ROMP Festival has been postponed until 2021 due to the global pandemic. Held at Yellow Creek Park in Owensboro, Kentucky, the festival serves as the primary fundraiser for the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organisation. As the pandemic continues, the safety of attendees, artists, vendors, volunteers, and staff remains the festival organiser’s main priority.
This was a very difficult decision because ROMP is an important event in the life of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum. In addition to the fundraising aspects of ROMP, it has become a great way for attendees to engage with the broader work of the Hall of Fame, including educational programming that has a tangible impact on our community throughout the year. This is very disappointing, but support for ROMP is strong and will ensure the long-term success of the festival – Chris Joslin, Executive Director.
Attracting over 25,000 attendees annually, ROMP Festival is a premiere festival within the bluegrass genre and generates direct economic impact within the region. Previous awards for the event include the Governor’s Award for Community Arts and the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Event of the Year. ROMP Festival will return June 23-26, 2021.
Those who purchased advance tickets to ROMP Festival 2020 have the following three options:
- Transfer tickets to ROMP Festival 2021.
- Donate all or a portion of the ticket purchase to the Hall of Fame. (All donations are tax-deductible.)
- Receive a full refund.
Ticket buyers can initiate one of the three options at rompfest.com.
Pushing ROMP Festival to 2021 underscores the fact that mitigation due to COVID-19 has a tremendous ripple effect. ROMP is important to our community’s identity as Owensboro continues to carve out a reputation as the Bluegrass Music Capital of The World. Although the event is tremendously important, thank goodness the success of the Hall of Fame is not tied solely to ROMP. Also, the message of Owensboro’s most important cultural tourism driver remains strong in 2020 as the PBS special Bluegrass Now, captured at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum in December, continues to play on PBS stations throughout the United States. In addition, Kentucky Tourism continues to highlight the “Year of Music” with the Hall of Fame & Owensboro featured prominently. ROMP will return and will continue to have a significant economic impact for our community – Mark Calitri, CEO of Visit Owensboro.
Although music will not play from the ROMP stage at Yellow Creek Park the last weekend of June, the show will go on, virtually. The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum is planning to feature video highlights from past ROMP performances on their social media platforms the week of June 22.
Thanks to our partnership with WKU Public Broadcasting, the past three years of ROMP have been captured and distributed on public television providing us with the content to create a virtual ROMP experience this year on our social media platforms. Thank goodness we have all these great ROMP Performances to share this year – Chris Joslin.
In addition, The Hall of Fame’s radio partner, WNIN Public Radio, will also celebrate ROMP Festival with a program highlighting performances and artist interviews from ROMP 2019 hosted by Brick Brisco. This two-hour show runs Friday, June 26 beginning at 9pm Central on WNIN Public Radio 88.3.