In 2013, three-time Grammy nominees Dailey & Vincent launched LandFest, their own music festival in Denton, North Carolina. In 2017, needing a bigger room, they moved to the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee, GA.
“In the third year, we had to raise the large doors of Hiawassee, which opened onto an outdoor space. We noticed that the lawn was completely filled with chairs and there was no more room for ticket buyers. We knew then that it was time to grow up, ”the group said. Jamie Dailey recount Billboard.
Instead of moving again, Dailey and his musical partner Darrin vincent take a big step forward with the flagship three-day festival, expanding to five festivals in four locations this year and rebranding the series as The American Made Music Festival series.
The first festival will launch June 10-11 at the Sand Mountain Amphitheater in Albertville, Alabama. Four festivals will follow September 15-17 (the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee, GA), October 7-8 (Jackson County Airport in Gainesboro, Tenn.), November 11-12 (Capitol Theater in Wheeling , West Virginia) and December 2-3 (a return to the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee, Ga., as part of ChristmasFest). The group worked with their management company, APEX Entertainment Management, to create the festival series, presented by Springer Mountain Farms. Estimated attendance for festivals ranges from 2,500 to around 6,000 people.
Bluegrass music is a genre that pairs well with music festivals, with a history of artist-hosted festivals. The Bean Blossom Bluegrass Music Festival of Bill Monroe, the “father of bluegrass,” began in the mid-1960s. Dr Ralph Stanley started the Hills of Home Bluegrass Festival in 1970. Last year marked the 41st Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver Bluegrass Festival. In honor of the late Earl Scruggs, the Earl Scruggs Music Festival is scheduled to begin in September. These are in addition to many other long-standing bluegrass festivals, including the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, RockyGrass, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, the Festival of the Bluegrass, the IBMA Fan Fest of the International Bluegrass Music Association, and Moreover.
Dailey & Vincent’s American Made Music Festival series will stay in the South for now.
“We’ve played all over the world and we love our fans everywhere,” said Dailey. “But we knew that launching these festivals closer to our home port would be more manageable for us by traveling quickly to or from when needed. We are looking at spaces in the west and north, and we hope to announce some in the future. “
Dailey & Vincent, as well as their manager, APEX Entertainment Management’s Zac Koffler, were strategic in the selection of each venue for the festival. Vincent attributes to Romeo Entertainment Group RJ Romeo mentioning the location of Sand Mountain Park & Amphitheater in Albertville as an option in Koffler. Last year, they added a festival in Dailey’s hometown of Gainesboro, Tennessee at the Jackson County Airport, and are returning to that location this year.
“Is it cool to have the opportunity to organize a festival on an airport runway?” Said Vincent.
As companies like Live Nation and AEG dominate the music festival space, the group is carving out a list of niche festivals for fans of country, gospel and bluegrass.
“We have great respect for these companies, but I think we’re making our own way with more traditional music and entertainment festivals,” Vincent says.
The list of festivals further reinforces a multi-faceted brand the group has been building for over a decade, since their fierce breakthrough year with their self-titled debut album in 2008 (at that year’s IBMA Awards they went from new Artist of the Year from winners to the coveted Artist of the Year winners in an awards ceremony, scoring seven wins over the course of the evening).
They have since landed six No.1 albums on BillboardBluegrass Albums Chart, won three Grammy nominations in the country and bluegrass categories, won four Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association, and was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. They’ve also made their foray into television, both with a focus on a special PBS concert and with their three-time Emmy nominee. The Dailey & Vincent show. The weekly show, which launched in 2015, airs on Circle Network and features a mix of country, bluegrass and gospel artists. Musically, they have continued to diversify, releasing a gospel album in 2012 and their first Christmas album in 2018.
Dailey & Vincent take a similar cross-genre approach to organizing the performances of each festival. At all five festivals, fans can expect country artists including Josh Turner, Martina McBride, Gene Watson, Diamond Rio and former Statler Brothers frontman Jimmy Fortune (in 2010 Dailey & Vincent released an album of songs of the Statler Brothers), as well as bands The Isaacs and Primitive Quartet, bluegrass / country artist Bradley Walker and more. As a nod to their relationship with the Opry, at least one festival lineup includes a tribute performance to Opry, with other artists to be announced soon.
“Bringing a wide range of talent to our festivals is a balancing act,” says Vincent. “Working with our friends and colleagues in the Grand Ole Opry family is not only good for the consumer, but also good and fun for us. It’s very difficult to schedule our festivals, and we rely on our partners for guidance and wisdom when selecting a talent lineup.
And while the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged music tours and festivals of all sizes, Dailey & Vincent and their team have made progress in organizing festivals, including last year’s events in Hiawassee, Georgia, and in Gainesboro, Tenn. Disinfection and hand washing stations have been set up everywhere for the participants.
“Masks weren’t mandatory, but if you felt the need to wear one, it was up to you. We have done our part by avoiding welcome meetings or signing autographs, and have kept backstage access to a minimum, ”said Vincent. “People in general are pretty cautious. In our organization, if you feel sick or have a fever, we ask that you stay home. I know there were a few people with existing health issues who chose not to come, and we think that’s a smart choice.
“We encourage everyone who attends our festivals to be cautious and take whatever action is necessary that they believe will help keep them safe,” Dailey said.
In the future, they hope to add more festivals over the next five years or so.
“At this point five is a lot, but we would like to increase it to six or seven, moving southwest with a couple,” Vincent says.
And the long-term goal?
“I’d like us to end at around 25 or so,” Dailey says.