Officials anticipate record ROMP turnout

The 15th annual ROMP Fest at Yellow Creek Park this week will be the largest ever, the International Bluegrass Music Museum is predicting.

The crowds will start pouring into the park in Thruston at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

And by the time the bluegrass music festival ends late Saturday or early Sunday, an estimated 28,000-plus tickets will have been sold.

“We are still trending upwards on ticket sales over last year at about a 22 percent increase,” Katie Keller, ROMP spokeswoman, said last week.

“We are likely looking at over 28,000 in attendance with the way we are trending at this point,” she said.

Last year, 26,500 tickets were sold to people from 39 states and four other countries — Australia, Switzerland, Great Britain and Canada.

The Saturday night crowd last year set a single-day record of 9,000.

“Saturday will see the largest attendance numbers this year,” Keller said, “Likely 12,000-plus.”

That’s pushing the upper boundaries of the park’s parking capacity.

“But we have increased our parking crew this year to keep the parking better organized,” Keller said. “And we also have a shuttle bus reserved for Saturday night, so patrons who have to park farther away will have transportation to and from the main festival field.”

She said, “We also recommend people utilizing Lyft when possible. We will have a pick-up and drop-off station.”

Dave Kirk, destination management director for the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, estimates that there are 15 to 20 Lyft drivers in town.

Nearly 2,000 people camped in the 150-acre park last year — including nearly 300 RVs.

Those numbers are also expected to be up this year.

RVs will begin lining up at Yellow Creek Baptist Church at 8 a.m. on Tuesday — a full day before the gates open.

Once the church lot is full, RVs will be parked at East View Elementary School on Kentucky 405.

Tent campers and RVs will both enter the park at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Alison Krauss & Union Station’s first appearance at ROMP is a big draw this year.

Krauss was a regular fixture at the old International Bluegrass Music Association Fan Fest in English Park before that event left Owensboro in 1997.

But she has never performed at ROMP until this year.

Sam Bush, Ricky Skaggs, Leftover Salmon, Rhiannon Giddens and other performers also have big followings.

Workshops and forums are scheduled on such things as songwriting, clogging and flat-foot dancing, yoga and bluegrass jamming 101.

With processing fees, tickets are $457 for a four-day VIP experience or $182 for a regular four-day ticket.

One-day tickets are $32 on Wednesday, $72 on Thursday, $82 on Friday and $92 on Saturday.

Here’s the schedule for ROMP:


Pioneer Village (kick-off party)

8 p.m. Robbie Fulks

10 p.m. Hank, Pattie & The Current


Main Stage

4 p.m. Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers

5:15 p.m. Sheriff Scott & The Deputies

6:30 p,m. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver plus a Hall of Fame presentation

8:30 p.m. Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

10:30 p.m. Leftover Salmon

Jagoe Homes After Party (Pioneer Village)

midnight Fireside Collective

1:30 a.m. Pert Near Sandstone


Main Stage

2:15 p.m The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys

3:30 p.m. Fireside Collective

4:45 p.m. Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

6:30 p.m. We Banjo 3

8:30 p.m. Rhiannon Giddens

10:30 p.m. The Travelin’ McCourys

Jagoe Homes After Party (Pioneer Village)

midnight Jeff Austin Band


11:30 a.m. Kentucky BlueGrass AllStars

12:45 p.m. Barefoot Movement

2 p.m. Mile Twelve

3:15 p.m. Michael Daves featuring Tony Trischka

4:45 p.m. Billy Strings

6:30 p.m. Parker Millsap

8:30 p.m. Alison Krauss

10:30 p.m. Sam Bush Band

Jagoe Homes After Party (Pioneer Village)

midnight Love Canon

Here’s the workshop schedule:


2 p.m Mandolin workshop with Casey Campbell and Wayne Benson

3 p.m. Guitar workshop with Robert Bowlin

4 p.m. Jamming 101 workshop with Dave Howard


noon Bass workshop with Mike Bub

1 p.m Banjo workshop with Ron Block and Tony Trischka

2 p.m. Fiddle workshop with Randy Lanham and Robert Bowlin

3 p.m. Songwriting workshop with Wil Maring, Noam Wall and Aaron Bibelhauser

4 p.m. Mandolin workshop with Sam Bush, Jenni Lyn, Casey Campbell and Tommy Norris

5 p.m. Guitar workshop with Michael Daves and Stephen Mougin

Messenger-Inquirer article written by Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, [email protected]