The musical lineup has been set for the 17th annual Bear on the Square Mountain Festival set for April 20-21 in Dahlonega.
Admission is free to the festival’s Mainstage concert tent.
The lineup includes groups and individuals playing bluegrass and old-time music from the Southern Appalachian region, as well as other musical genres. Among the performers are:
- Bluebilly Grit, winner of the 2012 Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition.
- Tennessee-based Randy Waller & The Country Gentlemen, led by the son of Charlie Waller, co-founder, lead singer and guitarist of the classic bluegrass group The Country Gentlemen.
- 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 The Georgia Crackers.
- Athens-based acts Kenney-Blackmon String Band and The Solstice Sisters.
- From out of state, John Lilly from Charleston, W. Va., Sons of Bluegrass from East Tennessee State University and Locust Honey from Swannanoa, N.C. Sons of Bluegrass, made of majors from the bluegrass music program at East Tennessee State University, will also be the featured band at the Live Country Auction pre-festival event Friday night.
Glenda Pender, festival co-founder and current president, will again lead the Sunday morning Gospel Jam on the MainStage.
An Acoustic Open Mic session is set for 3-4:30 p.m. Saturday. Anyone interested in performing can sign up for 15-minute slots at www.bearonthesquare.org or at the festival. Neel Pender will serve as emcee.
"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," Pender said.
Pre-festival events begin Friday with the jamming on the square, followed by Master Classes in the afternoon and an evening auction. Saturday and Sunday schedules include Mainstage performances, the juried Mountain Marketplace, more jamming and workshops, an old-time Mountain Dance and children’s activities.
More details, including a full list of performers, activities, sponsors and updates, can be found at the website.