Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association


Welcome to the official web site of the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association (MBOTMA), a 501c3 nonprofit, volunteer-based organization serving Minnesota and the Midwest. Our mission is to preserve and promote bluegrass and old-time string band music in Minnesota.

Our activities include four annual festivals, plus numerous concerts, dances, jam sessions, workshops, and educational programs. Our events and programs keep people who love to play and listen to traditional acoustic music busy all year around throughout the state of Minnesota. Check out our calendar of events for a full list of what is coming up. We encourage you to become a member of MBOTMA and welcome you at all of our events!

Coming Up Soon

New this year! The Minnesota Bluegrass Duet Championships will take place at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday and Saturday of Labor Day weekend (Sep 4 & 5). Sound familiar? There are a couple of change-ups in the works. Friday is still the Vocal Duet Championships, but on Saturday we are inviting instrumental duets combining any string instruments to come on out and strut their stuff! So polish up the mandolins, banjos, fiddles.... Saturday's Instrumental Duet Championships is not just for guitars anymore! Register yourself and a partner to compete for only $20 and get tickets to the fair, a pair of souvenir shirts, and a chance to win a pair of ukuleles or a trophy. Thank our sponsors. See who won last year. Download the rules.


Friday through Sunday November 20-22, 2015, St Louis Park MN: Harvest Jam Acoustic Music Experience, Marriott Minneapolis West Hotel (9960 Wayzata Blvd). This 10th annual event will feature stage shows Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning. Plus the Race For A Place Band Contest on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the Saturday Banquet Dinner (get the best seats for the evening concert), Kip's Live Open Mic in Kip's Irish Pub throughout the weekend, workshops, musical exhibitors, a Sunday morning gospel show, and lots of jam sessions. For more information 800-635-3037 or www.MinnesotaBluegrass.org. To book lodging contact the Marriott at 952-544-4400 and ask for the special Minnesota Bluegrass rate. Presented by the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association (MBOTMA).

Past Events

Wow! What a great year for the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival on August 6-9 at El Rancho Manana near Richmond. This was one of those things for your “great-nearby-places-to-go-and-things-to-do list,” There was over 30 hours of concerts on the Main Stage by national and regional bands, including a Hot Rize Reunion, the IBMA Vocal Group and Entertainers of the Year Balsam RangeThe Jump Steady BoysThe Bucking MulesRed MollyEddie & Martha Adcock with Tom GrayThe Wild Goose Chase Cloggers and many more.

Plus over 30 hours of hands-on workshops (instrumental, jamming, songwriting, harmony-singing, etc.), old-time dances with live bands (plus callers & instruction!), specialty showcases, and morning yoga in the Showcase Tentover 20 hours of activities for kids, including contests, crafts, games, and special stage shows in the Family Areamore alternative action at The Underground,Gathering PlaceMarketplace, and Ranch House Live.

Hot News! Nominations were released this morning (Wed Aug 12) and the 2014 Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival has been nominated (for the fifth time!) as Event Of The Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association in Nashville.

The Minnesota Homegrown Kickoff was May 29-31, 2015 at El Rancho Manana near Richmond. This three-day outdoor music and camping festival featured a Main Stage with The Roe Family Singers, Pushing Chain, The Long Shots, The Moss Piglets, The Split-Shot Sinkers, No Grass Limit, Mother Banjo, Timbre Junction, Bob & Lynn Dixon, Singleton Street, The Sawtooth Brothers, No Man's Stringband, Pickin' Up Steam, The Froemming Family, Platte Valley Boys, The Mark Kreitzer Band, Purdy River Band, Curtis & Loretta, Crooked Grass, and Blue Groove. Plus there were workshopsjam-with-the-bandThe Gathering Place,Ranch House Live, and more! PLUS! In 2015 the Kickoff was held in conjunction with the Great Minnesota Uke Gathering. This is a Minnesota ukulele weekend celebration and a get together for all ukulele players (or want-to-be players) with workshops, jams, sing-alongs, food, camping, something for all skill levels and lots of free uke related giveaways! Two festivals! One ticket! One location! One great weekend!

Here is something new that only comes around once in a lifetime. Our 40th Anniversary! To celebrate we had a 12 hour party, the  12to12 Fundraising Party at the Kraus Hartig VFW Post in Spring Lake Park on Saturday January 31st from (you guessed it) 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM.

There were 12 bands, 12 hours of stage shows, 12 Hours of jam sessions, and 12 hours of fun! With The High 48s, The Platte Valley Boys, Switched At Birth, Cousin Dad, Middle Spunk Creek Boys, Roe Family Singers, Wild Goose Chase Cloggers, Jumping Joe & The Catie Cats, Ivory Bridge, Brian Barnes, Blue Hazard, and Porcupine Creek. Plus an OT/Cajun Dance, theme jams, Kraus Live, a silent auction, raffles, door prizes, and of course lots of jam sessions. Check out the details at 12to12.