There’s a museum for country, and one for rock ‘n roll, and hip-hop. But did you know that there was one completely dedicated to bluegrass music? Located about two hours southwest of Louisville, this incredible space celebrates all things banjo, mandolin, and upright bass.
Explore the rich history of this genre through numerous exhibits and galleries. These include the Hall of Fame Room, which recognizes the contributions of legendary musicians including Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, the Stanley Brothers, and many more.
There’s also the Video Oral History Project, a collection of interviews with more than 225 artists that are designed to capture bluegrass through the very own words of its most beloved artists. At the Sources of Bluegrass Music exhibit, you’ll get to see the many varied influences that had a profound effect on the music of well-known bluegrass performers. At Dawn of the Bluegrass era, you’ll see how this unique style got its start, while Modern Roots & Branches takes a look at where the genre stands today. The museum features a number of temporary and rotating exhibits that highlight individual artists like Bill Monroe and Dailey & Vincent.
In non-pandemic times, the museum hosts frequent live music performances and events as well—including Rompfest, a four-day festival next planned for June 23–26, 2021.
Admission to the museum is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and active military, and $8 for students ages 6–18. It’s free for children under 6. It’s open Wednesday–Saturday from 10am–5pm. There are also Saturday lessons for aspiring bluegrass musicians, and open bluegrass jam sessions as well.
If you’d prefer to visit the museum virtually or just can’t make the trip to Kentucky, you can experience some of the exhibits through your screen at www.bluegrasshall.org. Items from the gift shop are also available online, including cheeky t-shirts that read “Don’t make me use my mando” and “Pick banjos, not fights.”