Blame My Roots Festival postpones 2023 show, pursuing 2024 festival

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

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

According to the release, the BMR festival has a newfound partnership with a Nashville-based booking agency, “which strives to enhance the lineup and concertgoer experience while building on the successes of the 2019, ’21 and ’22 installments.”

“We excel at bringing live country music and country music fans together on a farm under the stars with some of the most sought-after amenities in the industry,” Chris Dutton, Blame My Roots Festival co-creator, said in the release. “We’ll continue to build on that experience, and we look forward to seeing everyone at the next Blame My Roots!”

Dutton could not be reached for further comment or to clarify if the event would now be held once every two years. He has noted the recent festival that concluded July 16 had about 12,000 attendees over the course of the three days. The headliners included Dierks Bentley, Ashley McBryde, David Lee Murphy, The Russell Sisters and Stevie Lynn.

Dutton has said it was necessary to begin planning for such a festival early, considering the need to book performers.

The concert has 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 the festival organizers continued to plan and hold events in the face of interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic woes and rising gasoline prices. During the main event this year, an exuberant crowd welcomed the singers and musicians and many voiced their appreciation for a country music event to fill the void left by Jamboree In The Hills.

The announcement Wednesday was greeted by a wide variety of responses, from disappointment to well-wishes and hope for 2024’s planned concerts. Some social media commenters expressed concern that a year’s delay would hurt the chances of the festival continuing to grow.

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

“While we are disappointed to hear there will not be a 2023 BMRF event, we are supportive of the show organizers for continuing to grow partnerships that will build upon the festival’s success in 2024. Blame My Roots Fest certainly brings visitors into Belmont County, and our office will continue to offer support and advocate for all events that bring people into our county,” she said.


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