Del McCoury

Del McCoury

CUMBERLAND - Hopes are that those attending Delfest this weekend will have a good time and get to see quality entertainment, according to festival creator Del McCoury.

"We want to make sure that people have a good time," McCoury said. "We want them to see quality entertainment. I think they will. Hopefully, a lot of people will tell friends about it."

McCoury is well known in the bluegrass world and the music world. The Grammy winner, with his band, has won a number of International Bluegrass Music Association awards and is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

He said that he hopes, with this Memorial Day festival, it will be the start of something to continue into later years. He said the artists lined up for the event will be a mix of country, jam band and hard-core bluegrass.

Included in the lineup will be Vince Gill and Dierks Bently. McCoury has worked with both of the country singers in the past, and both a greed to come and play at this first festival at the Allegany County Fairgrounds.

He said that while Gill will be bringing his own bluegrass band, McCoury hopes that they will be able to play some of their songs they have collaborated on together at the festival.

"There will also be some late nights in the buildings," McCoury said. "People can come and listen late at night after the main stage is off. It won't affect people who want to sleep, but inside we'll have workshops on how to play the mandolin or fiddle."

McCoury added that the event will be family-oriented. He said there will also be a stage for children's events.

He also said he is hoping the event will be able to work with community groups, including a raffle for a guitar that all of the musicians performing will have signed, with the money going toward a local organization.

Stan Strickland, manager of the Del McCoury band, said that they are trying to involve a local advocate group in the festival, possibly by having them work some of the events at the festival as part of the efforts to raise funds for their cause.

McCoury said that from the moment he saw the Allegany County Fairgrounds, he knew he'd found the location for his festival.

"I've played in a lot of places," McCoury said. "I've played bluegrass in some beautiful sites. I think this is probably the prettiest site I've seen."

McCoury said that when Roy Carter of High Sierra Music showed him the fairgrounds, he knew that was the place. He said he suspected Carter knew it too. "And he was right."

The festival will have a variety of tickets available for purchase, including two- and three-day passes and RV passes for the whole event.

For more information on the festival or to purchase tickets, visit www.delfest.com. The Book Centre in Cumberland will be selling single day and weekend tickets.

Contact Sarah Moses at smoses@times-news.com.

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