Bluegrass lovers and foodies unite for local festival

By Chelsea Bailey, Staff Writer —

Kick off the fall season by joining thousands of bluegrass lovers for outdoor food and fun at The 3 Sisters Festival Oct. 6-7 at Ross’ Landing.

This year, 12 artists are scheduled to perform over the two-day festival, including Molly Tuttle, Kruger Brothers and Sam Bush. Among the artists are those who fall into the bluegrass sub-genre of “newgrass.”

“It’s kind of a loose term given to younger groups and bands who, while still playing that ‘high and lonesome sound’, may appeal to a younger audience by freshening up the lyrics, using electronic instruments, etc,” said Ann Ball, operator for Chattanooga Presents. “They are groups we have had like Yonder Mountain String Band, Greensky Bluegrass and Jeff Austin.”

While newgrass may be appealing to those who are younger or unfamiliar with bluegrass, the original banjo-picking, high-pitched genre is far from new to the Chattanooga area.

“We are surrounded by it: from church socials to Nightfall, from pickers at Hardee’s to Boxcar Pinion Festival,” said Ball. “Bluegrass came from the south, came out of churches and tobacco fields. We book bluegrass bands for nearly everything we produce because it is so popular here with young and older crowds.”

Free musical performances by talented bluegrass musicians aren’t the only reason to attend The 3 Sisters Festival. Some of Chattanooga’s best food and drink will be available for purchase over the weekend to help support the festival and ensure it can continue to be offered as a free event to the public.

“[There will be] lots of food and beverage,” said Ball. “Everything from crepes from Adelle’s to funnel cakes. All kind of beverage from cokes to wine to Chattanooga Whiskey and Pure Southern Vodka cocktails.”

To support their favorite artists, festival-goers can purchase their merchandise and CDs. Some may be available before and after performances for meet-and-greets with their fans to take pictures and sign autographs.

The 3 Sisters Festival is a great opportunity to relax with friends and strangers with a shared love for bluegrass. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to make themselves at comfortable as they sit back and enjoy the show. In case of inclimate weather, the show will go on, so dedicated fans may bring umbrellas and other rain gear.

For more information and a schedule of the weekend, visit

Grace Stafford

Grace Stafford

Features Editor

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