Bluegrass Tomball Festival returns to The Depot on October 16, with Sgt. Peppers Lonely Bluegrass Band


Tomball’s bluegrass festival went virtual last year in the form of a 45-minute concert broadcast on Facebook from the downtown lookout.

This year’s event will go back to tradition with a day of live music, vendors, festival food and family activities at Depot Plaza.

The community is invited to the 9th Annual Bluegrass Tomball Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 16 at 201 S. Elm St.

Headlining this year’s event, a four-piece group gives a unique twist to one of the world’s most celebrated musical sensations.

Sgt. Peppers Lonely Bluegrass Band are known for their bluegrass interpretations of the Beatles classics.

“It’s not your same old Beatles band,” says Dave Walser, the band’s founder, on the band’s website.

Tomball Marketing and Tourism Director Mike Baxter enjoyed the sounds of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Bluegrass Band for years. He started listening to their music when they were called Beatlegrass.

“It’s just interesting listening to the classic Beatles tunes you grew up with, but in a whole different way with banjos, mandolins, violins and stuff like that,” Baxter said. “It’s just okay, this is great.”

The festival will also feature performances by the groups Lone Star Bluegrass and Vintage Sounds.

Another staple of the Bluegrass Tomball Festival is Shade Tree Jam, where “everyday pickers” gather and play music in front of Granny’s Korner in Market Street and South Walnut Street.

“Everyone who shows up with their instrument is in this interactive circle performing bluegrass tunes. … It’s really cool to watch, ”said Baxter.

The Shade Tree Jam sees musicians play a variety of instruments – banjos, guitars, mandolins, and even the occasional appearance of salesman Tracy LaRue playing her handcrafted cigar guitars, which he sells at the festival.

Since the city’s return to in-person events this year, attendance numbers have returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to Baxter. The September GroovFest brought together around 6,400 people.

Baxter hopes the bluegrass festival will also see good attendance. It’s an event that he says not only offers an opportunity to socialize, but also to learn and enjoy music together, regardless of generation.

“Bluegrass is like the real Americana, so it’s also an educational opportunity; it’s a chance for people to hang out and socialize and it’s one of those fun events, ”he said. “It usually makes the participants lean a little more, but there are still a lot of young people who come to see it, young families. It’s fun, it’s family friendly, it’s just a good event.

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