The second annual Big Grass Bluegrass Festival will be held July 21-23, in downtown Paragould. The event is presented by the Collins Theatre Foundation with support from KASU, as well as the Paragould Advertising and Promotion Commission, MOR Media, Hedge’s Roto-Rooter, and First National Bank.
The center of activities for the festival will be the Collins Theatre. It was opened in 1925 and has hosted many concerts, community theatre productions, theatrical screenings, and community events in its history.
Since 2010, the Collins Theatre has been the home for KASU-FM’s monthly Bluegrass Monday concert series. The sustained success of that concert series led the board of the Collins Theatre to plan its first ever bluegrass festival for 2020, which was then postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic. That first festival featured Rhonda Vincent, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, High Fidelity, Breaking Grass, and other nationally-known groups.
The Collins Theatre received the Venue of the Year honor at the 2022 Arkansas Country Music Awards. The Big Grass Bluegrass Festival is a non-profit event, and proceeds will go toward the theatre’s foundation, ensuring that many other events can continue to be held at this significant venue.
The Festival will open with an evening of “bluegrass meets rock-and-roll.” The Hillbenders, a Southwest Missouri-based acoustic band, will present their WhoGrass show, which features bluegrass-inspired arrangements of songs by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band The Who. That same night, the Cleverlys will present their unique and hilarious show which mixes comedy with bluegrass versions of pop, rock, hip-hop and rap songs.
The 2022 Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America Entertainer of the Year, the Kody Norris Show, will perform July 22, alongside two other acts nominated for that honor this year, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys and the Grascals.
Two shows will be presented at the theatre on July 23, each featuring three very well-known, chart-topping, and award-winning acts: The Daryl Mosley Band, Nothin’ Fancy, and the Lonesome River Band.
Local vendors and food trucks will be present along with activities for children.
On July 23, in the nearby Centennial Park, numerous local and regional bluegrass and country acts will perform free for the crowds. 2022 Arkansas Country Music Award winner for Young Artist of the Year, Sylamore Special, will play in this park alongside The Voice Season 17 contestant Cory Jackson, the bands Magnolia Wind and Sand Creek, and singer-songwriter Chad Garrett.