Whispering Beard Folk Festival Hosts First Riverfront Event This Week with M. Ward, Ryan Bingham and More

The popular festival's debut at Smale Riverfront Park runs Aug. 22-24 and also includes a host of local acts, several of which you can enjoy on a riverboat

click to enlarge L.A. AltCountry band The Wild Reeds play Whispering Beard Saturday - Photo: Mark Cluney
Photo: Mark Cluney
L.A. AltCountry band The Wild Reeds play Whispering Beard Saturday
In January, the hugely popular Whispering Beard Folk Festival announced it was moving from its cozy confines in small-town Friendship, Indiana to Smale Riverfront Park (on West Mehring Way downtown, where The National hosted its huge Homecoming music fest in 2018). Taking place Aug. 22-24, the 2019 WBFF lineup is in keeping with the event’s tradition of booking high-quality local, regional and national Americana artists, including headliners like M. Ward, Ryan Bingham, The Felice Brothers and Peter Rowan.

As always, the Greater Cincinnati music scene is well represented in the WBFF lineup. On Thursday’s opening night, The Tillers and Maria Carrelli will perform; Friday’s event features area acts My Brother the Bear and Easy Tom Eby; Frontier Folk Nebraska, Krystal Peterson and Chalk Eye are on Saturday’s bill. (See the full schedule below.)

Besides the landlocked festivities, Whispering Beard’s organizers are taking advantage of the new locale this year by taking some of the music into (or at least on top of) the water. Area artists like Whiskey Bent Valley Boys, Buffalo Wabs & the Price Hill Hustle, Sliperry Creek, Joe’s Truck Stop and the Comet Bluegrass All-Stars will perform on riverboat mini-cruises throughout the weekend. The boat shows are a separate ticket ($8-$18) and you must have a festival wristband to attend.

Three-day passes for this year’s Whispering Beard fest are $120. Friday and Saturday single-day tickets are $50 in advance or $55 at the gate; Thursday tickets are $25 in advance or $30 day of show. "Lil Beardos" 6-12 years old get in for $5 each day; under 6 Beardos get in free. There are also V.I.B. tickets available for $225.

Advanced tickets (including for the riverboat sets) are available through cincyticket.com.

THURSDAY, AUG. 22

5 p.m. Maria Carrelli


6 p.m. Chicago Farmer

7 p.m. Charlie Parr


8 p.m. The Tillers

9:30 p.m. Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band


FRIDAY, AUG. 23

1 p.m. Easy Tom Eby

2 p.m. The Handshake Deals


3 p.m. My Brother the Bear

4 p.m. Willy Tea Taylor

5 p.m. Town Mountain


6 p.m. The Harmed Brothers

7 p.m. Peter Rowan


8:15 p.m. M. Ward

9:45 p.m. The Felice Brothers


SATURDAY, AUG. 24

12 p.m. Chalk Eye


1 p.m. Krystal Peterson

2 p.m. Frontier Folk Nebraska

3 p.m. The Winetree

4 p.m. John R. Miller & The Engine Lights


5 p.m. Senora May

6 p.m. Possessed by Paul James

7 p.m. The Wild Reeds


8:15 p.m. Lost Dog Street Band

9:45 p.m. Ryan Bingham

For complete Whispering Beard info, go to whisperingbeard.com.


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