Copious Notes

Festival of the Bluegrass closes with a big night

Mikaya Taylor, an 11-year-old from Lawrenceburg, opened the Saturday evening main stage set. The 43rd annual Festival of the Bluegrass is June 9-12 at the Kentucky Horse Park, 4089 Iron Works Parkway, in Lexington, Ky. This photo was taken June 11.
Mikaya Taylor, an 11-year-old from Lawrenceburg, opened the Saturday evening main stage set. The 43rd annual Festival of the Bluegrass is June 9-12 at the Kentucky Horse Park, 4089 Iron Works Parkway, in Lexington, Ky. This photo was taken June 11. rcopley@herald-leader.com

The 2016 Festival of the Bluegrass closed out with an evening a lot like a summer Hollywood blockbuster. There were new discoveries, big emotions and explosive performances from a mostly recent crop of bluegrass stars, though there were some old hands in the cast as well.

Mikaya Taylor, an 11-year-old from Lawrenceburg, opened the evening wowing the crowd with classics such as Dolly Parton’s Jolene and When You Say Nothing at All, made famous by Keith Whitley and Alison Krauss. Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike and The Seldom Scene were enduring stars on the bill, and somewhat combined for the emotional high point of the night. Seldom Scene invited Liberty Pike bassist Tom Gray, Scene’s original bassist, on stage to play the classic Wait a Minute. Gray hung on to sing Sweetest Gift, a song that had particular resonance to him.

After that, it was time for big performances with the reunited 23 String Band and Town Mountain closing out the night.

Walter Tunis braved the sun and soaring temperatures to catch the afternoon’s performances. Read his review here.

The Festival come to a conclusion Sunday morning with a gospel program starting at 10 a.m.

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