The Fort Harrod Jazz Fest was a hit this year and continues to grow with each new installment. This year they had the biggest lineup yet. The festival has grown from three bands its first year, to now 18-bands strong. The festival’s headliner, Adrian Crutchfield, actually reached out to the festival about playing it, Carr says. Adrian Crutchfield is nationally known “and he’s played with Prince, Lionel Richie, Bette Midler …”
“We’ve grown at a very rapid pace,” says Sam Carr, director of the festival. Five years ago, the festival offered about six hours of music and had three sponsors. It has grown not to span over three days, with 20 hours of music and over 20 plus sponsors supporting the festival. The festival may have grown over five year, but organizers still offer it at no fee.
The Fort Harrod Jazz Fest is a free three-day festival event hosted in beautiful Harrodsburg, KY, featuring live jazz music, great food, drink, and art. The festival takes place on the front lawn of historic Old Fort Harrod State Park in Harrodsburg, KY, located in the heart of Ky’s bluegrass region.
The event this year took place September 14th-16th 2018. Old Fort Harrod State Park continues to host the event. Which just did its fifth year. This historic venue features a full-scale replica of the original 1774 fort, commemorating Ky’s first permanent settlement. This unique backdrop provides a picturesque and historic setting for the festival.
As far as music, the lineup this year includes bands from central Kentucky, Nashville, Cincinnati, and Charlotte, North Carolina. The Jazz Fest also partners with several local colleges and universities jazz ensembles. Playing this year were students from the University of Kentucky (UK), Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), Morehead and Norther Kentucky University (NKU) and Campbellsville University.
Carr says planning is already underway for 2019, with the focus being to pay tribute to 50 years of jazz at the University of Kentucky, and likely the addition of a second stage at the festival.”
“The festival really is about the music, with some incredible bands and musicians, and any bands that have played the festival always want to come back,” Carr says. He says of course there’s great food and drinks, as well as arts and crafts in a “really cool park setting and venue.”
Daniel and Rebecca Hurst made sure to attend the festivities on Saturday. As well as taking in the lovely grounds of the historic Old Fort Harrod State Park in Harrodsburg, Mercer County, KY. They took in some of the wonderful music and specifically enjoyed listening to Misdirection on Saturday afternoon. The ground for the festival were lovely, with plenty of nice shade to sit and take in the music. Check out many of our pictures from the festival below.