ROMP Bluegrass Music Festival in Owensboro Breaks Attendance Records
The 14th annual ROMP festival attracted a record-breaking 26,000 people to the four-day bluegrass music event in Owensboro, Kentucky from June 21 - 25. That audience compares to 23,000 people who attended last year.
The International Bluegrass Music Museum produces the event. Chris Joslin is executive director of the museum and says the record number of people arrived despite challenges of rain and mud on some of the days. He says the increased attendance is due to a combination of factors.
“It’s the overall experience. I certainly think the music and the line-up is an important element, but over and above that it’s the setting, it’s Yellow Creek Park. It’s the fact that it’s a festival where you can bring your entire family, including your kiddos.”
Joslin says ROMP has become a ritual for many people.
“I think it’s because of the community that’s grown around the festival. Since this is our 14th year, you have people who come every year and they want to find their people. So it’s a connecting point for a lot of people.”
Bluegrass music fans from 38 states attended this year's ROMP. Fans also came from as far away as Australia, Switzerland, Great Britain and Canada.
Two thousand people camped at ROMP this year and among the tents were 300 RVs. Campers were more eager than in previous years to get started. The festival begins on Wednesday and campers used to show up on Tuesday evening. This year, campers began arriving Sunday and camped in overflow lots until the gates opened Wednesday morning.