MARTINSBURG — Country artist Kellie Pickler of “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars” fame will headline Pickin’ in the Panhandle at the festival’s new location at Shiley Acres near Pikeside in September.
[cleeng_content id="770209130" description="Read it now!" price="0.15" t="article"]The long-running bluegrass and barbecue festival, which will be held Sept. 6, 7 and 8, agreed to partner with Shiley Acres earlier this year. The festival had previously been held at the Lazy-A Campground in Back Creek Valley since 2007 but the festival had outgrown the venue.
“The Ashton family did a great job, but Pickin’ just outgrew the location,” Shiley said at a press conference Tuesday morning. “They don’t have the infrastructure and facilities you need to put on a show with the caliber of talent Pickin’ is bringing to our area.” The festival is also expanding its music genre. According to Shiley, the festival traditionally focused on bluegrass, but more people are interested in country music.
“We are taking Pickin’ in the Panhandle to a new era this year. It will be bluegrass and country music this year,” Shiley said. “We want to offer Pickin’ to everybody.”
Although the festival has hosted many nationally known groups, including The Charlie Daniels Band, Rickie Skaggs and Marty Stuart, this year’s lineup is heavy on local talent, including area bands Patent Pending, Stoney Creek, Lonesome Highway from Hampshire County and American idol contestant Christian Lopez and his band Joe Taxi from Martinsburg, along with the Davisson Brothers from Lost Creek. “We try to bring in local acts along with national acts,” Shiley said.
The venue itself, which reopened last year after a 19-year hiatus, is going through its own changes. The venue is adding a second stage and will offer camping at every show.
“The new stage will be behind the main stage in an amphitheater setting,” Shiley said. “Approximately 300 spots will be available for camping and camping will be limited on a first-come, first-serve basis.”
Ticket prices will be $35 for Friday night, $45 for Saturday night and $20 for Sunday’s show. All weekend passes will be $75 per ticket. The ticket money for Sunday’s show will go to Marine Corps Reserve for Toys for Tots of the Eastern Panhandle.
To see the complete lineup for this year’s Pickin’ in the Panhandle, go to shileyacres.net or panhandlepickin.com.[/cleeng_content]