Barbara, thanks for your comments. I was afraid I was putting everyone to sleep. I'm glad to hear all the headliners are again booked at the same show. In the 80's festivals got to be so numerous that they would only book one or two top-tier bands, two or three middle-tier, a couple of "bluegrass related" acts and then fill out the program with local or amature talent. It was good from the perspective of bringing new bands along but it wasn't the same level of show. We really got spoiled in the early days of the festivals.
It's sure great to hear that bluegrass festivals are being held all over the world. Maybe someday I'll get to see some of them. I remember how bluegrass bands from Japan, France, ... all over, would be turing the U.S. during the summer and pick up bookings at the larger festivals. They were always fantastic. Even the Japanese who spoke no english had the singing down including a pretty decent southern drawl.
Those early festivals were astonishing on many levels. Of course there was the music and the fellowship but it was also the meeting ground for all kinds of people who might otherwise have been antagonists. Right wing, left wing, farmers, urban executives, student radicals, southern rednecks, hippies, Deadhead spinners, minorities, foreign citizens, you name it. There were no bariers and no one cared what you thought about anything but the music. I sometimes wonder what ever happend to all those people.