Schedule

Watermelon Pickers' Fest Poster 2024

2024 Festival Schedule

Mainstage

Dance Barn

Pick-nic Shelter

Kid’s Barn

Thursday

September 5, 2024

Thursday early-arrival ticket holders can enter the festival grounds beginning at 9:00 AM. Gates open for arrival/check-in from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

Arrive early, set up your campsite, join a workshop, or pick with friends. Music workshop details and tickets here!

Instrumental Music Workshop

12:00-2:00 PM

Instrument-specific workshops for banjo, fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. There will be something new to learn, whether you are a beginner or an advanced picker. Play multiple instruments? Bring them all! You can easily switch between groups throughout the day.

Pick-Nick Shelter

Harmony Singing and Vocal Workshop with Melissa Wright

Harmony singing and vocal workshop with Melissa Wright. Improve your harmony singing, pick up a new tune, and become confident when singing in a group.

2:15-3:00 PM

Pick-Nick Shelter

Instrumental and Jamming Workshop

Join the group and learn to jam! Instrument groups will come together for a jam. Share the tunes and skills you learned throughout the day and get ready to pick around the campfire or join the band contest on Saturday!

3:15-5:00 PM

Pick-Nick Shelter

Shade Tree Collective Unplugged Performance

Bring your dinner or a dish to share and head over to the Pick-Nick shelter for a dinner performance.

5:15-6:00 PM

Pick-Nick Shelter

Campfire Jam Hosted by the Plate Scrapers

Kick off the late night jamming atmosphere with a friemdly open jam hosted by the Plate Scrapers.

9:00-10:00PM

Pick-Nick Shelter

Friday

September 6, 2024

Yoga with Anna Billman

Start your morning with a relaxing yoga session, energized for a great day of music!

10:00 – 11:00 AM

Pick-Nick Shelter

Flatfooting Dance Workshop with Jan Scopel and music by the Short Hill Mountain Boys

You’ll be ready to kick up your heels and dance through the festival! Join Jan Scopel for a fun and easy flatfooting dance workshop, with lively music from the Short Hill Mountain Boys.

11:30 AM -12:15 PM

Pick-Nick Shelter

Barn Dance with Kim Forry and music by Furnace Mountain

Keep the dancing going with a barn dance led by Kim Forry. Come to dance and enjoy the music provided by Furnace Mountain!

12:30-1:30 PM

Pick-Nick Shelter

Flower Arranging

Get creative and enjoy natural beauty. create your own flower arrangement with beautiful local wildflowers.

1:00-2:00 PM

Kids Barn

2022 Band Contest Winners Pictrola

Hailing from the NOVA area the band strives to incorporate modern themes into traditional bluegrass, bringing elements from blues, swing, jazz, and rock into unique covers and originals.

1:00-2:00 PM

Mainstage

Instrument Petting Zoo

Future musicians can come and explore! Try out fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, and more. Get an up-close look at the instruments you will see throughout the fest.

2:00 – 2:45 PM

Kids Barn

Mink’s Miracle Medicine

After a decade in existence, Mink’s has expanded from a poem-proselytizing duo to an Americana collective caravan featuring the region’s strongest wingmen.

2:00 – 2:45 PM

Dance Barn

Furnace Mountain and the City Stompers

Furnace Mountain creates music that is at times lively and raucous, with spirited fiddle melodies weaving in and around the powerful rhythms of the bass and bouzouki, and other times poignant and poetic, with sublime vocal harmonies beautifully interpreting some of the oldest songs ever written. Joined by the City Stompers, with their lively beat and captivating flatfooting dance steps.

2:45 – 3:45 PM

Mainstage

The Webley Twizzle Project

The Webley Twizzle Project is an instrumental parlor folk trio based in Central Virginia. TWTP plays both modern and traditional music, with enough swing, rags, novelty and original music thrown in to bring a classy and smooth musical experience to any stage or sitting room. Join them in the kid’s barn for family-friendly music for fans of all ages!

3:00-4:00 PM

Kids Barn

Short Hill Mountain Boys

The Short Hill Mountain Boys play their own blend of bluegrass, old-time, cajun, classic country, and folk music with a rare passion.

3:45 – 4:30 PM

Dance Barn

John McEuen and the Circle Band

John McEuen brings with him 45+ years of worldwide performing with his banjo, fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. Often referred to as ‘the String Wizard’, he weaves stories of his travels and family life, taking us through where his musical path has taken him.

4:30 – 5:45 PM

Mainstage

Lillian Hackett

At just 17 years old, Lillian Hackett is an emerging singer-songwriter from Lovettsville, VA. With a natural inclination toward New Americana music, she skillfully weaves a soulful and authentic musical experience, blending covers and originals.

5:45 – 6:30 PM

Dance Barn

The Po Ramblin Boys

The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys’ hard-driving approach to bluegrass music caught the ear of music lovers around the U.S. and overseas as well. The group feeds off of the energy of the sounds of the first-generation bluegrass musicians who were recorded 70 years ago, and they cling to that exciting core of the genre by design.

6:30 – 7:30 PM

Mainstage

The Woodshedders

The Woodshedders bring lyricism and musicality to fun, danceable shows that swerve through Honky-Tonk, Gypsy, Appalachian, and Vintage Rock n’ Roll, often in the same song. They are the host band of the Watermelon Pickers’ Fest.

7:30 – 8:30 PM

Dance Barn

Miko Marks

Finding freedom through music is something that Miko Marks knows all too well. But it’s more than just freedom. It’s liberation. Deliverance. After living what seems to be multiple lives over, Miko has finally come into the life she was born to live. And she’s more than ready to live it to the fullest – one of truth, authenticity, vulnerability, joy and honesty.

8:30 – 10:00 PM

Mainstage

Larry Keel’s Electric Larry Land

Electric Larry Land is award-winning guitarist and songwriter Larry Keel’s uniquely gritty and suave original roots music applied to an electric format, creating what he calls a sonic“groove-and-vibe machine.

10:00 – 11:30 PM

Dance Barn

Saturday

September 7, 2024

Yoga with Anna Billman

Start your morning with a relaxing yoga session, energized for a great day of music!

10:00 – 11:00 AM

Pick-Nick Shelter

2-Step Honky Tonk Dance Workshop with Becky Hill

Get ready for Melissa Wright’s Honky Tonk Revue with a 2-step dance workshop led by Becky Hill. You’ll be 2-stepping away at the Honky Tonk Revue!

11:00 – 11:45 AM

Pick-Nick Shelter

Watermelon T-Shirt Tie Dye

Bring your T-shirt (or hat, socks, handkerchief, and so on) for what has become a time-honored tradition at the Watermelon Pickers’ Fest. Decorate your own T-shirt with Sharpie tie-dye and proudly wear it at the fest!

Limited t-shirts available for fest attendees aged 12 and younger.

11:00 – 11:45 AM

Kids Barn

Wyatt Ellis

Listen to Wyatt Ellis and learn about his musical journey in an intimate workshop performance.

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM

Dance Barn

Recycled Instruments and Masks

Bring your empty water bottles, paper rolls, and clean recyclables to repurpose and re-use. Make your own creative instrument or Mardi-Gras mask to use in the festival parade!

We are welcoming donations of clean recyclables, including water bottles, cereal boxes, tissue boxes, and paper towel rolls. Donations of craft supplies and materials are also welcome! Drop off donations with a volunteer at the kids barn.

12:00-12:45 PM

Kids Barn

Band Contest

The band contest is one of the primary ways we check out new bands to hire for future events. Show off for the audience, the judges, and the programming committee. And most importantly, join in the fun! Past band contest winners include a mix of established bands and pickers who met at a workshop or while picking around the campfire at the fest. From campfire to mainstage, you never know who might win!

12:30-2:00 PM

Dance Barn

Parachutes and Piñatas

Have fun playing parachute games and celebrating the fest with a piñata full of musical surprises!

1:00-1:45 PM

Kids Barn

Honky Tonk Revue

Two-step into the heart of Americana with the Saturday afternoon Honky-Tonk Revue. Featuring honky tonk and classic country tunes performed by Melissa Wright, Riley Kerns (Low Water Bridge Band), Lillian Hackett, Dwayne Brooke (The Woodshedders), Will Spaulding (The Woodshedders), Randy Thompson, and a two-step workshop by Becky Hill. Steeped in nostalgia as vibrant as a neon sign, bring along your dancing shoes and a partner and we’ll see you at the dance barn.

2:00 – 2:45 PM

Dance Barn

Festival Parade

Bring your masks and instruments for a fun parade around the festival grounds! Join the fun and celebrate!

Gather for the parade at 1:45, and we’ll start marching at 2:00!

2:00-2:15 PM

Kids Barn

Wyatt Ellis

In October 2022, Wyatt performed alongside former Bluegrass Boy Peter Rowan and Grammy winner Molly Tuttle at Rowan’s induction into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame. Wyatt was invited by his ultimate mandolin hero, Marty Stuart, to help kick off the Grand-Reopening of the Ellis Theater in Philadelphia, Mississippi. In February 2023, at 13 years old, he made his Grand Ole Opry debut appearance with bluegrass duo Dailey & Vincent.

3:00 – 4:00 PM

Mainstage

Band Contest Winners

Enjoy a performance from the 2024 band contest winners!

4:00 – 4:30 PM

Dance Barn

Carsie Blanton

Carsie Blanton is a songwriter with hooks, chutzpah, and revolutionary optimism. Inspired by artist-activists including Nina Simone and Woody Guthrie, her catalog careens through American popular song from folk and swing to pop-punk protest anthems.

4:45 – 5:45 PM

Mainstage

The Plate Scrapers

Born from the tradition of Bluegrass jams and potlucks, The Plate Scrapers — Derek Kretzer (banjo), Andrew Jordan (guitar), Robbie Mann (fiddle), Jody Mosser (dobro), and Kevin Johnson (bass) — have been putting in the work and showcasing their love for the genre since 2014.

5:45 – 6:30 PM

Dance Barn

Della Mae

Della Mae is a GRAMMY-nominated, all-women string band made up of founder and fiddle player Kimber Ludiker, lead vocalist/guitarist Celia Woodsmith, guitarist Avril Smith, and bassist Vickie Vaughn.

6:30 – 7:45 PM

Mainstage

Carsie Blanton

Carsie Blanton is a songwriter with hooks, chutzpah, and revolutionary optimism. Inspired by artist-activists including Nina Simone and Woody Guthrie, her catalog careens through American popular song from folk and swing to pop-punk protest anthems.

7:45 – 8:30 PM

Dance Barn

Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band

The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band consists of outstanding musicians with over 100 years of combined recording and performance experience. Joining guitarist Peter Rowan are Chris Henry (mandolin and vocals), Max Wareham (banjo and vocals), Julian Pinelli (fiddle) and Eric Thorin (bass).

8:30 – 10:00 PM

Mainstage

Low Water Bridge Band

There’s a sound the Shenandoah River makes as it rumbles over old stones in the shallows. It sings songs the way they used to be – plain and honest. No frills, buckle that belt before you head to the hills and hollers. It’s there under a Virginia moon that you’ll find the Low Water Bridge Band.

10:00 – 11:30 PM

Dance Barn

Don’t miss a moment. Get your tickets now!