Blame My Roots Festival Postpones 2023 Show, Continues 2024 Festival | News, Sports, Jobs

MORRISTOWN, Ohio — The Blame My Roots country music festival is postponing a 2023 show and plans to bring live country music back to Belmont County in 2024.

The announcement was made via a press release and Facebook post late Wednesday afternoon. The festival had its third edition this summer. It was started by brothers Chris and Nina Dutton on a family property known as Valley View Campgrounds. The site along the National Road opposite the former Jamboree In The Hills had long hosted campers before JITH disbanded in 2018. The JITH property has since been sold.

According to the release, the BMR festival has a new partnership with a Nashville-based booking agency, “which strives to improve programming and the viewer experience while building on the successes of the 2019, ’21 and ’22 editions.”

“We excel at bringing fans of country music and live country music to a farm under the stars with some of the most sought-after amenities in the industry,” Chris Dutton, co-creator of the Blame My Roots Festival, said in the statement. “We will continue to build on this experience, and we can’t wait to see everyone at the next Blame My Roots!”

Dutton could not be reached for further comment or to clarify whether the event would now be held once every two years. He noted that the recent festival which ended on July 16 drew around 12,000 attendees over the three days. Headliners included Dierks Bentley, Ashley McBryde, David Lee Murphy, The Russell Sisters and Stevie Lynn.

Dutton said there was a need to start planning for such a festival early, given the need to book artists.

The concert also formed community partnerships with businesses and organizations, local first responders, and Ohio University Eastern, which invited alumni to attend the concerts.

Dutton has often spoken of his love of country music, largely inspired by Jamboree In The Hills, and festival organizers have continued to plan and stage events in the face of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic hardships and rising gasoline prices. During this year’s main event, an exuberant crowd greeted the singers and musicians and many expressed their appreciation for a country music event to fill the void left by Jamboree In The Hills.

Wednesday’s announcement was met with a wide variety of responses, ranging from disappointment to well wishes and hope for concerts scheduled for 2024. Some social media commentators expressed concern that a delay a year would hurt the chances of the festival continuing to grow.

Belmont County Tourism Director Jackee Pugh said the festival can rely on her office for promotion.

“While we are disappointed to learn that there will be no BMRF 2023 event, we support the show organizers to continue to develop partnerships that will build on the success of the festival in 2024. Blame My Roots Fest certainly brings visitors to Belmont County, and our office will continue to offer support and advocate for all events that bring people to our county,” she says.

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