Schedule Page

Stay Tuned as we update the 2017 Schedule.  If you have a question or comment about the schedule please e-mail us at mail@shepherdsford.com

Monday September 18
The park is closed to all campers on Monday September 19 only. Park will let people into the Festival starting at 9 am Tuesday morning.

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Tuesday Sept. 19
9 am Park opens The Park will begin letting people into the Festival starting at 9 am Tuesday morning.
Early arrival camping in the park

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Wednesday Sept. 20
Early arrival camping in the park.

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Thursday Sept. 21
4:30-5:30 pm The Fly Birds Main Stage: Winners of the “2016 Watermelon Park Fest Band Contest “The Fly Birds are a trio made up of Elizabeth Baker and Mary Dunlap of Winchester VA on Banjo and Bass and Sarah Twigg of Barton MD on the guitar. Their unique vocals as well as original style of folk music is topped off with tasteful songwriting skills and a charming presence on stage and record.

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6:00-7:00 pm Mile 12 Main Stage: Mile Twelve is a fresh, hard driving young band beautifully walking the line between original and traditional bluegrass. Banjo luminary Tony Trischka says, “Mile Twelve is carrying the bluegrass tradition forward with creativity and integrity.”

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7:30-8:30 pm Ken and Brad Kolodner Quartet Feat. Rachel Eddy Main Stage: Baltimore’s Ken Kolodner  joins forces with his son Brad Kolodner, and Rachel Eddy.

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9:00-10:30 pm The Seldom Scene Main Stage: Over 40 years since they began playing together at weekly jam sessions in Ben Eldridge’s Bethesda, Maryland basement, The Seldom Scene have become one of the single greatest contributors to the progression of bluegrass while setting a new standard and attracting new audiences to the genre.

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10:30-midnight pm The Woodshedders Dance Tent: “The Woodshedders bring the influence of vintage American music forward in its songwriting. The band is known for fun, dance-able shows that swerve between different genres to create exciting original sounds.”

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Friday Sept. 22
Noon- 1:00 pm Mike Ward slow Jam Dance Tent:  Let’s Pick, again! Check out this popular workshop and join Mike Ward in a jam session for players of all ages and skill levels, but especially geared toward beginners. Learn the unspoken rules of playing in an open circle jam. This workshop will focus on playing and singing classic bluegrass tunes at a moderate pace for all to enjoy.

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1:00-2:00 pm Pollinators Seed Balls w/ Stacey Sinclair Kids Tent:  Mix wildflower seeds into a ball that will be flung in the 4:00 Seed Fling.

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1:30-2:30 pm Rachael Eddy/ Brad Kolodner fiddle/ Banjo workshop Dance Tent: Come learn about Old-Time Fiddling and Clawhammer Banjo from two of the masters.

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2:00-2:30 pm Frazer Story Telling Time Concert Lawn:

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TBC 2:00-3:00 Yoga with Jen Stone (Upper concert area) , Jen has been teaching yoga since 1999 all ages, all abilities, all hearts. Enjoy her Hatha Yoga Flow class in the grass by the river, a Watermelon Festival treat. www.inner-sun-yoga.com

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2:30-3:30 pm  Barn Dance Dance Tent: Rachael Eddy Ken and Brad Kolodner and guest players provide the music, Kim Forry provides the calling, you provide the dancin’ feet. Let’s kick up some dust. Dance Tent:

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4:00-4:45 pm Molly Tuttle Dance Tent: A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and award winning songwriter with a distinctive voice, Molly has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion and at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, was featured on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, won first place in the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at Merlefest, and, last May, graduated from the Berklee College of Music, which she attended on a Hazel Dickens Memorial Scholarship.

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4:30-5:30 pm Front Country Main Stage: Don’t miss these guys- This West Coast outfit was a loose collection of musical misfits until 2012 and 2013 when Front Country gathered around a single microphone at the RockyGrass and Telluride festivals, and won first prize in those prestigious band contests that once launched the careers of the Dixie Chicks, Greensky Bluegrass and the Steep Canyon Rangers.

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5:00-6:00 Watermelon Jack-O-Melon Dave and Lisa Coe (Kids Tent) Kids are invited to come carve a Watermelon Jack-O-Lantern for their campsite. Carving tools and tea lights provided. Please note that watermelons will be provided for this event on first come, first-served basis. Feel free to bring your own watermelon to ensure participation in this event. This event is brought to you by Mountain Media Systems, LLC:

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5:30- 6:00 pm Jacobs Ferry Stragglers Riverside Stage:  Well-crafted original songs with emotional depth, masterful picking, and resonant vocal harmonies combine to forge new territories and a fresh take on Appalachian Americana music. Band members Gary Antol, Libby Eddy, Mitch Hall and Ed Croft hail from the mountains and river towns of southwestern Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.

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6:00-7:00 pm Molly Tuttle Main Stage: A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and award winning songwriter with a distinctive voice, Molly has turned the heads of even the most seasoned industry professionals. She began performing on stage when she was 11, and recorded her first album, The Old Apple Tree, at age 13. Since then, she’s appeared on A Prairie Home Companion and at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, was featured on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, won first place in the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at Merlefest, and, last May, graduated from the Berklee College of Music, which she attended on a Hazel Dickens Memorial Scholarship.

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7:00—7:15 pm TBC Riverside Stage:

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7:15-8:30 pm Keller Williams Main Stage: Watermelon Park Fest welcomes back Keller Williams! Keller has been a favorite of the jam-band circuit for well more than a decade. With a highly rhythmic playing style, Williams delivers some of the most danceable, high-energy acoustic music out there.

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8:30-9:00 pm Those 3 guys Riverside Stage: More info. coming

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9:00-10:30 pm Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives: Main Stage: For over forty years, the five-time Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, photographer and historian has been building a rich legacy at this very crossroads. His teenage years on tour with bluegrass legend Lester Flatt in the ’70s were followed by six years in Johnny Cash’s band during the ’80s and a chart-topping tenure as a solo artist in the ’90s.

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9:30-10:15  Dalton Dash Dance Tent: Dalton Dash is a folk quartet from Richmond. Slow and sensual or quick and gritty. These guys are always celebrating their love for music in good company.

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10:30-Midnight  The Bumper Jacksons Dance Tent:  Bursting at the seams with some of the richest threads of old America, Bumper Jacksons bring you into the center of a party where everyone’s invited and the dance floor never sleeps.
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Saturday September 23

Noon-1:00 Fairbuilt Guitar and Eastman Mandolin Picking Contest (Side Stage) Enter to win a spankin’ new Eastman Mandolin, Cash, and a side stage slot during the height of the festivities! CLICK HERE for more details.

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Noon- 1:00 Yoga with Anna Billman ( Main Stage Area, near the river) Take the opportunity to connect with breath, body, mind, and each other. All levels Hatha (physical) practice will include some awakening stretches, connecting breath to movement, and a creative flowing sequence, finishing with relaxation.

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Noon- 1:00 Flatfoot & Clogging Workshop with Jan Scopel (Dance Tent) The award-winning, energetic and charming Jan Scopel is back sharing his skills flatfooting (a shuffling softshoe style) and clogging (powerhouse floor whacking). Get out those shoes and learn how dancing is done, mountain-style.

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Noon-2 Watermelon Boat Float Build Kids Tent. Kids & adults; EVERYONE at the festival is invited to come eat & build a watermelon boat for this years annual boat float! Please note that watermelons will be provided for the kids then the adults on a first come first-served basis. Feel free to bring your own watermelon to ensure participation in this event. This event is brought to you by Mountain Media Systems, LLC.

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1-3 pm Band Contest Riverside Stage. Watch and vote for your faves as bands battle it out for the $1600 in prizes and brief Main Stage set from the winning band on Saturday night. CLICK HERE for more details

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2 pm Watermelon Boat Float Concert area. Float Plan on getting wet and being in the river to participate in this event. We will head to the river to launch boats at approx. 2:15 pm

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2:30-3:15 Danny Barnes Trio Dance Tent : Danny Barnes, the roots music legend and recent winner of Steve Martins Prize for Excellence in Banjo, is teaming up with two young creative voices of the acoustic world: mandolinist Joe K. Walsh and guitarist Grant Gordy. This new trio draws on a wide array of influences, its members collectively keeping feet in the rock, bluegrass, jazz, avant garde and electronic worlds.
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2:30-3:00 Watermelon Tie-Dyed Shirts with Michael Duffy TBC (Kids Tent) Watermelon Tie-Dye Bring a white or light-colored tee shirt and make a work of art fit for the Fest.

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3:30-4:00 Instrument petting zoo w/ Stacey Sinclair (Kids Tent) Come check out all the string instruments w/ Stacey Sinclair of the Split String Soup band and see what strikes your fancy.

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3:45-4:15 The Quebe Sisters Dance Tent: When the Quebe Sisters from Texas take a stage, and the triple-threat fiddle champions start playing and singing in multi-part close harmony, audiences are usually transfixed, then blown away.

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4:00-4:15 Announce the contest winners Riverside stage. Join Contest Coordinator Tara Linhardt as she announces the winners of the Band and  Eastman/Fairbuilt Guitar and Mandolin picking contests. Check the Schedule below to watch the winners perform.

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4:15-5:15 Furnace Mountain Main stage: Join the Host Band for an afternoon set, for some some fine Fiddlin, songs and Dancing as they will most likely be Joined by Megan Downes and the City Stompers. Band Consists of  Aimee Curl on bass and vocals, Danny Knicely on mandolin and fiddle, Dave Van Deventer on fiddle, and Morgan Morrison on guitar, bouzouki, and vocals. Come say hi after our set in the merch tent.
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5:15-5:45 Picking Contest Winners Riverside Stage: Listen as the winners of the Fairbuilt Guitar Contest and the Eastman Mandolin picking Contest team up for the first time (most likely) and demonstrate their hot picking skills.
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5:45-6:45 Danny Barnes Trio Main Stage: Danny Barnes, the roots music legend and recent winner of Steve Martins Prize for Excellence in Banjo, is teaming up with two young creative voices of the acoustic world: mandolinist Joe K. Walsh and guitarist Grant Gordy.

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6:45-7:15 Band Contest Winners Riverside Stage:  Come check out the winners as they show their stuff. Remember the name and come see them open up Watermelon Park Fest in 2018.

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7:15-8:30 The Quebe Sisters Main Stage: When the Quebe Sisters from Texas take a stage, and the triple-threat fiddle champions start playing and singing in multi-part close harmony, audiences are usually transfixed, then blown away.

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8:30-9:00 The Cabin Creek Boys Riverside stage. The Cabin Creek Boys play old-time hillbilly music from the mountains of southwest Virginia and northwest North Carolina, performing at area fiddlers’ conventions, festivals, square dances, and other community events. Brought to you by the Virginia Folklife Program.
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9:00-10:30 The Del McCoury Band Main Stage: Del got his first taste of the limelight when he joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in early 1963; the Father of Bluegrass moved McCoury from the banjo to guitar, made him his lead singer, and gave him a lifetime’s worth of bluegrass tutelage direct from the source in the course of little more than a year.

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10:30-Midnight  The Dead South Dance Tent: The Dead South are fun, modern hillbillies from Regina, Saskatchewan. They sing about murderous, estranged spouses and runaway lover cousins in a boot-stomping acoustic configuration that includes banjo, mandolin, cello and guitar, some whistles, hoots and hollerin’, and finger snappin’.

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Sunday September 25th
11-12 am The Ingramettes Dance Tent. This will be the band you do not want to miss! Brought to you by the Virginia Folklife Program. More info. on Bands page.