Once again, the Papa Joe`s BanjoBQue

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Once again, the Papa Joe`s BanjoBQue
Up
LINE
AY
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OPEN
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4 P.M. — G
RS VIDEO
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IT
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4:15 P.M. — E RAMBLIN’ FEVERS
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5:15 P.M. — HE WHISKEY GENTR
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6:30 P.M. CO BANDANA
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8 P.M. — R HE AVETT BROTHER
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9:30 P.M.
O
nce again, the Papa Joe’s BanjoBQue
and Bluegrass Festival is going to be a hoot — a hootenanny, that is. Simply
put, it’s going to have enough food, beer, music and fun to make your Memorial
Day weekend one for the ages.
Now in its fifth year, the BanjoBQue was created to
honor the memory of the late Joe Pond, whose love of
barbecue and bluegrass music was the stuff of legend.
When his daughter, Cathy Varnadore, started designing
the festival, she had big ambitions — corralling the
best bluegrass performers with the best competitive
barbecuers, adding other good stuff like beer
and lots of down-home fun, and making it the
area’s signature Memorial Day festival.
She succeeded and then some.
What follows is a brief rundown of what to expect.
And, as always, all proceeds from the event benefit the
Joseph R. Pond Memorial Foundation.
AY
RD
ATU
S
tes Open
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11 A.M. – G
ge
Main S. —taMASTERS VIDEO
11:15 A.M CLINTON GREGORY
—
12:30 P.M. AND
SB
BLUEGRAS OOTS & HELLMOUTH
H
1:45 P.M. — E BLUE DOGS
TH
3:15 P.M. — BQ AWARDS
HOW
—B
4:45 P.M. LITTLE ROY & LIZZY S
HE
6 P.M. — T ATIONAL ANTHEM
—N
N
7:30 P.M.
ER SALMO
V
O
T
F
E
L
—
7:40 P.M. ILL PAYNE
SHOW
GB
FEATURIN LD CROW MEDICINE
—O
9:30 P.M.
be rowdy in d
ifferent ways.
That limitatio
sort of pushed
n
us to explode
o
u
t
o
so
f
th
th
e
at
ch
was really exci
air,
essential
components to
ting. It (Stillw
the Papa Joe’s
made for fun
at
er
)
w
as
B
anjoBQue: bee
shows.”
barbecue and
Carpenter,” w
r,
bluegrass. And
ere pretty mu
Their most m
while no one
ch conceived
emorable sho
component is
the same time.
at
w
more importan
in
h
A
av
u
e
gu
al
st
so
a
m
b
ee
t
ay
th
n the most pai
an the other
two, the addit
“W
h
il
e
n
fu
w
ion of the Ave
l,
e
were working
Scott said of
their perform
tt Brothers to
on ‘The Carp
ance at the M
2014 musical
we were so in
the
enter,’
is
si
lineup has add
o
n
C
sp
(n
it
ir
o
y)
w
ed
in
S
th
ky
2
at
0
ed
0
w
6
e wrote anoth
an excitement
.
not felt since th
record as wel
er
e event’s incep
l,” the letter sa
“Bob (bassist
tion in 2009.
id. “During th
Bob Crawford
Headlining th
sessions, we ju
ose
)
cr
e festival’s Fri
u
th
st
sh
u
ed
fe
m
lt
b
m
it
w
y
.
it
W
h
o
d
th
rk
ay night roster
e bass there. I
ing with Rick
the Avetts wil
R
u
b
in
ag
,
re
ai
l take the stag
m
n
, we tapped in
ember that
so well becau
e at approxim
to something
se we had 42,
9:30 p.m. to a
special. It’s like
ately
very
4
3
d
packed house
at
w
es
as
ev
an
o
er
u
d
yb
r
th
la
o
at
st
d
.
y
A
sh
w
nd many of
ow (of the tou
as
those in the cr
in
zo
th
n
e
e.”
same
r) and we cap
owd have bee
it off with my
ped
n watching th
thumb being
Avetts play in
A
n
d
e
b
y
crushed and m
“everybody,”
Augusta for ye
fingernail bro
y
the band does
ars. Of cours
ken off,” Scott
then, it was to
mean Scott, S
n’t just
e,
la
u
much smaller
gh
q
et
ed
u
h
it
.
e
an
“I
an
d
t
w
B
ending. I was
as
ob. Just as thei
crowds on the
tiny, beloved st
h
as
o
ev
n
r music
o
th
lv
e ground and
ed so has thei
age at Stillwat
Bob threw th
r band. First th
er Taproom.
e stand-up bas
“Stillwater was
ce
ll
is
ey added
t Joe Kwon. N
s and the enti
weight of the
a perfect exam
ow they have
re
bass landed o
ple of us
having the illu
se
w
ve
it
h
n
th
on stage
e
n
addition of P
my thumb. W
sion of contro
were talking ab
aul Defiglia o
e
lling our desti
o
and saying, ‘O
u
t
it
an
a
n
d
co
keyboard
organ, Mike M
ny
uple of weeks
kay, we’re gon
and I was like
arsh on drum
ago
na go and we’
, ‘I can’t belie
play and it’ll
E
s
li
an
za
d
b
ll
Tania
et
ve
h
be great. We’
on violin.
the way we ju
finished the sh
re going to m
st
o
w
it great and th
.’
I
m
“W
ea
ak
n, I had to step
e had to restru
e
at should natu
the back and
cture and we
out
rally double th
pull myself to
people we’re
grew a
co
u
p
le
e
o
ge
f
playing for nex
th
ti
m
er
w
es
b
as
ec
an
p
au
d our band h
ainful and the
se it
t time.’ We’re
not expecting
as
u
n
seriously
n
ex
ifi
t
ed and come
morning it was
that but we’re
when I woke
together over
worse
just going to
up. It was bla
rock it as much
th
years,” Scott
e past three
ck.”
as we can and
said. “I think
This visit to A
have a blast
o
n
ugusta promis
and Stillwater
e
th
se
in
ei
g we’re
n
g this year is th
es to be at leas
was definitely
as memorable
at, last year w
t
an example o
,
an
a place like th
d
h
practice sessio
as a long
opefully less p
f
at,” founding
October, the
n with our six
ainful. Last
member Scott
band released
,
n
Avett recently
o
w
o
se
n
ven, folks
st
ag
e, and it’s inte
its eighth stud
said by phone.
album called
resting becau
io
“Because of th
“Magpie and
setup, we wer
ta
se it’s now
king flight. I th
e
the Dandelio
e deter mined
and have bee
ink that’s one
n”
to sit down w
n touring in n
we played ther
o
f
aw
th
e most
es
h
o
en
me things abo
ear-constant
e to kind of ch
support of it
ut this year. W
ange it up an
ev
er
remember th
si
n
o
ce. It was thei
e’re working
n new materia
dI
at the limitatio
full-length rele
r second
l now, so it’s le
n of
ase in as man
sitting down fo
ad
in
n
g
ew
into the
re
cording so that
y years and,
rced us — we’
in an open lett
’l
l
b
re
e
in
er to the press
te
kind of better
re
st
h
ow that affect
ing to see
published by
musicians
“American So
s the recordin
ngwriter,” the
g process.”
sitting, but it
kind
band said
Who knows h
that it and thei
ow their next
of forced us to
r previous rele
ase, “The
recording may
sound; all we
know
is that their li
ve shows, incl
u
ding
the one this F
riday night,
continue to am
aze.
There are thre
e
age RS
t
S
n
o
o
l
JA
Sa
HE MASON
T
1:15 P.M. — ELTA CANE
—D
RS
2:45 P.M.
BLIN’ FEVE
M
A
R
E
H
T
4:15 P.M. — OOTS & HELLMOUTH
—H
5:30 P.M.
OGS
HE BLUE D EY GENTRY
T
—
.
.M
P
7
K
THE WHIS
—
.
.M
P
5
8:5
The Avett Brothers
The barbecue part of Papa Joe’s BanjoBQue
has always been a hit: Even in its first year it was
popular with the teams competing.
This year, however, organizers made a giant leap
in other aspects of the festival, and it’s a gamble
that Doug Varnadore of AB Beverage says is
paying off.
“The entertainment? We’ve been at the same
level for the last four years,” he said. “This year,
we got to the point where the Avett Brothers were
available. Of course, they cost a pretty penny and
we said, ‘All right, we’ve been in it for four years
with the same entertainment, so let’s go out and
get a bigger lineup and make this a Southeastern
event for Memorial Day. So we did step up that
dollar amount and it’s turned out to be a pretty
good investment so far.”
That is a bit of an understatement. VIP, two-
Blue Dogs
day passes sold
out at least a
month in advance.
Online ticket sales,
currently at more
than 3,000, have
come from patrons
in 33 states. And those, keep in mind, are all twoday passes. The only way concertgoers can get
single-day tickets is at the gate.
Varnadore recognizes that it’s quite an
accomplishment.
“Thirty-three states represented for purchasing
tickets,” he repeated. “I don’t think we’ve had any
other event in Augusta that can say that.”
Everything at this year’s BanjoBQue is bigger
and better, it seems. The number of craft beers that
will be available is more than 30, with local brews
from Statesboro’s Eagle Creek and Jekyll Brewing
in Alpharetta among the new ones represented.
And to make it even better for patrons, all beers —
whether it be craft of Budweiser — are $4.
Camping is also an option which should prove
to be popular, given how far some are traveling for
the shows.
Clinton Gregory
Hoots N HellMouth
“There’s no telling how many campers we’ll
have,” Varnadore said. “You can just show up and
camp out. We’ll have a designated area for it. With
the dry weather we’ve had, we’re asking people not
to have any open fires, though.”
And last but certainly not least is the barbecue
part of the festival, which has been growing steadily
throughout the years. A Kansas City Barbeque
Society (KCBS)-sanctioned event with $40,000 in
prize money available, this year’s contest features
approximately 24 more teams than last year. That’s
about 80 teams, three-quarters of which are in the
professional division and the rest in the backyard
contest. That growth, Varnadore said, has been
almost exclusively by word of mouth.
“We’ve had two back to back good years at the
Evans Towne Center Park and the cookers, they’re
telling all the other cookers, ‘Man, if you haven’t
been to this one, you need to go to it this year,’” he
said. “The cookers tell me that they enjoy this one
more than any other contest during the year.”
In fact, Varnadore said, he’s had to tell teams to
wait because signup isn’t available for 2015 yet.
And here’s the great news for festival-goers:
Many of the professional teams have signed up to
be vendors, which means award-winning barbecue
will be available to all both Friday and Saturday.
Proof of how important this contest is is that the
Discovery Channel has taken notice.
“We’ve got the Discovery Channel, who will be
here with a booth both days, and they’ll be showing
the ‘BBQ Pitmasters’ show,” Varnadore said. “This
is going to end up one of the biggest shows in the
Southeast, I feel sure, because we have a heavy duty
number of professional cookers participating.”
Leftover Salmon
Old Crow Med
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pa Joe’s B
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Showgoer
s
The Little Roy & Lizzy Show
The Ramblin Fevers
Rosco Bandana
THE WHISKEY GENTRY

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