And, perhaps best of all, it’s free.
The Back Home Festival will take place this weekend starting today Friday June 24th and will continue with a full range of live music until Saturday June 25th. Fireworks will put up an exclamation mark on the big weekend after sundown on Sunday. , 26 June.
The mass event attracted the attention of regular visitors, and every year the number of fans of the festival with a hometown atmosphere seems to continue to grow.
“I think people embraced the festival for many reasons,” said Robbie Parsons, executive director of the Wetzel County Bureau of Conventions and Visitors. “Obviously, admission to the Back Home Festival is free. You won’t see much of this with the level of entertainment we bring year after year.
“Besides, I think the people who took part in the festival are a great testament to the city of New Martinsville. The whole city is really rolling out the red carpet for our guests and it shows in the amount of positive feedback we get from our festival goers.”
Traditionally a weekend extravaganza with a full set of live performances on Sunday, this year’s Back Home Festival has temporarily narrowed its performance window with live musical performances scheduled for Friday and Saturday in 2022 only.
“Sunday performances this year and this year have only been cut due to budget cuts due to the pandemic,” Parsons said. “The Wetzel County CVB is an organization that puts on Homecoming every year and we are funded by a tax on hotels and motels. Due to less hotel traffic due to COVID over the last couple of years, we have made the decision to shorten the festival to two days in 2022 as a precautionary measure so as not to increase our finances.”
But the lineup is as strong as ever, offering an eclectic mix of national, regional and Ohio Valley bands performing jam band, rock and roll, bluegrass, funk, folk and more with live performances that will appeal to music lovers of all ages. Event organizers are even hoping to provide more space between the stage and people lounging on sun loungers this weekend to give those who want to dance a little more elbow room.
This year’s musical lineup is made up of veteran Back Home bands and blockbuster debutants, including world-famous bluegrass favorites Yonder Mountain String Band, psychedelic jam stars Circles Around the Sun, funk masters The Motet and Ohio jam band legends. ecological hookah, as well as The Commonheart, Buffalo Rose, KR-3, Josh Daniel’s Grateful Band, Sicard Hollow, Fletcher’s Grove, The Dirty Grass Players, The Pussyfooters and Ananga Martin.
“Each year our goal is to bring the best entertainment possible,” Parsons said. “When the festival started in 2017, we paid a lot of attention to bluegrass music. As the festival has grown, we have paid more attention to different musical genres. This year’s festival is probably the least focused on bluegrass. It’s more jam band oriented. There’s a huge variety of great music on offer for the weekend, and to be honest, I’m in awe of every band on the lineup.
“If I had to pick one band that I’m very happy to see, it would be a local band from Wheeling, KR-3. They’re recreating clips from The Grateful Dead ’72 European tour and I’ve been able to listen to some of their rehearsals. This show is going to be amazing!”
In addition to plenty of free live music at two outdoor stages located north of Fishing Creek and south of West Virginia Northern Community College.
The main concert area will feature a variety of vendors offering food, drinks, handicrafts, and more, including the Magic Monks fire tribe, workshops, and other fun surprises. The Lincoln Theater will also feature special performances for a nominal admission fee per performance.
There will be free camping at the pier and Campsite 4-H, as well as a shuttle service and FestiCab to help visitors get around faster.
Most of Main Street is off-limits to vehicular traffic, and pedestrians can visit the city, check out the many vendors and many unique local businesses in New Martinsville. The whole city is a festival ground and the CVB invites everyone to find out why they are so proud of Wetzel County.
“I say to people who have never attended the Back Home Festival: Why not?” This is a free festival. You have nothing to lose,” Parsons said. “If it’s not your cup of tea, it’s okay. You have nothing to lose by checking it out. And you never know… Maybe you just love him as much as we do.”
Since the founding of Back Home in 2017, Wetzel County has led the state of West Virginia in direct tourism spending growth. Parsons remarked.
“We have more than doubled our direct spending revenue since 2016 with a 101% increase,” he said. “The second best growth since 2016 is Mon County at 48%.
“I think it says something about what the Back Home Festival means to our little community.”
For the official schedule or for more information about the Back Home 2022 Music Festival, please visit backhomefestival.com and check the official social media pages for the latest updates.