For a chance to see all your favorite bluegrass all-stars while grubbing on tasty barbecue fare, set your sights on the Bloomin BBQ & Bluegrass Music and Food Festival. Ample opportunities to shop your heart out and make fast friends await as well, making this a must-attend event for 2023. If you’re ready to get out there and have a great time, simply use this guide to learn all you need to know.
All the Festivities Begin at 5 pm on May 19th, 2023
The 2023 Bloomin BBQ & Bluegrass Festival is set to arrive near the Sevier County Courthouse in historic Sevierville on May 19th at 5 pm sharp. The food, music, and shopping adventures will continue all evening long until 10 pm when the late-night jam begins.
Then, on May 20th, you can come back through at 10 am to do it all over again, once again enjoying all the festivities until the scheduled 10 pm close. After-parties may continue well into the night at nearby bars, although the details are still kept locked down at this time.
All throughout the event, the streets through the historic downtown district will shut down to vehicles. So, expect to find parking outside the designated festival area, like at the First Baptist Church on the Parkway.
The festival and all its concerts have free admission. But the vendor items and food will cost extra. So, be sure to bring enough cash to fill up your belly with BBQ deliciousness, plus pack your shopping bags full of swag.
Enjoy Tunes from All the Best Bluegrass and Americana Stars
Three festival stages will keep downtown Sevierville jamming to bluegrass and Americana tunes all weekend long. The ever-talented Kentucky Just Us will kick things off at 5 pm on Swaggerty’s Farm Main Stage, followed by Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier, The Barefoot Movement, and Yonder Mountain String Band.
On the 20th, you can swing by to hear:
- 12 pm: Dale Ann Bradley
- 1 pm: Breaking Grass
- 2 pm: Tray Wellington
- 3 pm: Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley
- 4 pm: Dale Ann Bradley
Then again, Breaking Grass, Tray Wellington, and Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley will come up onstage one by one for encore performances starting at 5 pm.
At 8:30 pm, you’ll get to hear Sawyer Brown, wow the crowds. Their tunes are promised to get everyone up on their feet and dancing the night away.
Who will play on the other two stages is anyone’s guess, but it’s well worth taking a peek to see who shows up. No matter who it is, you can count on bluegrass and Americana rhythms filling the air as you groove to the music.
Hear Vocalists Honor Dolly at the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition
Also filling the festival with lovely music are all the talented vocalists participating in the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition. Held all day on the 20th, this competition will bring vocalists together to belt out up to two of their favorite Dolly Parton songs. Both kids and adults are invited to compete and vie for the top three spots in their division.
After hearing all the contestants sing, the judges will gauge the talents of each one based on their singing prowess, song interpretation, and presence on stage. Then, they will hand out cash awards, tickets to Dollywood, and even a Nashville Recording Session. You’re invited to watch all the performances and attend the awards show in between your bluegrass and BBQ adventures.
Sample Pure Deliciousness at the TN State Championship BBQ Cookoff
At the heart of this festival is the much-anticipated TN State Championship BBQ Cookoff. During this event, talented chefs will go head-to-head in cooking up the tastiest smoked meats and more.
The BBQ meat categories will include:
- Beef Brisket
- Pork Ribs
- Pork Shoulder
On top of that, they will need to create truly scrumptious dishes using Bush Beans and Swaggerty’s Farm Sausage. Then, they will compete in creating memorable sauces and desserts to round out their offerings.
The scent of pure barbecue goodness will fill the air as the teams go all out to wow the judges. You can swing by to see how it’s going and chat up the chefs for insider tips. After that, stick around to see the winning teams get their trophies and prizes at 4pm on the 20th.
Get Great Food, Artisan Goods, and More at All the Vendor Booths
As the BBQ competition sends the scent of delicious food flowing your way, you’ll need to jet on over to the vendor booths to satisfy your cravings. Although the lineup is not yet finalized, popular food vendors from all over the area will undoubtedly have booths set up across the festival space. So, keep your eyes peeled for your favorites as you walk from stage to stage.
Many other vendors will come through with artisan goods, bluegrass swag, and so much more, all for sale at unbeatable prices. As you walk between all the rows of vendor booths, expect to see artwork, jewelry, collectibles, and apparel galore on full display. You never know what you’re going to find on your hunt for the perfect gifts for family, friends, and yourself. So, plan to spend at least a couple of hours window shopping to your heart’s content.
Top Spots to Stay While Enjoying the Festival in Sevierville
You have many lodging options to consider as you plan your festival adventures in Sevierville. If you’d like to travel into town in your RV, you can get set up at a nearby campground, like The Dell at Hidden Mountain Resort. Or you can get a cabin rental for the full Great Smoky Mountain travel experience.
Prefer to stay in a cabin surrounded by spectacular mountains? Check here for Sevierville Cabins!
No matter where you’d like to stay, make sure to book your room soon. Otherwise, you could end up with limited options as the crowds set their sights on the full bluegrass and barbecue experience.
Once you have your accommodations booked, you can start getting ready for your trip to Sevierville. Then, before you know it, you’ll be jamming to bluegrass hits while enjoying the finest BBQ around.