Master Musicians Festival returns to Somerset after a pandemic layoff


SOMERSET, Ky. (WKYT) – A two-day music festival is bringing thousands of people to the city of Somerset this weekend and providing a much-needed economic boost after the past year in the pandemic.

“The Steeldrivers, Blues Traveler, absolutely. A lot of these bands I haven’t heard of, but the ones that have been playing are outstanding. First time here, definitely coming back,” festival goer James Pearce said.

The 28th Master Musicians Festival in Somerset spans the course of two days. It’s hosted on Somerset Community College’s Festival Field.

“The food is excellent. Everybody’s all polite, interacting with each other. We’ve met a bunch of people we’d never met before so it’s all going good,” Pearce said.

Pearce says it’s an opportunity for musicians to showcase their talents on the mic, and a chance for local restaurants, breweries and shops to get exposure, especially since the festival was canceled last year due to COVID-19.

“We missed seeing everybody out here. It’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears and hard work during the week, but when we weren’t doing it last year, we were a little homesick for it,” said Julie Harris, the vice president of directors for the festival.

Harris says hosting thousands of guests actually brings in millions of dollars.

“The Master Musicians Festival has a $3 million economic impact on the community. So people are coming in to stay at hotels, eat in restaurants, Air BnBs, spending time on the lake, which we hope people do when they come down for the festival, has a significant impact on our community,” Harris said.

Harris says you can still get a ticket at the gate when you get there.

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