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 Who Avoca Music Festival
 What 27th National Old Time Country & Bluegrass Music Festival And Pioneer Exposition Of Arts and Crafts
 When August 26, 2002
 Where Avoca, IA
 Source NTCMA

America's Premier Traditional Acoustic Music Event!


This incredible event is held annually the week before Labor Day in collaboration with the Avoca Ag Expo.

This will very probably be our last year at Avoca. We expect to move to a new location next year, Aug 25-31, 2003.

We have been doing the music of "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" for the past 27 years at this location.

The music festival this year will be held at the original Pottawattamie County Fairgrounds in Avoca, Iowa, Exit-40 from Interstate-80, 1 mile south on Highway-59.

Now in it's 27th year, it boasts seven days of old-time and traditional acoustic music performed on ten different stages. On tap for 2002, is special recognition to the Coen Brothers who produced "Oh Brother Where Art Thou," as well as the cast members, George Clooney (for not only his incredibly sincere portrayal of his character in prayer, but also his character's ability to perform as a "happy" hillbilly, and more specifically, George Clooney's ability to "dance" like a hillbilly). Charles Durney, for his character's ability to bring to full life a political personage well endowed with the characteristics so common to this kind of person, and for his ability, not only to show us a great "hillbilly" jig, but for his unwavering ability to demonstrate to his political opponent, (as well as all those who think hillbilly is something low on the social scale)that there is something good in everything. Tim Blake Nelson who actually sang and recorded "In The Jailhouse Now," John Turturro for his incredibly well done hillbilly character, and John Goodman for the fine ogre he presented.


  • James Monroe & Midnight Ramblers (son of Bill Monroe)
  • Tommy Overstreet (hit after hit after hit in country music)
  • Albert Brumley, Jr. (Father wrote I'll Fly Away, Rank Strangers, more)
  • Marvin Rainwater (Huge hit with Gonna Find Me A Bluebird)
  • Claude Gray (Had a 5-million seller with Another Cup of Coffee, Family Bible, and many more)
  • Charlie Lawson and Oak Hill (one of the best bluegrass bands in the midwest)
  • Terry Smith (wrote Far Side Banks of Jordan)
  • The Sullivan Family (Southern Bluegrass Gospel at it's very best)
  • Johnny Carson (Grew up in Avoca, gave the city $250,000 for a swimming pool and may show up for our thanks)
  • Wailin' Wood (Nashville's hottest harmonica player)
  • Mark Brine (Baltimore Maryland's anwser to traditional country)
  • Tom Swatzell (King of the Dobro)
  • Cowboy Joe Babcock (Wrote I Washed My Hands In Muddy Waters)
  • Hammer Sisters (Long-time performers of old time Ozark Mountain Music)
  • Happy Valley June Campbell (the sole survivor of Shenandoah Iowa live radio)
  • Bob & Sheila Everhart (Just back from a 5-month tour of Europe, hosts of the festival)
  • Sherwin Linton (Long time friend of Johnny Cash and Minnesota's finest performer of country music)
  • Blue Persuasion (Alabama's anwser to traditional bluegrass music)
  • The Wilders (Kansas City Stars doing Oh Brother music!)

alter-NATIVE VOICES joins the NTCMA in presenting a full Native American program in the Tipi Village. Through the facilities of KUVO radio in Denver, Colorado, American Indian Radio on Satellite Network, on the web at alternativevoices.org, and program audio at alros.org/audil.html the Avoca Festival will be able to demonstrate the 'heart'of America's objective of offering tradition and culture to all. Performers already scheduled for the Tipi Village Native American programs include:

  • Ralph Moisa, Jr - Yaki
  • Red Tail - Tama
  • Bunny Sing Wolf - Cheyenne
  • Vic Runnels - Lakota Sioux
  • Storm Seymour - Tama

The alter-NATIVE VOICES contribution will be tables with Native American books, records, cd's, tapes, and other merchandise relative to Native American lifestyle. The purpose of alter-NATIVE VOICES is to entertain, educate and generally promote positive excellence and appropriate role models by and for American Indian people. They can be reached by writing 3020 Lowell Blvd., Denver, Colo., 80211 or e-mail at Producer@alternativevoices.org. Their website is www.alternativevoices.org

The stages are: Pioneer Building; Bluegrass Stage; Church; Dobro Building; American Heritage Stage; Radio Building; South Texas Festival Stage; Dance Hall Stage; Workshop Building Stage; Grandstand Main Stage; Native American Stage in Tepee Village.

SPECIAL GUESTS FOR 2002 will be some of the finest and best known old time country and bluegrass music performers avaiable and more than 600 other performers from around the world.

This is also the year for the "1st International Traditional Music Congress" with over 24 acts from Europe expected to attend.

  • Birgit Bleier-Austria
  • Johnnie Butten-England
  • Stefan Raab-Austria
  • Stew Clayton-Canada
  • Connie Cooper-Ireland
  • Greta Elkin-North Ireland
  • Heather Holland-New Zealand
  • Wayne Horsbourgh-Australia
  • Angie Heart-Belgium
  • George Kralick-Czech Republic
  • Christian Kolbl-Austria
  • Wolfe Milestone-Canada
  • Strings & Button Trio-Germany
  • Ben & Carmen Steneker-Holland
  • Michael Wall-Canada
  • Gordon Wilcox-Canada.

They not only perform American traditional music, there will be a general session to simply talk about the music, how to tour Europe, what kind of acts are doing well in Europe, what kind of money a performing artist can expect, how expensive is it, travel and accomodations.

Our first CIOFF-USA contest for vocalists between the ages of 12 and 16 will take place at Avoca this year. CIOFF is the International Council of Folkways and Festivals. They are giving $500 to the top winner of this competition. The President of CIOFF-USA, Rex Burdette, hopes to attend as the MC of the event.

Author Ruth Bingaman, wrote a novel of two young people falling in love at the Avoca Festival. The story continues to revolve around the festival itself. The book, entitled "Shared Legacies" will be debuted at this years event.

A special "Circle Jam" is being created in the old 'round' sale barn. Players, using one microphone passed from individual to individual, will be seated in the "ring" while the audience can watch and listen from the seats that surround them from above.


This amazing fund raising event has become known as America's finest and foremost old-time music festival and has been labeled by the media as "America's premier traditional acoustic music event." Profits from this once a year fundraiser support the Pioneer Music Museum, America's Old Time Fiddlers Hall of Fame, America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Oak Tree Opry.

The Avoca Festival has received commendation from the United States Conference of Mayors, the National Geographic Magazine, the Smithsonian Institute, the National Council for Traditional Arts, and Conseil International del Organisations de Festivals de Folklore et d'Arts Traditionnels. It has been televised internationally on BBC (England), and nationally on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS. In 2000, WNET of NYC filmed a premier national program called "EGG" at the festival, using footage of yodelers to enhance their first show called "What Makes You Happy."

If you've never had the opportunity to visit "rural" Iowa, make this festival your first stopping point on your road to relaxation, clean air, clean water, delicious home-style farm food, fun, and more acoustic music than you can possibly imagine. You'll also have the opportunity to meet wonderful and warm rural people.

It's an amazing event dealing with all things "pioneer," especially their music. Their lifestyle, religious beliefs, character, and certainly their warm sense of humor is all explored at this event. This and more as you discover, or perhaps re-discover, the wonderful hand-me-downs of our pioneers. To those of us who cherish these blessings, we consider ourselves the stewards of the pioneer's morals, entertainment, and their considerable contributions to a healthy and wholesome American lifestyle. NO ALCOHOL OR ILLEGAL DRUGS of any kind are allowed. If you are caught with these items, you will be asked to leave without ticket refund, and you may be prosecuted.

$13 per day, normal adult admission
$7 per day, over-70 or 11-16 years old
Kids under ten are free!

SPECIAL 7-DAY PASS $40 (not halved again)

$12 per day (electric hook-ups (first come first serve).
$8 per day if you do not plug in. A special area for generator only energy has been set aside at $8 per day. A special Festival Camping service is being supplied by Dancin' Dave's quality festival campsites set up and awaiting your arrival. You can contact Dave personally at his e-mail address: dncndave@newnorth.net and check his website at www.dancindave.com for more information on the service he offers.

Mon-homemade soup; Tue-potluck; Wed-Ham & Beans; Thur-pancakes; Fri-Donuts & Coffee



FREE WATER (with ample outlets to fill camper tanks)



Over 30 categories with $3,500 in prizes for amateurs and semi-pros only

  • Young Vocalist Contest (CIOFF sponsored)
  • Male Country Singer
  • Female Country Singer
  • Button Accoridon
  • Piano Accordion
  • Swiss Yodeling
  • Jimmie Rodgers Blues Yodeling
  • Frailing Banjo
  • Five-String Banjo
  • Open Fiddle
  • Senior Fiddle
  • Junior Fiddle
  • Open Songwriter
  • Gospel Songwriter
  • Open Harmonica
  • Blues Harmonica
  • Lap Dulcimer
  • Flat-Top Acoustic Guitar
  • Old Time & Bluegrass Bands
  • Acoustic Upright Double Bass
  • Harmony Singing
  • Saw
  • Dobro (Resonator Guitar)
  • Spoons & Bones
  • Cowboy Poetry
  • Ragtime Piano
  • Storytelling
  • Clog Dance
  • Mandolin
  • Junior Performer
  • Miscellaneous

Native American Concerts have featured artists from Chickasaw; Sioux; Pottawattamie; Tama; Yaki; Cherokee; Commanche; Mesquaki

There are 120 - 10'X10' spaces available for vendors, indoors in locked up buildings at night. Charge is $70 (for seven days, no subletting); Hours are usually 10am-11pm on weekend days. There are some patio spots open at a lesser price.

Join in the fun of farm life! Even though the music festival now oversees the Ag Expo, it's still an enjoyable experience, and a part of the festivities you should not miss.

Bob Everhart, Director
PO Box 492
Anita, Iowa, 50020
E-Mail: bobeverhart@yahoo.com
Telephone (voice mail): 712-762-4363
Website: http://www.oldtimemusic.bigstep.com

Capri Motel, Avoca, 712-343-6301
Avoca Heights, Avoca, 712-343-6378
Country Inn, Shelby (6miW) 712-544-2766
Midtown, Minden (6miW) 712-483-2023
Super-8, Walnut (6miE) 712-784-2221
Red Carpet, Walnut (6miE) 712-784-2233

 Contact Bob Everhart
(712) 762-4363


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