Upcoming DCBU Events

SAVE THE DATE! The 7th DC Bluegrass Festival will be held March 9 & 10, 2018, at the Tysons Sheraton Hotel. Early Bird tickets are on sale through November 5! Visit dcbluegrassfest.org to get the best deals on two-day tickets and hotel rooms.

We’re pleased to announce that the lineup will include the Tim O’Brien Band, the Gibson Brothers, the Becky Buller Band, the Molly Tuttle Band, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, Mile Twelve, and Circa Blue. Updates on the schedule, workshops, and the Mid-Atlantic Bluegrass Band Competition coming soon!

The third DCBU Fall Picknic will be held on Sunday, October 8, 2017, at the Takoma Park VFW, home of the long-running DCBU Takoma Park VFW Bluegrass Jam on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of every month. Bring your instruments, your friends, and your favorite side dish; DCBU will provide hamburgers, hot dogs, and soft drinks, with beer available at the VFW bar.

Past DCBU Events

A big THANK YOU to all to the fans who came out, all the bands for putting on such great shows, Troy Jones for his great sound work, all the kind folks at the Sheraton Tysons Hotel, all the MCs and competition judges, all the sponsors and vendors, and most of all, the hard-working volunteers who gave their time and effort to making the 2017 DC Bluegrass Festival possible! Visit the DCBU Facebook page for pics and videos from the 2017 festival.

Hazel Dickens and Alice GerrardCongratulations to the winners of the 2017 Hazel Dickens Song Contest! Hear the winning songs at http://dcbu.org/hazel-dickens-song-contest/.

The winners are:
1st: “All the Old Men Are Gone” – Pam Gadd, Joelton, TN
2nd: “Friend and a Friend” – Korby Lenker and Molly Tuttle, Nashville, TN
3rd: “Looking for Sunshine” – Gina Clowes, Winchester, VA

Honorable Mentions
“Jesus, Drive the Train” – Carley Arrowood, Union Mills, NC, and Becky Buller, Manchester, TN
“Ain’t No Good Goodbye” – Louisa Branscomb, White, GA, and Teresa Neal, Austin, TX
“Carolina” – Bruce Jepson, Warren, NJ

1st place winner Pam Gadd performed “All the Old Men are Gone” at the DC Bluegrass Festival on March 11, 2017, in Tysons Corner, VA.

Latest News

2017 Mike Auldridge Instrumental ContestThe DC Bluegrass Union has launched the Mike Auldridge Instrumental Contest to honor the life and musicianship of one of America’s greatest players. The competition will spotlight the best original compositions from bluegrass, old-time and related musicians around the world.

Auldridge’s effortlessly tasteful Dobro guitar work borrowed from Josh Graves, but added swing, blues and horn influences to arrive at a uniquely new sound. By the time Mike co-founded the Seldom Scene in 1971, his musical touch was unmistakable – and over the next 40 years Auldridge became a pillar of Washington bluegrass history. He received the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship Award in 2012, the last year of his life.

DCBU will accept instrumental entries between August 1 and October 15, 2017. Please find more information on rules and submission guidelines at http://dcbu.org/mike-auldridge-contest/. First, second, and third-place winners will be announced December 1, 2017. The first-place winner receives $500 and the opportunity to perform his or her tune on the main stage at the 2018 DC Bluegrass Festival in Vienna, VA.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to remember Mike than by celebrating original instrumental music in his name,” said Randy Barrett, president of the DC Bluegrass Union. “We encourage players of all string instruments to write a new tune or dust off an older composition and take part in the contest.”

Proceeds from the Mike Auldridge Instrumental Contest help support the nonprofit DC Bluegrass Union in its mission to promote bluegrass music in the greater Washington, DC area through performance and education.

As of June 20, 2017, Bluegrass Country ceased broadcasting on 105.5FM in the DC area. The station can still be heard on 88.5FM HD channel 2 and streaming online at www.bluegrasscountry.org. The digital signal is both better quality and reaches a much larger broadcast area. Find out more about how to listen here.

What is the DC Bluegrass Union?

The DC Bluegrass Union is an all-volunteer, 501(c)3 non-profit organization serving Washington, DC and surrounding areas in much of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. It is an area historically rich in bluegrass music’s development, and we strive to help inform, educate, connect and broaden its very active community of performers, fans, venues and promoters. Resources for all of them are found on this website. Our other activities include open jams, performances, and our annual DC Bluegrass Festival. Learn more on this website, on Facebook, and on Twitter — and welcome!