Music Festival

Grass Fire

Since 1989, the Fire on the Strings festival has been bringing some of the country's best bluegrass to the Houston area.

By Michael Hardy August 12, 2013

The 2012 Fire on the Strings Festival

Fire on the Strings Bluegrass Music Festival
Fri 1–midnight
Sat 9am–midnight
$20–40; kids 12 & under free
South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center
2500 South Shore Blvd., League City

Every year, bluegrass groups from across the country pack up their banjos and mandolins and make their way to League City for the Fire on the Strings Bluegrass Festival, an annual jamboree hosted by the Bay Area Bluegrass Association. Since being founded in 1989, the festival has wandered around the state of Texas like a storm-tossed Ulysses, before finally returning a few years ago to the Houston area.

“Since this is our home area, we decided that we would get a little better support from our home businesses here,” says Bay Area Bluegrass Association president Rick Kirkland.

Now securely entrenched in League City, this weekend’s festival features 14 bands spread over two full days of music. Headlining the festivities are bluegrass stars Blue Moon Rising and The Grascals, as well as local favorites like the Lone Star Bluegrass Band, The Bluegrass Solution, and the Southern Style Bluegrass Band. “Everyone’s real excited about The Grascals coming,” Kirkland says. “They are just a great bunch of people, number one, and they’re great musicians.”

In addition to the bands, the festival will feature the Texas state banjo and flatpicking guitar competitions on Saturday morning, followed by a series of master classes—on the bass, the guitar, the mandolin, the banjo, the dobro, and a songwriting workshop—held by bluegrass musicians. 

Kirkland says he expects the two-day festival to attract between 12,000 and 15,000 bluegrass fans. When asked what to expect from this year’s event, he had a simple answer:

“Pretty much a lot of bluegrass.”

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