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Blue Plum Festival adding new activities and events to increase community excitement

Jonathan Roberts • Jun 3, 2019 at 12:00 AM

With the arrival of June comes the ever-popular Blue Plum Festival, which kicks off on Friday, June 7, and concludes on Saturday, June 8.

Heading into its second year directed by Caroline Abercrombie, the festival is adding a plethora of new activities and events for festivalgoers, including an all-ages field day experience and a family-friendly lawn stage, which have gone a long way toward increasing community excitement for the festival.

“We haven’t had this good of support since, I think, 2017 in terms of sponsorships so that’s exciting too,” said Caroline Abercrombie, Blue Plum Festival Director. “I just feel like the community is back engaged and kind of supporting us again.”

Abercrombie attributes a lot of that returning support to the festival’s focus on things other than music, and also adding things to make the music more enjoyable for a larger part of the community.

“I think we’ve also done a good job not just focusing on music and making sure we find a little of something for everyone,” said Abercrombie. “For example, last year we added the (American Sign Language) interpreters and it was so popular, we didn’t realize how large of a deaf community we have here.”

This year’s Blue Plum Festival hasn’t been without a little difficulty, however, as the original headliner, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, withdrew from the festival to resume touring with the Rolling Stones after Stones frontman Mick Jagger made a faster than expected recovery from heart surgery. Jagger’s recovery prompting the band to reschedule all of their previously postponed tour dates, which conflicted with Blue Plum, but Abercrombie is excited for Nashville-based R&B and Gospel/Soul singer Devon Gilfillian, who is replacing Denson as the festival’s headliner.

“It was a real hard blow for (the Blue Plum music committee) when Karl Denson got called back by the Rolling Stones and had to leave behind the Blue Plum Festival,” Abercrombie said. “We got lucky that the other individual we picked, Devon, has really blown up and earned his right to be a headliner so I’m still really excited about the lineup.”

Other new additions to the festival include ASL interpreters for both days, new activities including an all-ages “field day experience,” a lawn stage for family-friendly entertainment and a second year of sustainability-based activities. Abercrombie says that the sustainability activities include a trash-for-swag search, where attendees can bring things like cigarette butts to the sustainability tent and receive free swag.

Also new is a “geocaching”-type of activity, where festival goers take pictures at certain, designated areas and, once completed, they receive $5 off a festival shirt and receive an entry into a drawing for a VIP package to the 2020 Blue Plum festival and, of course, lots of music. 

Wild Wing Cafe Stage - Friday

- 4 p.m. Rebecca Lee Daniels 

- 4:45 p.m. Seth Thomas

- 5:45 p.m. Jesse Lewis and the Country Club 

- 6:45 p.m. Daytripper

- 7:45 p.m. Original Flow and the Fervent Route

Saturday

- 10:15 a.m. The Dependents

- 11:15 a.m. Cave Twins

- 12 p.m. Sulpher Springs String Dippers

- 1 p.m. Vintage Pistol

- 2 p.m. Scott Mulvahill (solo) 

- 2:45 p.m. Ladybirds

- 3:30 p.m. Carl Anderson

- 4:15 p.m. Ed Snodderly

- 6 p.m. Empire Strikes Bass

Ballad Health Stage - Friday

- 5:15 p.m. Vintage Pistol 

- 6:40 p.m. Unspoken Tradition

- 8 p.m. Magnolia Boulevard

- 9:15 p.m. New Orleans Suspects

Saturday

- 1 p.m. Kaitlyn Baker

- 2:10 p.m. The Green Fingers

- 3:15 p.m. Matt Heckler

- 4:35 p.m. Scott Mulvahill (full band) 

- 6 p.m. Roanoke

- 7:30 p.m. ONA

- 9:30 p.m. Devon Gilfillian

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