Bluegrass at Dodd Stadium in Norwich this summer
Norwich - A bluegrass music festival produced by the new Norwich recreation director will move to the Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium this summer and is expected to draw several thousand visitors during the four-day event.
C. Roger Moss, executive producer of the Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival for the past 16 years, started as Norwich's recreation director in January.
Moss said Monday that he didn't intend to move the festival to Norwich, but plans to keep it in East Hartford fell through.
"We started looking at options, and I knew that Dodd Stadium was a pretty good site," Moss said. "We looked at their schedule and saw they were free the entire week we needed."
The Connecticut Tigers minor league baseball team will be on the road from July 31 through Aug. 6. The Podunk festival runs from Aug. 2 to Aug. 5, with numerous concerts, musical workshops, vendors and camping on the stadium grounds.
The festival is expected to draw 5,000 to 10,000 people over the four days and will feature local, regional and national bluegrass bands. In 2010, the festival won the International Bluegrass Music Association award for event of the year.
A map with a tentative festival layout is posted on the Podunk website, podunkbluegrass.net, placing the stage in center field and lawn seating and shade tents in the outfield. The skyboxes would be used for workshops. Camping could be along the edge of the woods and in the auxiliary gravel parking lot.
Tigers General Manager C.J. Knudsen said the Tigers had hoped to host concerts this summer as part of the team's effort to attract more community events.
"It's a grand slam for us," Knudsen said. "We'll have some real bluegrass music on our Kentucky bluegrass field."
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