Hot August Music Festival

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Hot August Music Festival
Hot August Music Festival 2012.jpg
Location(s)Cockeysville, MD
Years active1993-present
Founded byBrad Selko
WebsiteOfficial website Logo.png Search Hot August Music Festival on Amazon.

The Hot August Music Festival is a music festival established in 1993 and taking place each August in Cockeysville, MD, just outside of Baltimore. The festival features local, regional, and national musicians. The festival was originally held on founder Brad Selko's farm, before moving to its current location at Oregon Ridge Park in 2003.


The Hot August Music Festival was started in 1993 by Brad Selko. He wanted to raise some money for the Baltimore Blues Society, so he hired two bands, Charlie Musselwhite and the Brett Wilson Band, to play a picnic on his farm for a few friends. That first year 400 people showed up. The success of the first year emboldened Selko to start organizing another backyard event right away. For the second year, he expanded the line-up by adding a third band and saw the attendance increase. The festival was originally called the Hot August Blues Festival, but changed its name to Hot August Music Festival in 2014 to reflect the growing diversity of bands in its lineup.[1]

Over the next few years the Hot August Music Festival saw steady growth as it increased the size and scope of its lineup, which was reflected in the growing crowd size. This growth necessitated a move in 2003 to its current location at Oregon Ridge. Its lineup has reflected that growth as a diverse roster of all-star musicians have graced the stages through the years including the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Taj Mahal, Dickey Betts, Lyle Lovett, Leftover Salmon, Keb Mo, Counting Crows, Jason Isbell, Dr. Dog, Greensky Bluegrass, Govt. Mule, Joe Bonamassa, J. Roddy Walston, Justin Townes Earle, Trombone Shorty, and others.[2]

The festival is known for it diverse lineups that allow each band lengthy sets, and its fan friendly environment. Founder Selko says, " “One thing that I don’t like about festivals are the short sets. At festivals with hour-long sets and shorter, sometimes the bands take 15-minutes just to warm up."[3] PopMatters decalres, "Selko and friends have perfected this festival experience, and that’s an understatement. They allow tents and pop-ups in certain areas, provide great food & drink, and, most importantly, give blues and music fans a new bill of top-notch musicians every year."[4]


  • 2011 - Baltimore Magazine: "Best Festival"[5]
  • 2012 - "Tri-State Indie Music Award for Festival of the Year"[6]

Lineups by year[edit]


Year Bands
1993 Charlie Musselwhite, Brett Wilson Band
1994 Magic Slim & the Teardrops, Greg Piccolo & Heavy Juice, The Shirley Lewis Experience
1995 Terrance Simien & the Mallet Playboys, John Mooney & Bluesiana, Doug Jay & the Bluejays
1996 Marcia Ball, Son Seals, Larry Johnson, Tino Gonzales w/ Carl Filipiak
1997 Kim Wilson, Big Jay McNeely w/ Little Sonny, Rosie Ledet, Steve Kramer & his Bluesicians
1998 Lonnie Brooks w/ Ronnie Baker, Shemekia Copeland, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Cha’s, Kendra Holts
1999 Carl Weathersby, Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, Deanna Bogart, Memphis Gold
2000 Jimmy Johnson, John Mooney & Bluesiana, Lil’ Brian & the Zydeco Travelers, Lloyd Jones
2001 Delbert McClinton, Frankie Lee, Willie Kent & the Gents w/ Bonnie Lee, Dona Oxford
2002 Otis Clay, Bernard Allison, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, John Mooney, Theresa Andersson
2003 Delbert McCinton, Marcia Ball, John Mooney, Chris Cain, Scott Cunningham
2004 Taj Mahal, Sonny Landreth, Renee Austin, W.C. Clark, Choo Choo Charlie, Lil Brian & The Zydeco Travelers
2005 Walter “Wolfman" Washington with John Mooney – Shemekia Copeland, Chubby Carrier, Anthony Gomes, Kelly Bell Band
2006 The North Mississippi Allstars, The Subdudes, Larry McCray, Lil’ Brian and the Zydeco Travelers, Peter Karp, Lea Gilmore
2007 Dickey Betts & Great Southern, Joan Osbourne, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Eric Lindell, Charles “Big Daddy” Stallings, Blues Therapy
2008 John Hiatt & The Ageless Beauties, Marcia Ball, JJ Grey & Mofro, Bonerama, Professor Louie & The Crowmatix, Janet Griffin & The Fine Young Segovians
2009 The Derek Trucks Band, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, Chopteeth, Old Man Brown, Dean Rosenthal, Batala Percussion Band
2010 Main Stage - Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, Keb’ Mo’, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, The Bridge, Jackie Scott and the Housewreckers B-Side Stage - Higher Hands, Sweet Leda, Choo Choo Charlie, Dean Rosenthal
2011 Main Stage - Tedeschi Trucks Band, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Kings Go Forth, J. Roddy Walston and The Business, Tom Larsen Band B-Side Stage - Lower Case Blues, Sweet Leda, Jesters of Kindness, Lawnchair, Lennon La Ricci & The Leftovers
2012 Main Stage - Gov’t Mule, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Justin Townes Earle, Locos Por Juana, Cris Jacobs Band B-Side Stage - Magic Slim & The Teardrops, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, Bovine Social Club, Chris Kasper, Matt Pless
2013 Main Stage - Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, Galactic, Greensky Bluegrass, JD McPherson, Cara Kelly & The Tell Tale B-Side Stage - Boombox, Antibalas, Eddy Clearwater, MOTH Poetic Circus, Country Devils Hillside Professional Vision Stage - DELTAnine, Scott Tournet and Ver La Luz, 61 North, Herd of Main Street
2014 Main Stage - Old Crow Medicine Show, Nickel Creek, Dr. Dog, Houndmouth, Bosley Professional Vision Stage - Tab Benoit, Turkuaz, Ursula Ricks, Jordan August Band PayPal Stage - Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds, Cabinet, ELM, The Solicitors
2015 Main stage - Counting Crows, The Punch Brothers, Railroad Earth, Shakey Graves, Marah Professional Vision Stage - June Star, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, The Revivalists, The Infamous Stringdusters PayPal Stage - The Sligo Creek Stompers, Hollis Brown, Dennis Jones Band, Cabinet, Jarekus Singletone
2016[8] Main stage - Thievery Corporation, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, The Revivalists, Leftover Salmon and Litz Professional Vision Stage - Railroad Earth, Samantha Fish, Cabinet, Eastman String Band Pickers Grove - Fried Picken’, Caleb Stine
2017[9] Main Stage - Old Crow Medicine Show, Infamous String Dusters, Lettuce, Cabinet, ELM Professional Vision Stage - Turkuaz, Dustbowl Revival, Baskery, Squaring the Circle Back to the Farm Stage - John Mooney &Bluesiana, Lil’ Ed & The blues Imperials, Memphis Gold w/special guest Brett Willson
2018[10] Main Stage - Revivalists, Trampled by Turtles, The Marcus King Band, Cris Jacobs, Omari Banks Professional Vision Stage - Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Psycho Killers, Whiskey Shivers, Dirty Grass Players Back to the Farm Stage - Hal Williams Band, Selwyn Birchwood, Nikki Hill

See also[edit]

  • List of bluegrass music festivals
  • List of music festivals
  • List of jam band music festivals


  1. Newby, Tim. "Preview: Hot August Music Festival 2018". Honest Tune Magazine. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  2. Newby, Tim. "Hot August Music Festival Prepares to Celebrate 25 Years". Honest Tune Magazine. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  3. Landi, Anthony. "Hot August Music Fest Boasts Stellar Lineup". Baltimore Magazine. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  4. Nelson, Tim J. "Hot August Blues & Roots Music Festival: 18 August 2012 - Cockeysville, MD". PopMatters. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  5. "Baltimore Magazine". Baltimore Magazine. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  6. "TriStateIndie". TriStateIndie. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  7. "Lineup History". Hot August Music Festival. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  8. Bernstein, Scott. "Hot August Music Festival Announces 2016 Lineup". Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  9. Bernstein, Scott. "Hot August Music Festival Announces 2017 Lineup". Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  10. Kahn, Andy. "Hot August Music Festival Announces 2018 Lineup". Retrieved 23 August 2018.

Coordinates: 39°19′23″N 76°38′41″W / 39.32306°N 76.64472°W / 39.32306; -76.64472

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