditional fiddle styles from her native Ottawa Valley, Canada, her performances extend into old-time American and Appalachian styles and beyond, for a well-rounded tour-de-force of North Americana sounds.

The Howlin' Brothers

The Howlin' Brothers

The Howlin’ Brothers are a Nashville-based string band composed of Ian Craft, JT Huskey and Jared Green.  Anchored in a bed of old-time blues and bluegrass, their upbeat shows are heavy with original and traditional music, featuring the sounds of slide banjo, harmonica and old-time fiddle.  

Curtis Jones and Matt Mundy

Curtis (aka Cortini) has traveled the world for over 20 years performing his original music and amazing crowds with his phenomenal guitar playing.

The Georgia Crackers

The Georgia Crackers

The Georgia Crackers, a favorite of Dahlonega audiences, keep alive the string band tradition made famous by 1920s artists such as the Skillet Lickers and Fiddling John Carson. In addition to authentic breakdowns, rags, and blues, the Crackers always entertain with old-time ballads, vocal harmonies, and humorous novelty songs.

Crooked Mile

Crooked Mile is a North Georgia-based traditional bluegrass band which is returning to Bear for the second consecutive year. Crooked Mile consists of four distinctive vocalists, and its instrumentation is banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and bass.

Ugly Cousin

Ugly Cousin

Ugly Cousin is composed of members who are all natives of Dahlonega - ‘Nuggets’ as locals often coin themselves - who all grew up around a variety of music. However, there is a clear and "golden" thread of traditional music woven throughout their repertoire.

Gospel Jam

The Sunday Morning Gospel Jam

The single most popular event each year at the Bear Festival is the Sunday Morning Gospel Jam led by Glenda Pender. Come early if you want a seat, as the MainState Tent is usually packed for this event.

Georgia Pick & Bow Traditional Music School Students

Appearing on the Bear on the Square Mountain Festival’s MainStage for the ninth consecutive year are students from the Georgia Pick & Bow Traditional Music School Program, an after school program in Dahlonega. Pick & Bow is a bluegrass and old-time mountain music school for young people grades 4 through 12.

Wil Maring & Robert Bowlin

Award-winning singer/songwriter Wil Maring and virtuose guitarist /fiddler Robert Bowlin combine their talents, smoothly blending elements from all roots music genres to create an original acoustic music all their own -- oldtime and bluegrass, jazz and blues, celtic and country, it¹s all there.

John Lilly

John Lilly is an award-winning, multi-faceted songwriter and performer from Charleston, W. Va., who specializes in country roots and traditional folk music. From poignant ballads to humorous songs and yodels, John captures the essence of the past and puts it in his own terms. He has been a Bear festival favorite for many years.

The Threadbare Skivvies

Threadbare Skivvies

The Threadbare Skivvies are a duo from Atlanta. They like to describe themselves, and their music, as vagabond nature folk. It’s a bohemian banjo bangin', stompin’ & clappin’ kind of business: powerhouse harmonies, funky rhythms, and soulfully crafted lyrics.

Pick & Bow Raffle Drawing

Pick & Bow Raffle Drawing

This beautiful, custom-made guitar is a copy of the classic Martin  Dreadnaught.  

It features an abalone bear on the headstock, bear paws made of abalone and pure silver on the fretboard, premium gold-plated, hand-engraved tuners and legal ivory.  

BlueBilly Grit

From the side porch of an old gristmill to the main stage of The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, following their win at the 2012 Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition, BlueBilly Grit has quickly become a force in bluegrass and Americana.

Kickin' Off The Bear: Appalachian Storytelling Sampler

Stop by for a preview with Melanie Knauff of what happens throughout the weekend on our Storytelling Stage.

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