The long-anticipated return of DelFest took place Memorial Day Weekend in beautiful Cumberland, Maryland. After missing both 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 this year’s lineup included many Delfest favorites. Hosted by legendary Del McCoury and his talented family, DelFest has always been a musically inclusive festival. Fans were treated to great acts, anxious to return to the festival that included Tyler Childers, Béla Fleck (2022 Grammy Best Bluegrass Album winner for “My Bluegrass Heart”), Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, Anders Osborne, Jackie Greene (joined by D.C.-area native Jonathan Sloane), The Seldom Scene, Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway, Dré Anders, The 19th Street Band, Dirty Grass Players and many more. This year’s late-night shows featured Leftover Salmon and The Lil Smokies, Railroad Earth and Frank Solivan, Cabinet and Baltimore native, Cris Jacobs, as well as the festival finale, featuring The Travelin’ McCourys.
As DelFest regulars know the weather is variable. The inside joke is regardless of the forecast, pack for all four seasons, and don’t forget the rain gear.
It was hard to tell who was more excited to be there: the musicians or the fans. Between the planned performances and the campground jams, it seemed like the crowd was dancing and singing all day and night. DelFest is a festival for all ages. Looking around at the crowd you saw infants and octogenarians with everything in between. The smiles and enthusiasm were contagious. Everyone was having a great time. Eighty-three-year-old Del McCoury and his family are the perfect hosts. In addition to guest appearances with a number of bands they could be seen all around the festival.
Both first and long-time attendees are counting down the days until next year. Photos by Mark Raker.