MAY 2009 Festival Comments
"Thanks So Much For Keeping This Festival Going!"
"Love What You've Done !"
"Lil John's & Bluegrass Forever"
"Best of Luck for Many Festivals"
"Thanks For Making Our Dreams Come True"
"Best Bluegrass Festival In Years"
"Thanks For Your Kindness"
"Love the Flowers and Landscaping"
"Special Place To Hear Bluegrass"
"Most Campers I've Seen In Years On The Mountain"
"Very Nice Park and Nice Showers"
"Love This Place"
"Keep Bluegrass Alive"
"Good Job" THANKS !
"Keep Blue True"
"Thanks For Keeping This Wonderful Festival Going"
"Made New Bluegrass Friends"
"Lot's Of Fun !"
"Took Lots Of Pictures and Will Enjoy The Memories"
"Make Sure Vendors Are On The Hill"
"Our First Time, We Will Be Back Again !"
"Good Job, John & Natalie"
"Just Like Coming Home"
"Please Have Labor Day Festival"
"WE WILL BE BACK"
SEPTEMBER 2009 Festival Comments
"You've done it again"
"Your dad would be proud"
"Keep the festival alive"
"Great weather and great bluegrass music"
"First time and I WILL BE BACK"
"Snyder Family is my favorite"
"Great selection of vendors"
"Thanks for bring back Dave Evans !"
"More Bluegrass Memories"
"High Lonesome Sound all over the mountain again"
"Got to get me some of that campground cookin'"
"Hats off to the promoters and staff"
"Just Like Coming Home"
"Thanks for using the recycle can bins"
"Can't wait until Oct Halloween Camp & Jam"
Halloween Camp & Jam 2009
"This was so much fun please have it next year!"
"I had a great time passing out candy"
"Great music all weekend !"
"Very nicely done, once again !"
"Just Like Coming Home"
MAY 2010 Festival Comments
"Thank You John & Natalie for another GREAT FESTIVAL !"
"Record Breaking Crowds"
"Shriners food was GREAT"
"Nice selection of vendors"
"Keep Up The Good Work"
"We enjoyed the wagon rides"
"Nice family fun filled weekend"
"Hard Work Pays Off"
"GREAT campground JAMS !"
"Looking forward to SEPT 2010"
"WE'LL BE BACK"
TIMES NEWS - BURLINGTON - WRITES THIS ARTICLE
Thousands flock to Snow Camp bluegrass festival
May 29, 2010 10:12 PM
ShareThis| Print Story | E-Mail StoryMichael D. Abernethy / Times-News
SNOW CAMP — Ask anybody in southern Alamance County and they’ll tell you quick: Lil John’s is a big deal.
SEPTEMBER 2010 Festival Comments
"We will definitely be back for more festivals !"
"Thanks for ALL YOUR HARD WORK"
"Great place for a vacation"
"Dr. Ralph Stanley was AWSOME !"
"Lil & Natalie have done it again !"
"Please add - "No Smokng" in the stage area"
"Great weather Goodbye "EARL" !"
"Thanks for having Tony Rice Unit"
"Always enjoy the Snyder Family Band"
"Always feel like home at Lil John's"
"Best Festival I've Been To In 10 Years !"
"Can't wait until Halloween Camp & Jam 2010!"
Halloween Camp & Jam 2010
"Thanks again for a safe and family fun time!"
"Please book Kelley & The Cowboys Again"
"Great music all weekend"
"Great costumes and camping fun"
"We will be back for the NEXT festival"
MAY 2011 Festival Comments
"Another great family festival"
"Thanks for your hard work to bring quality bluegrass to your festvials"
"Great music ALL WEEKEND"
"Michael Cleveland was smokin' HOT on the fiddle !"
"Great to see local bands at the band contest"
"Good to see Dailey & Vincent back on the Mountain !"
"My kids really enjoyed the Next Generation Workshops"
"Great festvial campground pickin!"
We want to THANK everyone who attends the festivals.
What they are writing about us.....
Bluegrass Unlimited JAN 2011
SEPTEMBER 2011 Festival Comments
"Great to see Larry Sparks on the Mountain"
"Another fine job by the staff at Lil John's"
"The Steeldrivers were AWSOME !"
"Got to relax with family & friends"
"Bring Back Darin & Brooke Aldridge"
"Great Show with NEW artists"
"We will be back for 2012 festivals"
MAY 2012 Festival Comments
"Great to see so many bluegrass friends back on the mountain"
"What an AWSOME performance by the Lil John's ALL STAR BAND ! "
"I'll be back ! "
"We would like to see the Steeldrivers back in 2013"
" Thank you John & Natalie for another great bluegrass festival"
"Glad to see all the young folks enjoying bluegrass music"
"We loved seeing the Snyder Family Band"
"We can't wait until OCTOBER 11,12,13 2012"
Held at Cane Creek Campground each Memorial Day weekend for 32 years in some incarnation or other, Lil’ John’s Mountain Music Festival attracts thousands from North Carolina, states as far west as Arizona and Montana and even folks from overseas.
Far and wide the pour into the campground and its shaded amphitheater for three days of bluegrass music — featuring big time and smaller tickets in the bluegrass scene — good food, beer and campfire fellowship where the bluegrass jams run for hours.
And they usually come back.
Rufus Griffin of Snow Camp is one of a handful who can say he’s been to every Memorial Day festival for 32 years. He began attending when it was the Bass Mountain Bluegrass Festival. Over the years, the event picked up in popularity. He started noticing the crowd’s numbers growing and the music in the campground getting sweeter once the stage lights go out at night.
“It used to just be in that circle up there where people would camp,” Griffin said, gesturing to the campground’s relatively small main drag of tent and RV campers. “It grew a little year by year. The jams have gotten bigger and better.”
The festival staff didn’t have a final count Saturday afternoon, but they said this was the festival’s largest attendance in years. They estimated several thousand attended some portion of the three-day festival. The view from the center of camp was startling: hundreds upon hundreds of RVs, tents and travel campers sprawled to the horizon in every direction, with just about every inch of field claimed by a group of bluegrass lovers.
The rustic sound of banjos, dobros and upright bass floated through the campsites from all directions as pockets of musicians gathered around tables to spend a few hours trading instruments and licks.
Tim Mills, of Staley, has been returning nearly 30 years. His pickup truck is covered in stickers that say things like “Bluegrass Music: Finger Picking Good,” and “Dr. Ralph Stanley for President.” He plays bass and guitar and spends the evenings roving from group jam to group jam.
“We’ll play music all night long sometimes. I know I’ve seen the sun come up twice since I got here (on May 21),” Mills said. “It’s the people and the atmosphere that make it. Everybody here is nice and we all have a relationship that’s like a family. You can walk up to anyone here and start talking.”
The festival changed hands back to the Maness family when “Lil” John Maness — son of the late John Maness, the Bass Mountain festival’s cofounder — took over in 2009. No one had a disparaging word for the previous festival organizers, but they’d noticed the crowds, vendors and lineups starting to diminish.
“Lil John’s done a good job of turning this thing around. It’s been transformational,” said 20-year festival-goer and Greensboro resident Todd Rightsell. “The bands they’ve gotten in here have been great. This is the biggest crowd I’ve seen here in a long time.”
Bob Souther has driven from Raleigh to the festival each year since 1989. Since he married his wife, Lori, the two have made the trip to together.
“It’s close to home, there’s good music and good people,” Bob said, as the couple strolled the grounds to take in the sights and sounds.
“Sometimes they’ll even feed you,” Lori said, laughing.
OCTOBER 2012 Festival Comments
"Nice Festival for the fall time"
"Please have a Labor Day Festival"
"We enjoy the Halloween Costume Contest"
"Thanks for putting on another great festival"
"Please put in more campsites"
"See ya'll in MAY 2103 !"