DelFest 2023 was one for the books! Not only was the event packed full of talented musicians, but it was also the 15th anniversary of the festival! This year the festival welcomed Sierra Ferrell and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, making their first DelFest debut! The festival also featured crowd favorites, The California Honeydrops, St.Paul & The Broken Bones, The Infamous Stringdusters, Trampled By Turtles, and more!
We kicked off the festival with the iconic Del McCoury Band sound check. Not only is this the perfect start to the festival, but it is hard to describe the excitement that instantly fills the crowd and air during this time. Per usual the DMB plays a few songs then opens up for request after request. They featured songs from their most recent album “Almost Proud” as well as classics such as “Nashville Cats” and “Sweet Appalachia”. Closing out the Grandstand was first time DelFesters, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong! While Thursday is a shorter day, it still goes late into the night in true DelFest fashion! The first late night series was none other than Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass Ft. The Hillbenders.
Friday was the first full day of music, starting at 10:30am and going till about 3am, there truly was music all day long from every direction. Some folks chose to kick off their Friday at Del’s Bloody Mary Bar where they could pack their drink with the toppings of their choice while listening to the fabulous Taylor Rae and Charm City Junction! Others joined for group yoga or an energetic Rhythmetrix session on the lawn! The day ended with an improteu collaboration between The Del McCoury Band and The California Honeydrops before The Honeydrops grandstand set. Including a rocking late night session the The Infamous Stringdusters and Kitchen Dwellers.
This is when the vibe of DelFest really kicks in. More people, more activities, more music, more everything! And yes you guessed it, another day sun up to sun down of all music! The weather also happened to be perfect for floating in the Potomac. You also might have got to hear some Riverside sessions, which we can’t wait to share all summer long! The schedule was jam-packed with talent, no matter which stage you were at! You could even listen campside if you needed a breather. The night ended on The Grandstand with St.Paul & The Broken Bones, followed by none other than The Travelin’ McCourys. For those who weren’t ready to call it a night…we had one DEL of a late night in store. The California Honeydrops and Cris Jacobs were taking over the Music Hall and gave us an unforgettable time!
There were no Sunday blues here! While it is technically the last day of DelFest, we keep the vibes going…you guessed it. ALL. DAY. LONG! Dré and The Gospel Collective took us to church on the Grandstand stage with so many amazing songs and featuring some of our favorite artists. One particular highlight of this day was a surprise livestream of The Del McCoury Bands Grandstand set! Whether you were there in person, or at home, you could tune in and watch. And who better to close out the night than DelFest favorite, Sam Bush! If you weren’t ready to end it there, you could travel over to the Music Hall for several more hours with The Travelin’ McCourys to truly close out your DelFest 2023 experience.
Regardless if you spent a day, entire weekend, or watched from home…DelFest 2023 was truly a del of a year. We can’t wait to relive all the amazing moments created, but more importantly…prepare for year 2024. Can we get a DEL YEAH!?