Monday, January 4, 2016

YeeHaw Bluegrass - Okeechobee, Florida - January 18 - 23, 2016

Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center

After months of drama during which the YeeHaw Bluegrass Festival was on and off, rumored about, lied about, and persistently maintained, nurtured, and re-imagined, YeeHaw Bluegrass will be reborn in Okeechobee, FL. When the owner began looking for a new person to take over the festival she contacted Norman Adams to recommend someone who could build and grow the festival, he endorsed Ernie and Deb Evans as the people to take on YeeHaw. It was only after her untimely death that the Evans' were forced to consider a new location. Now, this twenty year old festival will re-convene in the Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center beginning on Monday, January 18 and run through the three day festival from the 21st - 23rd under the ownership of Ernie and Deb Evans, in a new setting, and with renewed optimism about its future.

Aerial Photo of the Grounds

This aerial photograph of the Okeechobee Agri- Civic Center's grounds clearly shows elements that will contribute to a successful and growing festival. The festival grounds include lots of electric/water hookups, flush toilets and hot showers, potential covered spaces for jamming, and a performance area with a large, covered area allowing for artist's merch tables, vendors, and even an RV display/sales area for a local dealer. There's still room for rough camping for those who want it, as well. The Center is far enough from Okeechobee to be relatively quiet, while it's close enough to have convenient shopping and off-site hotel/motel accommodation and access to local restaurants. 

Hotels Near Agri-Civic Center

Restaurants Near Agri-Civic Center

The Lineup
Lonely Heartstring Band - Special on Tuesday

The Lonely Heartstring Band may be the best up-and-coming band you haven't heard yet. This band, Boston-based with graduates of Berkley College of Music and New England Conservatory formed as a bluegrass Beatles cover band, and found they had a new and wonderful sound, They'll be playing a Tuesday evening show on their way north from several gigs down in the Keys. The show is available free for all people in the area to attend.

Patrick McGonigle & George Clements

The Festival Lineup
Nothin Fancy

Nothin Fancy has the same lineup, witht he exception of the Guitarist Caleb Cox as it did when it was formed twenty years ago. Any now they have a new record label, Mountain Fever Records, which has worked with them to produce their best work yet. It's an excellent combination of what's very good about this band, a strong collection of band originals, strong covers, and humor. Mike Andes is at the top of his voice and his composing. Caleb Cox is young, but adds versatility and good singing to the group. Nothin Fancy is always entertaining and now they're musically much  improved from the good place they've been for several years. Come and enjoy!

Caleb Cox & Mike Andes

Gary Waldrep

The Gary Waldrep Band brings fervant gospel music and strong entertaining bluegrass music to audiences, largely in the South. He hails from the sand hills region in northeaster Alabama where he learned to play both three finger bluegrass style and old-time frailing banjo. The band communicates high energy and strong emotion that consistently moves its audience. 

Penny Creek

Penny Creek heads a list of Florida-based bluegrass bands making up the remainder of the lineup for this year's YeeHaw Bluegrass, all hired before the move to Okeechobee became a reality with the availability of the Agri-Civic Center and the support of the City of Okeechobee. This band, originating in Melbourne, FL is lively and interesting, with several fine individual pickers and a well-integrated and varied bluegrass repertoire.

Susan Pounds Garrett

Swinging Bridge

Swinging Bridge has been around for a long time presenting traditional bluegrass and country music, featuring lead singer JR Davis. Their combination works well, and they are also, often, the center of lively jams after their performances are finished. The come from Englewood and environs on Florida's west coast. 

Hwy 41 South

Also from the west coast of Florida, Hwy 41 South takes its name from the fact the most of its members come from a region extending from near Tampa south to around Englewood and Port Charlotte. The Band plays classic bluegrass and country music, effectively covering much music from the fifties through the nineties.

Blue Cypress

Blue Cypress comes from the east coast of Florida, near Vero Beach. They can often be found performing in Felsmere. 

The Atlantic City Boys

The Atlantic City Boys are a high energy group covering Broadway, Big Band, Rock, and Pop from the sixties through the eighties. Their performance on Friday night will be accompanied by a parade of period cars driving into and around the Convention Center in a grand festival Inaugural Ceremony. Come join in the fun!

The YeeHaw Schedule

Greg Bird - Host of Preliminary Activities

Jo Odum - Mistress of Ceremonies

The Details

Note: Ticket prices for this year's first festival in Okeechobee have been kept low in order to encourage people to come, see, and enjoy. Next year, expect significant increases reflecting the improvement in the coming lineups and the actual costs of producing such an ambitious event.

For Tickets Call: (904) 886-8378


How to Get to YeeHaw Bluegrass
Click on the map, then place your location in the O Space

Come, Participate, Enjoy, Return!!!

YeeHaw Bluegrass 2016 represents an important effort by Ernie and Deb Evans and their team to move a well-loved, historical bluegrass festival to a more accommodating, modern facility which will be conducive to building and retaining the long-term viability of the festival once known as YeeHaw Junction. There will be plenty of space and time for jamming, a chance for people who have been Facebook friends to meet face-to-face, workshops, a gala covered dish supper, food and craft vendors, a welcoming ceremony with the City officials from Okeechobee, which has welcomed YeeHaw Bluegrass with open arms, and music, music, music. Come and spend the week or just a few days. Be on the ground floor for a new and delightful experience.

Deb Evans

Ernie Evans

See you there!