The Big Red Barn Rises

Written by:

THE DAILY GRIST…”Our passions are the true phoenixes – when the old one is burnt out, a new one rises from its ashes.”- Johann von Goethe
After 15 years, one annual Southern California bluegrass music festival did not happen last month.  The City of Temecula and its chamber of commerce had sponsored the Temecula Bluegrass Festival for that time, but chose to discontinue the festival for this year.  Rumors, and this is strictly what they are, are saying that the city has chosen to do a jazz festival instead.  We are sorry to see this well-attended festival come to an end as are many bluegrass fans, but do wish the city of Temecula well with their decision.
Lots of bluegrass fans from Southern California looked forward to this festival that saw many jams right on the streets in Old Town area of the city, and with folks camping at nearby camping areas opened up just for the weekend event.  This was in addition to the open air stage that featured many national and local bands along with a paid concert at a local hall.   The attendance was always high there and I know the fans spent lots of money at the local businesses during the festival.
Temecula Bluegrass Festival Facebook page noted this on March 14, 2016: “Hi Bluegrass Fans. Yes, this is normally the week of Temecula Bluegrass and we are sorry it’s over. Please send a note of thanks to Mike Nadolson for all of his hard work during the event’s 15 years.” So far, this is the only response that I’m aware of from those who ran the Temecula Festival in an attempt to explain why the festival was stopped.
So, in response to this festival’s demise, the San Diego North County Bluegrass & Folk Club, and the Snyder family, owners of the Big Red Barn in Valley Center, hosted the first  annual “We Miss Temecula”  Jam, Open Mic, and Pot Luck –  Saturday March 19th from 10am to 6pm.   The Snyder’s Big Red Barn farm was opened to the public and what a nice venue it turned out to be.  And, yes, they do have a big red barn there that probably used to house livestock, but now it is all decked out with an elevated stage, couches and chairs in the audience area, a partial kitchen area, lighting, and loaded with farm memorabilia either hanging on the walls or otherwise displayed.  It was a terrific venue for a great day of music and more.
Lots of music lovers and pickers gathered there on March 19th to enjoy the huge potluck held along with jamming and local bands that performed on stage.  The atmosphere of this was like a big ol’ picnic and family reunion of sorts.  The weather couldn’t have been nicer and the hosts were so welcoming. It was also family friendly and had lots of open lot parking. The event was well thought out, there’s high hopes that it will continue next year.  It’s also been renamed as the Big Red Barn Festival – a relaxing day where many locals shared music and friendship.
Being kind of a farm girl, this side note is worth sharing. The Big Red Barn farm had an upscale outhouse with the nostalgic half-moon on the door, sink with running water & flush toilet.  It was a nice upgrade. We were really “roughing it in comfort” at the Big Red Barn gathering.
I think you’ll be hearing more about this gathering in the coming years.  Rumors say it looks like it will be a local favorite and many are already looking forward to the next Big Red Barn. So, out of the ashes of the Temecula Bluegrass Festival has risen the Big Red Barn gathering.  That’s just the way bluegrass folks roll.

Read about: