BIG STONE GAP, Va. — The “Gathering in the Gap” Music Festival, scheduled for May 17 at the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park, is a music festival celebrating the rich tradition of old-time, Americana, and bluegrass music found in Southwest Virginia. Featuring performances, workshops, competitions, crafts, a children’s inflatables area, an annual quilt show, and more, “Gathering in the Gap” captures the best of Southwest Virginia history and culture.
Festival Main Stage
The 2014 Main Stage lineup features Grammy winner Rodney Crowell at 8 p.m., Americana band The Black Lillies at 6:45 p.m., and Dave Eggar & Deoro at 5:30 p.m. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind lineup of internationally known artists at this year’s “Gathering in the Gap.”
Acoustic Arbor Stage
In addition to the Main Stage performances, “Gathering in the Gap” will feature regional performing artists on the Acoustic Arbor stage, including Empty Bottle String Band, Rich & The Poor Folk, Poplar Hill Reunion, Fire in the Kitchen, Jordan Allen & The Bellwethers, Thistle Dew and the WiseJAMS Music Program. Offering live music from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., the Acoustic Arbor stage celebrates the music of Southwest Virginia as well as the musicians who make that music.
Instrument/Band Competitions The 2014 “Gathering in the Gap” Music Festival offers an opportunity for area musicians to test their skills in a variety of musical competitions. Performers can compete in old-time and bluegrass divisions and on multiple instruments. Competition categories include banjo, fiddle, bluegrass guitar, bluegrass mandolin, bluegrass band, and old-time band. Two age groups will compete in all categories except bluegrass band and old-time band: 17 and under and 18 and over. Cash prizes and certificates will be presented to winners in each category with a top prize of $500 for first place in the old-time band and bluegrass band categories. Each contestant must fill out a registration form and pay admission to the festival. There is no additional cost for the competitions.
Songwriting Contest A crowd favorite is the annual Songwriting Contest, which showcases outstanding, but under-recognized, performing songwriters who represent the spirit and traditions of Appalachian culture. Finalists were chosen by panelists from mailed entries, and they will compete for the grand prize on the Main Stage at 2 p.m. The top three winners will receive cash prizes and plaques. The Songwriting Contest finalists for 2014 are John Wesley Carpenter, Kay Elliott, Patrick McCauley, Beth Miller, Keylas Quesenberry Jr., Walter Shell and Michael Huff and Glen Simpson.
Workshops Master cellist Dave Eggar will also hold a youth music workshop (17 and under only) at 11:30 a.m. in the Victorian Parlor that younger festival attendees won’t want to miss! Eggar records in diverse genres and performs live in multiple musical categories, seamlessly moving between each, be it pop, rock, jazz, R&B, new age, world or classical music. A musical prodigy as a child, Dave Eggar began playing the cello and piano at age three. By the age of seven, Dave had performed on Broadway and with the Metropolitan Opera. He debuted at Carnegie Hall at the age of 15. Dave is a graduate of Harvard University and the Julliard School’s Doctoral Program. Eggar has appeared worldwide as a solo cellist and pianist. A virtuoso of many musical styles, Dave has performed and recorded with artists in numerous genres including Evanescence, The Who, Michael Brecker, Josh Groban, Coldplay, Beyonce, Pearl Jam, Fall Out Boy, Dave Sanborn, Kathleen Battle, Ray Lamontagne, Roberta Flack, The Spin Doctors, Dianne Reeves, Brandy, Carly Simon, Phil Ramone, Phillip Phillips, Duncan Sheik, Sinead O’Connor, Bon Jovi, Manhattan Transfer, Corinne Bailey Ray and many more.
The youth workshop is free with paid festival admission, but spaces are limited, so contact the park early to reserve tickets.
“Stitch in Time” Quilt Show
The 17th annual “A Stitch in Time” Quilt Show will be on display in the museum until May 31 with over 100 quilts on display. This annual exhibit honors both past and present and features quilts not only from the Museum’s collection, but also from members of the community who display quilts from their own collections. Attendees of the quilt show may vote for their favorite quilt on display by members of the community. Museum admission is included with a ticket to “Gathering in the Gap,” so visit the exhibit to experience the artistry and creativity of the region.
Children’s Inflatables Area
For the kids, visit the Children’s Area from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. “Rufus’ Tree House,” a giant slide, will provide hours of exciting fun. Little ones can explore all afternoon on the modern version of the “B.S.G. & P.V. Company” railroad. Kids 12 and under get in free to the festival with a paying adult.
Antique, craft and food vendors will be on hand as well.
For additional event information, ticket information, and a full schedule of events, please visit the festival website at www.gatheringinthegapmusicfestival.com or call the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park at 276-523-1322.