Rosine, KY July 3rd, 2005- A recent study executed by the WMTH Corporation of Bowling Green found that last years Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Festival, held on the Monroe Farm outside Rosine, had an estimated economic impact of $640,000 on the region. This is a 7% increase over the 2003 festivals estimated $597,000 impact on the region. In both 2003 and 2004, the festival drew people from over 40 states and 11 countries.
Countries cited included: Japan, Ireland, Switzerland, Norway, China, the Netherlands, England, Canada and Australia. In fact, in 2004 more than 50% of the festival-goers came from over 200 miles away! Forty-six percent of festival attendees stayed in hotels, many staying as far away as Bowling Green, Central City, and Owensboro. If one included the festivals impact on hotels alone for the 2004 festival, it would be well over $400,000.
While many people cited the band lineup as their primary reason for attending the festival, just as many came because the festival was held at the birthplace of Bill Monroe and Bluegrass music. Even with the 10th anniversary of Bill Monroes death approaching, it is obvious that his legacy is very much alive and that it has a tangible impact on the region, both culturally and economically.
The Bill Monroe Foundation has already received more calls for the upcoming festival than it did last year and expect an even greater impact on Kentuckys economy. This years festival will be held September 29th through October 2nd, 2005 and will be headlined by Bluegrass great, Dr. Ralph Stanley. He will share the stage with forty more Bluegrass bands including the Wayne Lewis Band, Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain, Marty Raybon and Full Circle, Cherryholmes Family, Larry Sparks and Lonesome Ramblers, and the Cumberland Highlanders. In addition to the bands, visitors can tour the Monroe Home Place, attend the Sunday morning church service, or attend a Monroe Country book signing with Todd Autry. All the proceeds from the festival and book benefit the Bill Monroe Foundation.
The Bill Monroe Foundation is a non-profit organization located outside Rosine, KY. The BMFs mission is to create a living history memorial to Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass Music, through the preservation of the Monroe family farm and forest on Jerusalem Ridge, the Monroe home place, the neighboring town of Rosine, and the creation of the Bill Monroe Kentucky Bluegrass Music Museum in Rosine. While preserving the source and heritage of this original American art form, the Bill Monroe Foundation works to enhance educational, entertainment, and recreational qualities of this project. The Bill Monroe Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and propagation of the Bill Monroe style of bluegrass music and its roots through bluegrass festivals, workshops, radio and television shows, and summer music camps for children.