Arts & Culture

True Blue

The city’s second annual folk and bluegrass festival hopes to double in size.

The idea all stemmed from neighbors Phil Chorney and Jordan August pickin’ their instruments (mandolin and guitar) on their porches in Hampden. 

“We realized we wanted to put on bluegrass for everyone to see,” Chorney says, “whether it was on the porch, at a show, or a bigger party.” 

Now, the two are certainly embarking on that “bigger party,” aka the second annual Charm City Folk and Bluegrass Festival in Druid Hill Park on April 26. 

This year’s event will be a far cry from last year’s sold-out festival in Union Craft Brewery’s parking lot. “We really wanted to keep this an urban event,” Chorney says. “But how can we have a bluegrass festival without grass? So Druid Hill Park seemed like a natural choice.” 

The festival features Jerry Douglas, pictured—who tours with Allison Krauss and Willie Nelson later this year—as well as banjoist Noam Pilkeny, mandolin player/singer Sierra Hull, hometown favorite Cris Jacobs, and more. 

Also on hand will be local vendors like Union, Millstone Cellars, and Mother’s Federal Hill Grille. Both founders attribute the festival’s success to the recent popularity of Americana music. 

“Listeners have grown a new appreciation for storytelling in music,” August says. “We’re lucky to have come up with the right idea at the right time.”