Delfest, Tinner Hill Blues Festival, and Bluegrass Island Details

The Lil Smokies perform at DelFest 2018

​Second edition of the festival fun is coming your way now!  The time has finally come and the staff at DC Music Review could not be more excited about all of the amazing summer concerts and festivals that are ​heading our way (and a bit beyond).  ​Continuing on, we're sharing more lineups, travel info, ticket links and ​more.  We've been busy little bees contacting organizers, interviewing performers and making sure we have coverage onsite to bring you the best and most detailed information so you can decide when and where you'll be dancing your troubles away all summer long.  Get the logistics, buy your tickets and grab your friends because there's nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile! 


Date: ​May 23-26, 2019  ​ Location: ​Cumberland, MD

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Click for full size image

DelFest was born from the desire to create a family-friendly music festival celebrating the rich legacy of McCoury music by providing a forum for world-class musical collaborations while also exposing fresh new talent.  Now in their 12th year, they continue to provide a DELightful weekend for fans of all ages! 

Delfest is one of the most musician-friendly festivals out there. For the week leading up to the festival, they invite​ players to attend DelFest Academy which takes place the Sunday through Wednesday prior to the festival (May 19 – 22, 2019). The Academy is a friendly, encouraging, and intensive four-day learning experience with some of the finest musicians in bluegrass serving as instructors for students of all levels.  The Academy currently offers instruction for guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass, and dobro. The all-star instructors provide lessons to students which target their individual needs and leave ample time for plenty of one-on-one interaction.

Camping is always a good time because of the impromptu jams and sense of community. You may start as as stranger to the tent next to you but chances are you'll be hanging out, sharing meals, jamming by day two with the folks camped near you. ​

Separately ticketed late night shows allow attendees a more intimate opportunity to see musicians who also play the main stage throughout the festival.  Late night shows are always an amazing time and go past 3AM some nights for those who can burn the midnight (and beyond) oil.

Ronnie McCoury and Del McCoury

Ronnie McCoury and Del McCoury

​​What's unique about the setting for Delfest?​​​  Located in a ​Allegany County next to the Potomac River, the setting is unbeatable.  Attendees also love to cool off in the water and many bring rafts to float down the river throughout the day. The gigantic rocks also allow a great visual that we project Del's face on at night.

The venue is an old horse track so there are grandstands where folks ​have a place to take a load off and appreciate the shade that is available.  ​The fairgrounds also have permanent restrooms and showers, and they supplement the facilities with ample portable toilets.

​Is the festival family friendly? ​​​​​​ ​Super kid friendly, and the Academy (week before) gives a chance for pickers of all ages to really dig into their craft. There's craft beer to keep parents happy and plenty of activities for kiddos.  There's also a family camping area for those wanting an earlier/quieter bedtime. Details here:

​Keep your eyes peeled for a lot more from Delfest, including interviews with artists as we count down the days til Memorial Day Weekend!  ​It's sure to be DELightful!

Logistics and Tips:

​Delfest ​is a short drive from D.C. is located close to a long list of hotel options that are convenient to the fairgrounds.  There is separate ticketing for both on and off site parting options.  Pickup for wristbands and information is located offsite so be sure to check the website to know where you need to go.  As mentioned above, late night tickets are separate events so be sure to plan for that.  While tickets for those shows are available at the venue, most sell out ahead of time.​​​

​Shuttle ​Allegany County Government is offering a transit shuttle during DelFest that can assist with transporting festival attendees to and from the festival grounds and throughout the community. Please note: The Allegany County Transit Bus follows the regular Green Line Route and is open to the public. The bus can stop at any location along the designated route.

The Allegany County Transit shuttle costs $2 per person round trip.  Cash only, Drivers do not carry change, so please come prepared with proper cash for festival transportation needs. ATMs are located at the Allegany County Fairgrounds near the Merchandise Booth in the Grandstand Meadow, and in the Food Court.

Bring shoes suitable for messy conditions.  ​Rain is almost a guarantee at some point in the mountains.  Fires are allowed at campsites as long as they are contained and monitored.  Chairs are also allowed inside the venue.  All other basic outdoor festival gear is suggested and don't forget your instruments if you have them.  Even if not attending the Academy, they come in handy for fireside music.  

Previous Coverage:

​Ticket Details

Performance Details



​May 23 - 26, 2019

​Gates Open: 10:30AM on Thursday, May 23rd



​Allegany County Fairgrounds

11400 Moss Ave.

Cumberland, MD 21502

(Google Maps Link)

​Ticket prices and options vary

​Tinner Hill Music Festival 

Date: ​Saturday, June 8, 2019  11 am - 9 pm  Location: ​Falls Church, VA

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A re-branded, re-styled music festival celebrating culturally-rich live music and interactive villages to create a sensational Falls Church festival experience.

The 26th Annual Tinner Hill Music Festival – previously a blues festival – celebrates and honors the African- American music legacy. In conjunction with the City of Falls Church, the festival is sponsored by the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, a 501c(3) non-profit organization established in 1997 to research preserve and celebrate the early civil rights history of Northern Virginia. In addition to its music festival, the Foundation sponsors programs that resurrect the rich and vibrant past of the African-American communities of Falls Church and Northern Virginia.

The Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation was founded in 1997 to preserve the early civil rights history of Falls Church and vicinity. The history of Tinner Hill is about civil rights, location, and a few brave people who defended the U.S Bill of Rights. ​Today, we all reap the benefits of this almost forgotten battle, and up to the eighth generation of these families still live on the hill.

The ​Foundation has two, close-in-proximity properties that, remarkably, survive from the post Civil War period and are intimately tied to the history of Falls Church and to the struggles of African Americans to attain their rights and freedoms, from the period of Jim Crow through the Civil Rights Movement. 

Mac Arnold Photo Cred: Ron Weinstock

​Mac Arnold at the 2016 festival. Photo cred: Ron Weinstock

Mac Arnold Photo Cred: Ron Weinstock

​Mac Arnold at the 2016 festival. Photo cred: Ron Weinstock

What are some things other than music people can experience?  ​Festival-goers will be treated to an enticing array of “villages” throughout the park, including the Artist Village showcasing painters, photographers and jewelers selling their works. ​The Relaxation Village lives up to its name with yoga lessons, mini-massages and inviting hammocks, while the Food Village promises succulent barbecue and other tasty fare, including kid-friendly and vegetarian options. Care for a libation to celebrate it all? The ROCK STAR Bar has it covered with beer, wine and other adult beverages.

The festival is also walking distance from the park & many great places to dine and drink.

Is it family friendly?  Family fun is assured in the Kids’ Village, with water play, an musical petting zoo, face painting, puppy petting party, and more. ​

Logistics and Tips:

Hotel:  The festival partner is the Hilton Garden Inn, Falls Church.  It's walking distance from the park ​.

Transportation: ​The festival is in downtown Falls Church City making it easy to get to by numerous modes of public and private transportation.  ​

BIKE: ​Always a good, environmentally and easy way to travel. 

CAR: If you have to drive, bring some friends!  Cut down on your carbon emissions by consolidating cars. There will be free parking at Kaiser Permanente 201 N Washington St and George Mason Square 103 W Broad Street.  Taking Uber/Lyft is encouraged. 

METRO: East Falls Church Metro Station (Orange/Silver) is 1.5 miles from Cherry Hill Park

Beach chairs & blankets permitted.  Umbrellas and tents are allowed in designated areas only.

​There is plenty to do in "The Littlest City" before and after the festival including restaurants, bars and attractions. Check their page on the Virginia tourism website to find out more:

​​Ticket Details

Performance Details



​Saturday, June 8, 2019

11am - 9 pm

Falls Church, VA

​Tinner Hill Blues Festival


Cherry Hill Park

312 Park Avenue Falls Church, VA 22047

(Google Maps Link)

​Pre-sale prices -thru May 14th

​General admission - $26

​VIP - $36

Children 7-16 - $6

Children under 6 and under - free

​ Bluegrass Island

Date: May ​15-18  ​ Location: ​Manteo, NC

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Music lovers from all over the world flock to the Outer Banks for this tradition that adds a roster of acclaimed bands with one of the most beautiful venues anywhere. The Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival has quickly become one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, and this year's event is no exception, with a number of regionally and nationally famous bands set to take the stage. 

​The festival is held at the stunning Roanoke Island Festival Park, which overlooks miles of pristine sound waters. This unique 22 acre island becomes Bluegrass Island each year to host the event. Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets and lodging well in advance, and despite its off-season timing, this event tends to fill up fast year after year. If your dream vacation involves laying back in your most comfortable beach chair and taking in the best bluegrass acts the country has to offer, then you'll definitely want to set this long weekend aside for the Outer Banks most popular festival! 

What's new for 2019? ​ ​This year we are going to have a kick-off event that is happening the day before the festival starts.   ​The event is FREE and will take place in downtown Manteo on May 15th.

What is there besides music for people to do?  ​The island venue is also home to the Roanoke Voyage Museum, the Elizabeth II ship and The Outer Banks History Center. During the festival the onsite museum will have a free exhibit with artifacts from Blackbeards ship. It is also a short walk over the pedestrian bridge to all the many shops, restaurants and historic sites of downtown Manteo. Each attendee will have a festival wristband that allows them to come and go all day.

Is it family friendly?  ​​​The event is family friendly and kids 12 and under are FREE.

Logistics and Tips:

Transportation and where to stay:  ​Once in the Outer Banks, there are numerous options for where to stay.  Everything from camping to hotels and inns and house rentals.  For larger groups, houses are a great option and being that it's still somewhat before the official season starts, prices are reduced a bit.  

There is limited FREE parking throughout Downtown Manteo. Park & Shuttle is available from Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. If you have a VIP pass you will be given access to park on Bluegrass Island at the venue.​​​

CAR: ​​For info on getting to the festival location, please visit the website and see the Google maps link below 

​Ticket Details

Performance Details



Friday, May 15, 2019 -

Sunday May 18, 2019

Gates open at 11am each day

​Bluegrass Island


​Roanoke Island Festival Park

​Manteo, NC

(​Google Map)

​Single Day Tickets

  • $50 Presale ​

​Festival Pass GA/VIP/Onstage VIP

  • $125 / $250 / $350

KIDS 12 & UNDER ARE FREE (with parent or legal guardian only)

About the author
Karin McLaughlin

Karin McLaughlin

Karin has been a live music junkie all her life, however is a fairly new fan in the world of jam bands and bluegrass. She grew up on hip hop, classic soul, motown and classic rock but has found a new home in the festival world and that is what, in part, had brought her to DC Music Review. Karin produces and hosts a weekly radio show in the area called Karin's Calendar, where she talks all about 'Where to be in the DMV'. She is very excited to be starting down a semi-new road with us and hopes to use her interview skills and write ups of shows to contribute even more to DC Music Review.