The first Festival of the Bluegrass was held on Walnut Hall Farm in June 1974. For the next 14 years, the Festival was held at Masterson Station Park. Famous musicians who debuted on the festival stage include Ricky Skaggs, Bela Fleck and Alison Krause. The Festival of the Bluegrass, which is the oldest bluegrass music festival in Kentucky, is held the second weekend of each June in Lexington.
In 1990, the Festival of the Bluegrass was moved to the Kentucky Horse Park campground. The family-friendly festival is so popular that the venue's more than 250 campsites are booked years in advance.
Along with the musical lineup, the Festival of the Bluegrass features musical workshops and an open-air marketplace selling food and crafts made by local artists. The festival also hosts the Kentucky Bluegrass Music Camp, where children aged 6 to 18 can learn to play the fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo and bass. Festival guests can also visit the Kentucky Horse Park museum and tour the grounds.
The Festival of the Bluegrass was founded by Bob and Jean Cornett, and as of 2015, it is run by their grandson Roy Miller Cornett and his wife AnnaMarie. It is considered one of the best traditional bluegrass festivals in the United States.