The Best Fest has recently announced the 2017 Dylan Fest Nashville in celebration of Bob Dylan’s 76th birthday. It will be held May 23 to 24 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, featuring more than 30 acclaimed artists such as Elle King, Boz Scaggs, Shakey Graves and more. The Best Fest’s house band, The Cabin Down Below Band, will host the festival’s lineup.
In addition to celebrating Bob Dylan’s birthday, it also marks the 50th anniversary of his legendary 1967 album John Wesley Harding, recorded at Columbia’s Studio A in Nashville. The festival will also benefit the Refuge Foundation for the Arts, which is a non-profit organization that provides sanctuary for the pursuit of creative expression through music and art and offers artistic patronage.
Last year’s 2016 Dylan Fest boasted a lineup including Kesha, City and Colour, Kurt Vile, Kacey Musgraves, and about 30 others, also located at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Tickets for this year’s festival will be available Friday, April 10 at 10 am. CST through Ticketmaster.
This year’s key performers include Elle King, the daughter of Rob Schneider who recently entered the pop music realm with her hit single “Ex’s & Oh’s.” Her debut album Love Stuff reached number two on the Billboard US Top Alternative Albums, and was the first album to reach number one on the UK Americana Chart. Also on the lineup is legendary blues musician Boz Scaggs, whose most recent album was released in 2015, but will be joining Michael McDonald this summer on a U.S. tour. You can also catch Valerie June, a Tennessee native whose recent album Pushin’ Against a Stone received acclaim in the UK and includes several songs co-written by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, as well as Wynonna & The Big Nose, which is country singer Wynonna Judd’s current band, who debuted six years ago in Nashville. Shaky Graves and Duane Eddy will also both be performing, incorporating their separate americana and rockabilly styles into the mix.
In addition to Dylan Fest, The Best Fests also include Petty Fest, Stones Fest, George Fest, Brian Fest and Neil Fest, which honor the music of Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Brian Wilson and Neil Young, respectively. All of the festivals’ incarnations have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity, and have appeared across the United States and the world in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Nashville, New Orleans, Chicago and Dublin.
Recently, Best Fest presented Neil Fest for two consecutive nights in Austin and Dallas. The lineup included Norah Jones, Alison Mosshart of The Kills, Alex Maas of The Black Angels, Shakey Graves, and others. Proceeds from the show also went towards the benefit of Refuge Foundation for the Arts.
2014’s George Fest at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles was recorded and distributed as a live album and concert DVD package, released in February 2016. The festival coincided with the reissue of Harrisons’ Apple Records solo albums. The lineup included Brian Wilson and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys, Norah Jones, Wayne Coyne, and Brandon Flowers, who all performed songs written by George Harrison.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat