On June 5 and 6, Appalshop will host the 29th annual Seedtime on the Cumberland Festival, a celebration of traditional arts, mountain music and culture held every year in downtown Whitesburg. This year’s event will include a variety of musical performances, local food, arts and crafts vendors, literary readings, workshops, film screenings, jam sessions and kids activities. Headliners include Lee Sexton, Empty Bottle String Band, Kevin Howard, Turning Ground, The Kentucky Hoss Cats, Amythyst Kiah, and the Haywood County Ramblers. The entire lineup along with other information is available at www.seedtimefestival.org.
At this year’s festival, the 30th anniversary of WMMTFM Mountain Community Radio will be celebrated, as well as honoring the historic field recordings made in eastern Kentucky by Alan Lomax on the centennial of his birthday. WMMT-FM has served as a rare community meeting space for people from all different kinds of backgrounds to come together over their love of music and community. With over 300,000 projected listeners from southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, and southern West Virginia, as well as online listeners from all over the world, WMMT-FM’s has centered itself in the community over the past 30 years.
The celebration of the Appalachian Field Recordings of Alan Lomax is part of a national series of public programming to engage communities with the material Lomax collected while traveling the country documenting American folk life for the Library of Congress. These recordings gathered a broad diversity of Appalachian traditions, including string bands, ballad singers, clog dancers, church services and Sacred Harp singing conventions. Activities will include music performances reinterpreting the material that Lomax collected and which is still a part of living traditions today, as well as screenings of media collected by Lomax and presentations by folklorists.
Seedtime on the Cumberland began in 1987 as a way to promote the musical traditions and cultural heritage of local people by providing a venue in the mountains for these talented artists to display, perform and share their work. Seedtime commonly features performances by old-time master musicians alongside barn-burning sets by cutting-edge bluegrass groups, visual arts exhibits, and hands-on workshops that are fun for the whole family.
This year’s festival will begin on Friday, June 5, with festivities and music starting at 4 p.m. The festival will continue through Saturday night, with a special downtown edition of the Carcassonne square dance from 6-8 p.m., followed by performances from Amythyst Kiah, The Wooks, and The Kentucky Hoss Cats, to close the night off with high-energy homegrown country rock and roll. Arts, crafts and food vendors will remain open throughout the festival, and a variety of special events will be held throughout the weekend.
For a schedule of events and more detailed information, or for vending/ sponsorship information, visit www.seedtimefestival.org , email email@example.com, or call the Appalshop during regular business hours at (606) 633- 0108.