It’s going to be a musical weekend in Lawrence as the Kaw River Roots Festival and Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships both return.
Kicking off Friday, Aug. 25, the third annual festival celebrating roots and bluegrass music will feature numerous performers at Lucia and the Granada in downtown Lawrence. On Saturday, there will be three stages at Abe & Jake’s Landing, 8 E. Sixth St. Grammy award winner Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, headlining the event, will perform at 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, on the main stage.
Additional performers at the festival include Pretend Friend, Opal Agafia, Signal Ridge, Jenna & Martin, Betsy O & The Hollaback Boys, Moonshroom, The Matchsellers, One Way Traffic, Michael Daves & Jacob Joliff, Nefesh Mountain, Gullywasher, Front Porch, Whiskey Mash, Unfit Wives, and Foggy Memory Boys, according to a news release from organizers. See the full schedule at kawriverroots.com/stage-schedule.
“We have 16 hand-picked acts staggered across three venues this year, making for non-stop good music at every turn,” festival organizer Mike Logan said in the release.
“The two day line-up is stacked, including some great local and regional artists that we’re fortunate to have so close to home. Downtown Lawrence will be the place to be for Americana and Bluegrass music this weekend.”
The Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships — nicknamed FidPick — is now in its 42nd year. It will bring family fun from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27 at South Park.
Some performers to watch for include songwriter and bandleader Sally Vee, of Alta Vista, Kansas, and the Roe Family Singers, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. There will be a vendor area featuring food, drink, artist booths and handcrafted instruments. A family area will include children’s workshops hosted by FidPick and the Lawrence Arts Center, according to the release.
The event Sunday includes seven instrument competitions in which all ages and skill levels are encouraged to compete: fiddle, youth fiddle, banjo, mandolin, flat pick guitar, miscellaneous acoustic instruments, and finger-style guitar, according to the release. “A special Youth Award, designed to encourage young people to pursue traditional music, is presented each year to an outstanding musician under the age of 16.”
This year’s event will also include a new band competition, and the winner will be crowned the Kansas State String Band of the Year for 2023. The winning band will also receive prize money and an opportunity to play in the main fairgrounds at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival coming up in September in Winfield, Kansas, according to a news release from event organizers.
Individual tickets to the Kaw River Roots Festival range from $35 for a single-day admission to $95 for two-day reserved tickets. Find out more at this link.
A full schedule of FidPick events is available at fidpick.org/2023-schedule. It will be free and open to the public at South Park. In the event of rain, the event will be moved to Abe & Jake’s Landing.
Although it’s still going to be quite warm outside, a cool front is moving in Friday evening. Saturday is expected to be sunny with a high of 91°. Sunday has a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high near 82°, the National Weather Service forecast showed as of Wednesday morning.
The Kansas State Fiddling & Picking Championships is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving traditional American acoustic music, according to the release. It’s funded solely by donations, sponsorships and grants. People who would like to volunteer in any capacity can email email@example.com.