Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association


The Winter Bluegrass Weekend:
A Festival of Bluegrass & Old-Time Music & Dance
Friday-Sunday, March 3-5, 2017

Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West, Plymouth MN



Jam Session

The Winter Bluegrass Weekend: A Festival of Bluegrass & Old-Time Music & Dance is 3 incredible days packed with band showcases, headline concerts, dances, workshops, instrument exhibitors, and plenty of around the clock informal jam sessions. It all takes place in a comfortable, indoor setting at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West in Plymouth, MN.

The core event of the Winter Bluegrass Weekend is the Showcase of Bands. More than MBOTMA member bands will perform on two stages all three days. Showtimes are 7:00 PM to Midnight on Friday, 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM Saturday, and 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Sunday afternoon. A list of groups and detailed stage schedules will be posted early in 2017.

The highlight of the Winter Bluegrass Weekend is the Saturday Night Headline Concert, featuring a top national touring act. Our 2017 band is to be announced. Due to limited seating, these concerts are ticketed separately from all other Winter Bluegrass Weekend events, and are expected to sell out. Once tickets go on sale, you will want to get your tickets early.

The Old-Time Music & Dance Hall will be a busy place with square dances, honky tonk, clogging, and additional band showcases on Friday from 7PM to 11PM and on Saturday from 11AM to 11PM. Many of the dances are taught and called by professional callers. And there are dance instruction workshops too.

In addition to all the stage shows and dances there will be 3 rooms of instrument exhibitors, 2 rooms of workshops, the "Spotlight On" presentation, a Sunday morning gospel show, the jams and kids' activities in the Gathering Place, and jam sessions around the clock and throughout the hotel.

Behind the scenes at the Winter Bluegrass Weekend will be the Grass Seeds Music Academy. This is a 3-day music camp for young pickers and singers ages 8 to 18 (or so). Pre-registration is required and space is limited. These lucky kids can expect to learn jamming etiquette, ensemble playing, how to play back-up and take a lead break, how to sing lead and harmony, and more. On Sunday they perform a recital on the auditorium stage. They work hard but have fun too.

To make the weekend a reality we will need to fill 140 volunteer shifts with many volunteers like you - people willing to do their part to make it happen. Would you be able to help us out for just a couple hours? Volunteers get preferential seating at the Saturday Night Headline Concerts. We will open a page for volunteer signup early in 2017.

The Winter Bluegrass Weekend is held at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West (formerly known as the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center) in Plymouth, on the western outskirts of Minneapolis. Great weather for jamming is guaranteed - as long as you stay inside! The Conference Center wing has a large number of rooms available for jam sessions and they’re open all night long. It’s not too early to get your hotel reservations and ask for the Minnesota Bluegrass event rate at the Crowne Plaza (763-559-6600), Residence Inn (763-577-1600), or Ramada Plymouth Hotel (formerly Best Western Kelly Inn) at 763-553-1600.

 Admission to the Winter Bluegrass Weekend is available on a daily basis at the door or with a discounted weekend admission ticket available in advance. Admission for the headline concerts is a separate ticket and can be purchased individually or as part of the discounted Bluegrass Lovers Package (includes weekend festival admission and one headline concert ticket) or the Bluegrass Extremists Package (includes weekend festival admission plus a ticket to both headline concerts). Tickets for teens are generally half price and kids age 12 and under are free except for the headline concerts. Tickets will go on sale early in 2017.

We can’t wait to see you there!


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Thank you to our Winter Bluegrass Weekend Sponsors