MANCHESTER — After taking two years off due to the pandemic, organizers of the Green Mountain Bluegrass & Roots Festival have announced the event will be back in 2022.
Jill and John Turpin said the popular local music festival will return to Hunter Park for three days next August, from the 19-21.
The Turpins said it’s been really hard not being able to follow up their two successful years because of COVID-19, but they are extremely excited to be bringing three days of live music back to Manchester.
“All of the energy has been so pent up,” Jill Turpin said. “And we’re just unbelievably excited to get back out there and celebrate. And we feel so unbelievably grateful to our community, in Vermont for just keeping it alive in their hearts.”
The lineup for the 2022 festival has not been announced yet, but Jill Turpin promises the same high quality and big names as past years.
An early bird glance at the lineup, along with the launch of ticket sales, should take place in January, with the full lineup announced on Valentine’s Day, Turpin said. Other aspects of the music festival will also remain the same. Turpin said there will be small changes, but the camping, vendors, food trucks, and other aspects will all return. There may be some minor changes to the layout, Turpin said, but she said the final plan has not been set yet.
The festival is also shrinking a bit. In past years, the festival ran Thursday evening through Sunday, but this year it will begin on Friday and end Sunday.
“It’s still gonna be just as good,” Turpin said, saying it will be more concentrated with great entertainment packed into a shorter festival.
“So we’re tightening that up a little bit,” she said.
Turpin said the festival was pretty well dialed in and two years off gave the organizers a lot of time to think.
“We’ve had our time, over the last couple of years, to really think about what worked and what possibly didn’t work,” Turpin said.
Turpin said the connection to Manchester and Vermont are keys to making the festival special and promised the event would not grow into a large festival that loses its small-town feeling.
Turpin also said that sitting out the past two years has been hard, but it was the right thing to do.
She said it has been gratifying to hear from all the fans who have said they missed the festival and were excited to see it come back.
“There’s something special about GMBR,” Turpin said. “We get artists reaching out to us saying, ‘Please don’t abandon this, please do this.’ There’s something special about it. We can’t put a finger on it. We just feel like what has been created up there in Manchester, between the local community and the musicians, and there’s just something about it.”
In March, the organizers announced the cancellation of GMBR 2021, saying there was too much uncertainty.
“How can we, as event producers, bring all these people to the state of Vermont,” Turpin said. “We didn’t want to put anybody at risk.”
Now, the organizers believe the time is right.
“Manchester, and Vermont in general, has been so careful, like, the No. 1 state in the country for COVID awareness, and vaccine rates and all of this stuff,” Turpin said. “So we just feel like it’s the right time. We didn’t feel like it was the right time this past August.”
Turpin said they would be keeping a close eye on numbers and encouraged attendees to get their tickets early, although she stopped short of saying that tickets would be cut off at some point or at what number that would be.