10 Essential Acts To See At Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival This Saturday


Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival returns for its seventh year this Saturday. It’s a day-long event featuring music from over two dozen folk and bluegrass acts from D.C. and beyond, all in support of non-profit Living Classrooms, a foundation that sponsors educational programs for children in D.C. and Baltimore. Besides music, there’ll also be plenty of food vendors, beer and free activities to do on the island. With so many things going on at once, there’s a good chance that you’ll miss a good band or two while you’re walking around. To help you navigate your way through Kingman Island this Saturday, here’s a guide to some of the great acts you should see while you’re there.

Lowland Hum
If you decide to make it an all-day affair and get there right at noon, check out Charlottesville, VA’s Lowland Hum at the Bluegrass stage. The duo currently has two full-length albums out and plans to release a third after touring this year. The best way to start off your day is by listening to their gorgeous harmonies, as shown in this NPR Tiny Desk video.


Delafield String Band
At 1 p.m., head over to the Half-Shell Stage and catch D.C.’s Delafield String Band. The quintet’s masterful musicianship and spirited live performance is one of the many reasons why they should be at the top of your list of must-see bands.

Near Northeast
At 1:55 p.m., the Americana stage is where rising D.C. trio Near Northeast will deliver an emotive set for the Kingman Island crowd, driven by their avant-garde folk offerings.

Brian Farrow & What Got Over
If you can get over to the Fraser stage before 4 p.m., you’ll see Brian Farrow & What Got Over. Farrow is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist from the area who has played with many of the acts on this lineup, and has even performed for Barack Obama. It’ll be a special treat to watch him lead his own set.
Bud’s Collective
At 3:55 p.m., head back over to the Bluegrass stage if you’re in the mood for some pickin’. Bud’s Collective is a string trio with a vast musical catalog that encompasses everything from their energized, foot-stompin’ original tunes to R&B covers.

Bumper Jacksons
At 4:40 p.m., go to the Americana stage and catch veteran D.C. band Bumper Jacksons before Magic Giant takes the stage.

Herb and Hanson
Virginia duo Herb and Hanson has played the guitar and mandolin together ever since their first album was released in 2001. Throughout their long history together, Herb and Hanson’s songwriting prowess lies in their ability to take their worldly experiences and translate them into memorable, evocative music. The folk group will play at the Fresh Start stage at 5 p.m.

Smoke n’ Mangos
Hailing from Poolesville, MD, Smoke n’ Mangos is a local quintet who infuses a kaleidoscope of sounds like psychedelic rock into their dynamic folk offerings. The band has toured extensively over their long career and has played at other big-ticket festivals like Vans Warped Tour. You can catch the group at the Half-Shell stage starting at 5 p.m.

Magic Giant
Headlining the Americana stage at 5:40 p.m. is L.A.’s Magic Giant. Their dance floor-ready folk-pop tunes will get your revved up for the last performer of the night, Spirit Family Reunion.

Spirit Family Reunion
After a long day on the island, head to the Bluegrass stage at 6:50 p.m. to catch the final act of the day, Spirit Family Reunion. With a long festival résumé to boast, this tenured band will close out the night with their fast-paced, washboard-accompanied tunes that will have the crowd dancing in a frenzy the entire time. After Spirit Family Reunion, The Woodshedders will bring their funky tunes to Kingman Island for a special after-dark performance, so if you’re not completely worn out by then, make sure to stick around.