In the years since it began, The Americana Music Festival and Conference has steadily grown from a small niche festival in Nashville's cluttered landscape of musical events to a thriving national brand. If today's big announcement of the initial Americana Showcase lineup and a huge Avett Brothers show at Riverfront Park is any indicator, Americanafest's organizers plan to keep the brand growing even more.
Americanafest 2014 will be held Sept. 17-21 in venues throughout Nashville, but this year will also branch out to include by far its biggest undertaking yet. Americana superstar The Avett Brothers, fresh off providing pre-headlining duties for Elton John at nearby Bonnaroo, have been announced to headline a concert on Saturday, Sept. 20 at Riverfront Park. The Riverfront Park location is the usual home of a portion of the much larger CMA Festival, as well as playing host to shows like Americanarama and Pretty Lights in the past. The show is a massive step forward for the Americana Music Festival. Admission is included for those who buy full passes to the Americana Music Festival and Conference or can be purchased individually starting June 27.
But The Avett Brothers aren't the only artists appearing at Americanafest 2014. Only half of the 160 artists scheduled to perform in 11 venues throughout Nashville have been announced but it's already enough to give any serious Americana fan a pre-emptive conflict headache.
If you want legends, Americanafest has you covered. Veteran performers for Americanafest 2014 include genre ambassador Buddy Miller, Texas rebel Billy Joe Shaver, Americana royalty Carlene Carter, songwriting and producing legend Joe Henry, gospel pioneers The Fairfield Four, and British rocker and Americana enthusiast Robyn Hitchcock.
If you're looking for hardcore Americanafest veterans, there are plenty on offer as well. East Nashville's favorite son Todd Snider will perform a "and friends" show that is sure to include some great guests. Fan favorites Hayes Carll, Rodney Crowell, Sarah Jarosz, Paul Thorn, and Marty Stuart will also perform.
For those looking for proof of the genre's youth movement, Americanafest 2014 delivers one of its strongest lineups yet. Standouts include Lake Street Dive, who recently packed the Bluegrass Situation stage at Bonnaroo, Howlin' Brothers, Parker Millsap, and Black Prairie will perform.
To hold so many bands, Americanafest had to expand its list of venues this year as well. This year City Winery on Lafayette joins the usual complement of venues hosting shows.
Americanafest 2014 will be held Sept. 17-21 at Nashville's Hutton Hotel and in music venues throughout the city. The full initial list of Americana Showcase performers can be found here.