Jeff Bonner, who owns the Tractorgrease Cafe, is bringing the folksy sound back to Chilliwack with his second Bluegrass Festival, Sept. 8. (Sarah Gawdin/The Progress)

WATCH: Tractorgrease Cafe has plucked a stellar lineup for this year’s Bluegrass Festival

After several years withoug, Jeff Bonner is hoping to create a resurgance for the folksy festival

For decades, the Chilliwack Bluegrass Festival was a prime location for anyone who liked to strum a banjo or play a fiddle in line with traditional bluegrass, however, it’s been the better part of a decade since the musical genre was celebrated in the area. That is, until now.

Jeff Bonner, who’s a long-time musician and the owner of the Tractorgrease Cafe, is doing his best to bring bluegrass back to the Fraser Valley in a grand way.

“The Chilliwack Bluegrass Festival was (not only) a really important festival for Chilliwack, (but) was the biggest bluegrass festival around,” explained Bonner from the patio of Tractrogrease.

Having begun the revamp of the Festival last year, Bonner says he hopes to generate enough excitement with this year’s show to not only keep the festival going, but also growing.

“It would be nice for Chilliwack to have it again,” said Bonner. “So I started again last year and it sold right out. It would be nice for it to become what it was again, which was a pretty substantial festival.”

The former bluegrass festival “was a big highlight of the summer for many years and is still missed,” said Sue Malcolm, whose bluegrass trio group, The Soda Crackers, will be hosting a free slow pitch jam session workshop at the Festival, and also kicking off the day’s entertainment.

“It’s unfortunate that the Chilliwack Arts Council chose not to continue producing the festival, but it’s great that (Tractorgrease) has started (its) own festival. It’s a really cool venue to play at.”

However, Bonner notes the Chilliwack Arts Council is sponsoring the free slow pitch jam session as a way to still be involved. The Tractorgrease Bluegrass Festival takes place on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 4 p.m. until around 10, and has an admission fee of $25.

READ MORE: Curtains for the Chilliwack Bluegrass Festival

But the event is for both “the public and the bands,” said Bonner. “At the end of the night, bands (sometimes) jam together, which is awesome. The Festival gives musicians the opportunity for networking within the music community, and that’s often not the case,” Bonner added.

“Bluegrass appeals to a broad range of ages,” Bonner continued. “We’re seeing younger people coming in these days and picking banjos. Bluegrass will never go away, so we need to embrace it!”


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Valley Huskers sign Canada West all-star Marcel Arruda-Welch

The dynamic return man/defensive back is joining the B.C. Football Conference team in 2019.

Water use by the new brewery taken into account with long-range planning in Chilliwack

Concerns about impacts on Chilliwack’s aquifer led to reaching out to brewing company

Agassiz man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Chilliwack Chief Harrison Blaisdell climbs Central Scouting Bureau rankings

The 17 year old forward is now drawing a second round grade as CSB releases its mid-term list.

Red hot Chilliwack Chiefs stomp Surrey in BCHL battles

The Chiefs extended their Mainland division lead with two weekend wins over the last place Eagles.

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Trial starts for man accused of killing Winnipeg bus driver

The Winnipeg bus driver was stabbed multiple times back in 2017

Giuliani clarifies comments about Trump Tower Moscow project

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani clarifies comments he made

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

VIDEO: 11-year-old violinist practices for Vancouver Symphony Orchestra debut

Cloverdale student Da-Wei Chan will perform Jan. 31, Feb. 28 with the VSO

Speaker brings report on allegations to B.C. legislature committee

Report describes Darryl Plecas’ suspicions about senior staff

Parole granted for drunk driver that killed BC RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Doug Ford says the Liberals’ carbon tax will plunge Canada into recession

The Ontario premier said there are already warning signs of difficult economic times ahead

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

Most Read