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

The Minnesota Bluegrass Community Concerts program, which brings MBOTMA’s favorite bands to venues throughout the state, will be continuing in 2014 with more double headers. Coming up next: Copper Creek and The Eelpout Stringers in Moose Lake on Friday April 25 and in Bemidji on Saturday April 26.

The Minnesota Homegrown Kickoff Music Festival will be Friday through Sunday May 30 to June 1, 2014. This is an outdoor festival held every year the weekend after Memorial Day at El Rancho Manana near Richmond, MN, featuring leading regional bluegrass, old-time and related acoustic MBOTMA member bands, plus workshops, jam with the bands, the gathering place, jam sessions, and more. We have a tentative stage schedule posted, tickets are on sale, and our volunteer sign-up is open. Hey, Ranch House Live sign-up is open now too!

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! There will be 30 hours of concerts 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 20 hours of demonstrations & hands-on workshops (instrumental, jamming, songwriting, harmony-singing, etc.), old-time dances with live bands (plus callers & instruction!), and morning yoga. And there will be over 20 hours of activities for kids, including contests, crafts, games, and special stage shows.

This is 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’ll be August 7-10, 2014.

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! You can get all the information you want at www.MinnesotaBluegrass.org or by calling 800-635-3037.


Past Events

MBOTMA's Winter Bluegrass Weekend: A Festival of Bluegrass & Old-Time Music & Dance took place Friday through Sunday, February 28th to March 2nd, 2014 at the fabulous Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West Hotel in Plymouth (3131 Campus Dr, I-494 & Hwy 55). Some fifty groups were there, performing bluegrass, old-time stringband, and related forms of acoustic music on several stages, including Michael Cleveland & The Flamekeeper Band for the Saturday Night Headline Concert and Chicken Train from North Carolina in the Old-Time Dance Hall.

Believe it or not, it's not too early to book your rooms for 2015! To book lodging contact the Crowne Plaza at 763-559-6600 of the nearby Residence Inn at 763-577-1600. Ask for the special Minnesota Bluegrass Festival rate.

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.