Bluegrass at its Finest: Second annual Earl Scruggs Music Festival 

Published 11:59 am Wednesday, August 16, 2023

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Biggest names in bluegrass to honor musical legend


MILL SPRING—Lovers of traditional bluegrass are in for a treat, as three days of fun, food and music are just two weeks away.

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The second annual Earl Scruggs Music Festival will be taking place over Labor Day weekend at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring.

Kicking off on Friday, September 1 and running through September 3, the festival celebrates the life and legacy of banjo virtuoso Earl Scruggs, who was born in nearby Cleveland County. Scruggs was the architect of the three-finger banjo picking technique that is synonymous with bluegrass today.      

Scruggs’ musical success would lead him to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985, the Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 1991, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007, and the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

The festival features three days of bluegrass, Americana, and old-time music, as well as interactive workshops, craft vendors and more. 

Some of the artists that are set to perform throughout the weekend are Emmylou Harris, Reedy River String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, Del McCoury Band, Infamous Stringdusters, Armchair Boogie and a host of other musicians influenced by Earl Scruggs.

Also, guests can take part in many workshops during the weekend where they can learn about the history of  bluegrass and Earl Scruggs’ illustrious career. Attendees can even bring their own instrument to play along with others, regardless of their experience level. 

In addition to the three days where some of bluegrass music’s biggest names will take center stage, the Earl Scruggs Music Festival Kick-off event will take place on Thursday where guests can enjoy horse jumping demonstrations, play a game of pickleball while exploring and utilizing TIEC’s fitness center, enjoy live music and much more.

Tickets can be purchased on the Earl Scruggs Music Festival website. A weekend pass general admission ticket can be bought for $150 and a single day general admission ticket can be bought for $50 for Friday and Sunday and $60 for Saturday.

V.I.P. and exclusive tickets are also available where guests can enjoy covered seating, open bars and gourmet meals depending on what ticket tier is purchased.

The festival is established in partnership with WNCW 88.7 at Isothermal Community College in Spindale and the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby.

For the full Earl Scruggs Music Festival schedule and to buy tickets please visit