One of West Virginia's most remarkable music festivals has changed its dates and capacity, promising more bands, more music, and more craft beer, according to organizers.
Originally designed to coincide with the Bridge Day Festival on the New River Gorge Bridge in October, "Bridge Jam" has been moved to late August to accommodate campers and the New River Gorge region's many music fans.
Bill Wells, who first launched the event in 2016, says he's excited to move to date forward.
"The weather in October is great for music festivals, but it can be a little too cool for camping," Wells said.
Locals, who are known for their involvement in the music scene, were usually too occupied with the Bridge Day event to attend the multi-evening event, he said.
"A lot of local people could never come because they were working all day. It's kind of an all-hands-on-deck situation in Fayetteville during Bridge Day, and by the time they got off at 5 p.m. they're worn out."
Though Bridge Jam attendance may decline because of the move from Bridge Day, when as many as 100,000 tourists visit the area, better weather and the presence of local music fans are apt to heighten the vibe, Wells says.
The festival will now also boast two stages, decreasing downtime between performances and allowing more artists to perform, and more West Virginia bands will be performing.
Headliners this year include Aqueous, Larry Keel, and Mountainheart. Local and regional acts include Mud Hens, Hit & Run, Krista Hughes, The Boatmen, Creek Don’t Rise, Fletcher’s Grove, The Kind Thieves, Groundhog Gravy, The Great Grass Sea, Long Point String Band, and Matt Mullins & The Bringdowns.
Twenty four craft beers will also be on tap, including Fayetteville's own Bridge Brew Works and its Freefolk Brewery and beers by the nearby Weathered Ground Brewery at Cool Ridge and the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company at Lewisburg.
Tickets purchased online will help support three local non-profits—Canyon Rim Rotary, the Fayetteville Arts Coalition, and the New River Gorge Trail Alliance. Purchasers can choose which non-profit they support.
For ticket information and camping packages, visit The Bridge Jam.