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  • El Rancho Manana Campground & Riding Stable

The August Bluegrass Festival is Coming

Are you excited for the August Bluegrass Festival? Curious about what it is? Either way, this blog post is for you. We’ve got all of the details on the upcoming festival, including an overview, events, camping, and more. We’ll post a direct link to ticket sales as well. Read on for all the news about the August Bluegrass Festival at El Rancho Mañana.

This year, the Bluegrass Festival is held August 8-11, 2024. (Pro tip: many festival goers start camping the weekend before for a full week of fun.) The festival is held by the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association, an organization dedicated to preserving and showcasing those genres for future generations. This will be the twenty-second year the Bluegrass Festival has been held at El Rancho Mañana and we’re excited to have everyone back again.

The Main Stage is the centerpiece of the festival. There are over 30 hours of performances planned, including Ron Block’s All Stars, Purple Hulls, Dave Adkins and Mountain Soul, Amanda Cook Band, Baker Family, and The Waddington Brothers. The full schedule for the Main Stage can be found here: While watching the bands at the Main Stage, it’s recommended to bring chairs or a blanket. You’ll be sitting under gorgeous, full-grown trees on a gently sloping hillside. Rain gear is also a good idea, in case of an occasional sprinkle.

There are always activities and bands playing in other areas of the festival as well. Check out the Dance Tent for lively dances of many types featuring live bands. The Showcase Tent features live bands as well. The Underground Stage is a unique place to catch a show. The Gathering Place sometimes has a live band but mostly it’s a place to put your feet up, jam, or chat with old or new friends. The Family Area features bands and also fun activities for kids and families. For more information on these areas, click here:

The Workshop Tent is where many festival-goers learn important skills. Workshops are put on by MBOTMA and feature national and regional musicians. Festival-goers pre-register for one of ten chairs per workshop and any who didn’t get a chair can stand in the back and “audit.” There are workshops for all levels of players and instruments from fiddle to mandolin to guitar and beyond. For more information on the Workshop Tent, click here:

Now for a very important section of this post: the vendors. Everyone loves to go to the Marketplace and have lunch or something to drink, or maybe do some shopping. The current food vendors, according to the MBOTMA website, are as follows:

·       Stay 4 Pizza/Pizza Barn: Pizza, cheese bread, frozen lemonade, smoothies, desert bars and cookies

·       Crystal's Concessions: Waffles, waffle sundaes, coffee, hot cocoa

·       Grillin Meats: Hotdogs, hamburgers, fries, chicken strips

·       Taqueria Bravo: Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, tortas, quesabirrias, nachos

·       Carmel Popcorn: Popcorn

·       Doc E's BBQ: BBQ pork, brisket and pork ribs, mac and cheese,  cole slaw, potato salad, cowboy beans

·       Xstream Cuisine: Philly cheese cake, chicken sandwich, cheese curds, french fries

There will also be a vendor booth in the Marketplace by El Rancho Mañana, with snacks, pop, candy, and ice cream. Plus, there will be numerous vendors with clothing, jewelry, and instrument accessories to shop at. These vendors are typically located behind and to the far side of the seating area at the Main Stage. For an updated list of vendors, check here:

Ranch House Live is an open-mic night held at the El Rancho Mañana Ranch House. It’s an opportunity for festival-goers to get together and get up on stage themselves to show off their skills. People of all skill levels focus on friends, fun, and good music. You sign up in advance for a time slot and show up to play in front of a supportive audience.

The Bluegrass Festival couldn’t go on without its volunteers. The staff rely on volunteers for many tasks. Festival-goers can sign up to volunteer for nearly anything and there are jobs to suit most ability levels. You could volunteer at the concert gates, the Family Area, the Gathering Place, or with Operations. These all require different interests and different activity levels. Volunteers who sign up by August 1st receive a custom-made souvenir volunteer shirt (volunteers are still required to pay their own admission). For more information and a description of the volunteer positions, click here:

Camping is available at El Rancho Mañana with your multi-day tickets to the August Bluegrass Festival. All camping is reserved and paid for through the MBOTMA organization. Both non-utility (rough/event) camping and reserved camping are available; however, reserved camping is dependent on availability. (Pre-event camping is handled through El Rancho Mañana.) For more information, including pricing and policies, click here:


Keep in mind that there’s always jamming happening amongst the festival-goers at any given time or location, whether that be on the porch of the Ranch House or out in a popular spot in the woods. The tractor-drawn trolleys run during the times that the festival is going on, so you can always catch a ride from your campsite to the Main Stage or from the campground to the woods or even just from day parking to the Ranch House.

For tickets to the Bluegrass Festival, click here: You’ll also add your camping when you buy your tickets. And remember, if you want to camp early, prior to the festival, call us at (320) 597-2740.

We at El Rancho Mañana look forward to seeing you at the August Bluegrass Festival! It will be here before we know it!

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