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

Crime Stoppers urges Lower Mainland residents to check these 9 safety items every night

Home security tips demonstrated at Cloverdale house on Wednesday

Hope raises almost $700 for Tillicum Centre

By purchasing art on display locally, community raised $690 for the adult centre

Calling all Fraser Canyon golfers: it’s time to tee into great summer savings

BC Lung Association is back to selling its Golf Savings Book

River Monsters attract nearly 300 swimmers to their two-day meet

This was the third year for the now-annual event

Harrison Hot Springs to consider single-use plastics ban

Village staff will come back to council with a report on what a possible ban could look like

VIDEO: B.C. First Nation plans to launch legal challenge after Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, Premier John Horgan says he’ll continue to defend the B.C. coast

New RCMP policy is a little hairy

Members now allowed to grow beards and goatees

Pair of B.C. cities crack Ashley Madison’s “Infidelity Hotlist”

Data from the website reveals Abbotsford and Kelowna hottest spots for cheaters

Life’s work of talented B.C. sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

Billboard posted along B.C.’s Highway of Tears to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women

Billboards featuring Indigenous artwork to be placed in Surrey, Kamloops and near Prince George

Unexpected snow blankets the Okanagan Connector

As of 6:50 a.m. DriveBC cameras displayed surprise snowfall on highway

Driver loses tire while behind the wheel after lug-nut thief strikes in Burnaby

Burnaby RCMP are investigating after two reports of lug-nut tampering in the city this month

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

B.C. municipality prepares to forbid overnight camping by homeless despite court ruling

While courts have ruled against blanket bans, Langley City is employing a site-by-site approach

Most Read