It was our first trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. We arrived late in the afternoon of day seven of a wider 33-day epic US road trip. It was time to slow down. To come to a screeching halt even. Mercifully, and with 1,300-plus miles already on the clock, we weren’t planning on going anywhere for a while. At least not for four days. Four days of ‘Mountain Music By The Sea’, four days of Blue Skies, Blue Water, Bluegrass, four days on Bluegrass Island, the 2017 edition.
Festivals have been central to bluegrass music since the 1960s. Many Americans with enough leisure time, pocket money, and good cars and RVs, drawn on by the lure of a great Interstate highway system, hit the road in search of their music. During the good-weather months, one can almost always find a bluegrass festival within driving distance, in almost all parts of the country.
– Reproduced from text on display in the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, Owensboro, Kentucky
Outer Banks, North Carolina
North Carolina’s Outer Banks, a narrow and fragile 320-kilometre-long (200 mile) string of barrier islands/sandbars that both separate and shelter the US mainland in the west from the vast and blustery expanse of the Atlantic Ocean in the east, are a major regional tourist draw. This vacation rental haven is a beach lovers nirvana, a well-established tourist magnet with a refreshing dearth of big box stores or chain eateries, a place where sand, sea (and sea breezes), wooden beach houses, laid-back beach towns, historic lighthouses, flip-flops, fishing, sea food, and a swashbuckling maritime vibe all dominate. History, too, and heavy-hitting history at that: the disappearance of 115 colonists at Roanoke Island’s late 1580’s Lost Colony, Europe’s very first attempt to established a settlement in the New World, is still to this day one of America’s greatest unsolved mysteries; and man first flew here when, in December 1903 at Bodie Island’s Kill Devil Hills, the Age of Flight took off when the Wright Brothers launched the world’s very first successful controlled flight of a powered heavier-than-air vehicle.
As enthralling and educational as the heavy-hitting pioneering and ground-breaking history, the beaches, the lighthouses, and the swashbuckling maritime vibe of the Outer Bank are, even they, and if you’ll pardon the oh-so pathetic pun, played a very distant second fiddle to the 4 days of bluegrass and artist mingling that was our Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival 2017 experience.
Bluegrass Island Festival 2017 | The Gallery
The complete gallery from 4 days snooping around the Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival 2017 with a camera in hand.
Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival
Scheduled for early October between 2012, its inaugural year, and 2018, the Bluegrass Island Festival now runs annually in mid-May. Full festival details, including the latest line up and tickets sales, can be found on the OBX Bluegrass Island Festival website
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