There will be a little less mountain music this summer.
Concerns about the coronavirus pandemic have led to the cancellation of the Appalachian String Band Festival, in Clifftop, for 2020.
The annual five-day event, planned for July 29 through Aug. 2, takes place at Camp Washington-Carver in Fayette County and has been a draw for old-time musicians and their fans for 30 years.
The festival typically includes a variety of live music contests, traditional dance and crafts, as well as yoga, basketmaking and local artisans.
It is perhaps best known for the many impromptu jams and musicians’ circles that pick up among the campers during the day and frequently carry on late into the night.
The Appalachian String Band Festival — or Clifftop as it’s commonly referred to — was founded in 1990. Over the years. the event has grown from a small, regional music festival to a popular venue for both veteran old-time musicians and players just beginning.
Music education between generations has long been a theme of the festival, and while organizers have avoided bringing in big name performers for concerts, it’s not unusual for well-known musicians to be seen wandering around the grounds.
In a release announcing the move, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History said, “As we navigate these difficult times together, the WVDACH is committed to making the kind of decisions that ensure the safety of the public and our staff. We must do our part to lessen the effect of the current worldwide health crisis, and at this time this decision is one we feel is in everyone’s best interest.”
The WVDACH said the festival would return in 2021.
For more information, call 304-438-3005 or visit wvculture.org/stringband.