NORWICH – The Norwich Family Bluegrass Festival at the Chenango County Fairgrounds has become part of what organizer and performer Tom Doerfel says is, “The best kept secret in America.”
Like a time-released bulb, bluegrass music has flourished nationwide in recent years, perhaps when America has needed it the most. With no frills and no induced gimmicks, bluegrass has found the way to bring families and individuals together: honesty.
“Bluegrass music is of the people, by the people and for the people,” said organizer Dr. Mike of festival co-headliner, The Cabin Fever Band. “It is real.”
In his first year putting on the event, which runs this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dr. Mike expects to exceed the success the festival has always had. However, this year he hopes people who actually live in Norwich and in Chenango County will come experience the inclusive, laid back atmosphere that brings musicians, fans, families and interested newcomers all onto the same level.
“The biggest thing is that it is very family friendly,” he said, adding that besides the great stage and improvised sessions, “there are activities for the children every day of the festival, and it’s small enough that you feel comfortable letting your kids run loose.” He also encourages everyone with an instrument to bring it, and he added that an open stage will be provided on Friday from 1-3 p.m. Promising acts may earn a spot in next year’s festival line-up.