Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association



Welcome to the official web site of the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association (MBOTMA), a 501c3 nonprofit, volunteer-based organization serving Minnesota and the Midwest. Our mission is to preserve and promote bluegrass and old-time string band music in Minnesota.

Our activities include four annual festivals, plus numerous concerts, dances, jam sessions, workshops, and educational programs. Our events and programs keep people who love to play and listen to traditional acoustic music busy all year around throughout the state of Minnesota. Check out our calendar of events for a full list of what is coming up. We encourage you to become a member of MBOTMA and welcome you at all of our events!

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Coming Up Soon

Here’s one for your “great-nearby-places-to-go-and-things-to-do list,” the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival. It’s just outside Saint Cloud, and it’s an inexpensive daytrip or weekend, and fun for the whole family! The prices are great: a family of four could come for the full four days for about $154 (includes admission, camping, all shows, workshops, etc.) That would be the full admission price for 2 adults ($77/person). Teens get in for $10 for the entire weekend, and kids 12 & under are free! Tickets are on sale now!

There will be 30 hours of concerts on the Main Stage by national and regional bands (including Grammy nominated The Boxcars and three time IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out), over 30 hours of hands-on workshops (instrumental, jamming, songwriting, harmony-singing, etc.), old-time dances with live bands (plus callers & instruction!), specialty showcases, and morning yoga in the Showcase Tentover 20 hours of activities for kids, including contests, crafts, games, and special stage shows in the Family Area, more alternative action at The Underground, Gathering Place, Marketplace, and Ranch House Live.

You can read about all the bands on our Bands Page. This week we are highlighting Bob Bovee & Pop Wagner, Barton's Hollow, and The Platte Valley Boys! Read more about them...

This is all held at El Rancho Mañana, a very nice campground with a swimming beach and horseback riding (plus shower facilities in a couple of locations and porta-potties everywhere). It has 1208 acres of privately owned land with 25 miles of trails for hiking or riding. There’s a free tractor-drawn trolley service running throughout the campgrounds. There are dozens of food and merchant vendors for your dining and shopping pleasure!

It’s coming soon, August 7-10, 2014. So find out about tickets & camping now. Are you on the volunteer schedule yet? Check the frequently asked questions page for lots of info. And thank our sponsors too!

Friday & Saturday August 29th & 30th, 2014, 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, St Paul MN: Minnesota Flatpicking Guitar & Duet Championships, West End Market Stage of the Minnesota State Fair. The best and brightest flatpicking guitarists and performing duos of Minnesota compete for a variety of prizes in several categories to be awarded by a panel of respected Minnesota music professionals. Duet competition on Friday and Flatpicking Championships on Saturday. $2000 in total prize money. $20 registration fee for either guitar or duet categories. Contestant Registration is now open! Space is limited so do it now!

Friday through Sunday November 21-23, 2014, St Louis Park MN: Harvest Jam Acoustic Music Experience, Marriott Minneapolis West Hotel (9960 Wayzata Blvd). This 9th annual event will feature stage shows Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning featuring The Darrell Webb Band, Sawtooth Bluegrass, Ivory Bridge, Hey Lonesome, Bob Bovee & Pop Wagner, and The Fish Heads. Plus the Race For A Place Band Contest on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the Saturday Banquet Dinner (get the best seats for the evening concert), Kip's Live Open Mic in Kip's Irish Pub throughout the weekend, workshops, musical exhibitors, a Sunday morning gospel show, and lots of jam sessions. For more information 800-635-3037 or www.MinnesotaBluegrass.org. To book lodging contact the Marriott at 952-544-4400 and ask for the special Minnesota Bluegrass rate. Presented by the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association (MBOTMA).


Past Events

It was a wet one! The Minnesota Homegrown Kickoff Music Festival was Friday through Sunday May 30 to June 1, 2014. But we still had a great time with twenty regional bluegrass, old-time and related acoustic MBOTMA member bands, plus workshops, jam with the bands, Ranch House LIve, the gathering place, jam sessions, and more. This is an outdoor festival held every year the weekend after Memorial Day at El Rancho Manana near Richmond, MN, Join us next year.

The 2014 Cabin Fever Festival was bigger and better than ever! Our new digs at The Inn On Lake Superior in Canal Park in Duluth provided a number of opportunities for us to expand and improve the event, which took place March 21-23. It was another great indoor weekend of stage shows, workshops, draw bands, vendors, open mic, and all-day and late-night jam sessions, featuring Platte Valley Boys, Sawtooth Bluegrass and headliners Rebecca Frazier and her band Hit & Run.