DelFest Academy

“My goals for the mandolin class were completely satisfied and I came away from the Academy with both new skills and a greater confidence in myself and what I can achieve in music.” -Mike Ward, 2009 Academy student

We’re pleased to once again offer DelFest Academy in the week prior to the festival. The Academy consists of a friendly, encouraging and intensive three-day learning experience with some of the finest musicians in bluegrass, and offers instruction for guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and bass for all experience levels. The Travelin’ McCourys will return as instructors. Cody Kilby from Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder and two-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year Leigh Gibson of the Gibson Brothers will be this year’s guitar instructors. IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year Jesse Brock of the Gibson Brothers will be a mandolin instructor this year.

NEW THIS YEAR: DelFest Academy begins one day earlier with the registration meet and greet beginning on Sunday, May 18th at 4pm. Please do not arrive before to 4pm. Classes will take place Monday thru Wednesday before DelFest.

Basic 2014 Academy schedule below, specific schedule to be distributed upon arrival in student folders. Please note, food is NOT provided for the duration of the Academy except for the meet and greet on Sunday. Please bring your own food.

“I have been playing guitar for a while but I came home with new tools to the trade that Ronnie taught me.” -Sutton Yamanashi, 2009 Academy studentAlso, it probably goes without saying, from dark to sun-up each evening is spent in the campgrounds jamming with fellow students.

Sunday, May 18th

4-6pm : Registration and Check-In. Please do NOT arrive before 4pm.

7-9pm : Meet and Greet with students, instructors, and paid guests. Food and drink provided.

Monday, May 19th – Wednesday, May 21st

Student to receive instruction targeted to their individual needs, with plenty of opportunity for one-on-one interaction with their instructors. The overall direction of each class will ultimately be determined by the students’ goals and needs. Typically you’ll start the mornings in a small group with your instructor, and afternoon sessions may vary with instrument groups getting together. We like to end each day with Bluegrass Karaoke – students sign up to play a song with the instructors as your backing band! There will also be a Band Scramble where students compete for a chance to perform on-stage with The Del McCoury Band on Thursday night, the first evening of DelFest!

An activity is in the works for Wednesday evening. Students are welcome to stay overnight on Wednesday as the festival begins on Thursday, May 22nd. Must have 4-day Pass to attend DelFest.

Also, it probably goes without saying, from dark to sun-up each evening is spent in the campgrounds jamming with fellow students.

2014 Academy Tuition

NEW THIS YEAR: *IMPORTANT* Academy tuition is sold separately and all other items – 4-day Pass, On-site Parking Pass, RV Pass, DELuxe Packages – must be added a la carte to your order. Customize your DelFest experience how you like! Remember – if you’d like to keep your vehicle on-site during the festival, you must purchase an On-Site Parking Pass. Please carefully review your order and be sure to add all other items before completing your purchase.

DelFest Academy | $375 

*Includes Academy activities only, must also purchase 4-day pass to attend DelFest.

*Academy limited to 20 students per instrument (banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, bass). Must bring your own instrument.

Students are welcome to camp on-site in a designated area for the duration of the Academy. Vehicles must be parked tightly. You will be camping close to your vehicle, but do not expect to camp adjacent to it. Thanks for your cooperation.

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DelFest Academy Guest | $100

This allows one guest of an Academy student on-site from May 18-May 21. Only valid if accompanied by a DelFest Academy participant. May attend Sunday Meet and Greet, but may NOT attend any DelFest Academy classes. Must also purchase 4-day Pass to attend DelFest.

To purchase, registered students should email to request the purchase of an Academy Guest Pass. This is to ensure that Academy Guest Passes are only sold to those accompanying Academy students.

**All tickets are subject to applicable service fees. Service fees include a State of Maryland Admissions and Amusement Tax. 

Bluegrass Karaoke

Banjo class with Rob McCoury

Mandolin class with Ronnie McCoury

Questions about DelFest Academy?

Comments or questions are welcome.

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