Planet Bluegrass: Crisis to opportunity

The stage at Planet Bluegrass
Photo by David Accomazzo

Music lovers and musicians have enjoyed Planet Bluegrass’ scenic environment for years; however, the gorgeous vista created by the river and the cliff turned nasty during the flood.

The river surged into Planet Bluegrass from the north, sending debris throughout the grounds and filling the wide, flat venue with water.

“The whole property was basically three feet under,” says Planet Bluegrass’ Bryan Eyster.

Nearly every building on the property saw some sort of water damage, including one office that was completely destroyed. The Wildflower Pavilion, home of intimate, indoor concerts throughout the year, was completely torn up and is in the process of having its foundations raised above the floodline. It’s going to take about $250,000 to fix the pavilion, and overall there is about $600,000 of damage to the property, Eyster says.

But not all is dour.

“At the end of the day, we’re taking the opportunity to improve on some things,” Eyster says.

The organization is taking advantage of the chance to upgrade infrastructure. The flood dumped tons of dirt and rocks onto the property, and there are plans to use that to regrade the field people stand in while watching concerts on the main stage. Craig Ferguson, the owner of Planet Bluegrass, is optimistic that all construction and rebuilding will be done by spring, and he expects the Folks Festival and Rockygrass festival to go off without a hitch.

“If we had to choose a day, the flood happened at the best possible time,” Ferguson says.