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Excitement Building for 2021 Blame My Roots Fest

Country Music Festival Set to Return July 16-17

Chris Dutton, co-founder of the Blame My Roots Country Music Festival, speaks this past week to a crowd of business leaders from the Barnesville, Martins Ferry, Marshall County and St. Clairsville Area chambers of commerce gathered for a special breakfast meeting at Ebbert Farm Market. (Photo by Eric Ayres)

WHEELING — It’s early spring, but excitement is already building for the 2021 installment of the Blame My Roots Country Music Festival in Belmont, which promises to deliver the local tradition of live, top-notch country music during the third weekend in July.

Blame My Roots made its debut in 2019 at Valley View Campgrounds just off of National Road in Belmont. The festival filled a void left when Live Nation put the brakes on the Superbowl of Country Music — Jamboree In The Hills — the year prior after four decades of drawing country music fans from near and far to the Ohio Valley.

An even bigger Blame My Roots Fest was slated to take place in 2020, but that event — like all others — had to cancel in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chris Dutton, co-founder of the Blame My Roots Country Music Festival, and the BMRF team have been working to bring the event back to the area in full force this year. Organizers have been keeping a close eye on state regulations and health and safety protocols, and there is great confidence that the show must go on and will go on as planned July 16-17.

Big-name sponsors have thrown support behind the growing new country music festival, and a local backing of community support has been helping to propel the BMRF into the spotlight. The crew from the Belmont County Tourism Council has been working hard to help festival organizers get the event established as the area’s premier country music extravaganza.

There’s a calm before the storm that’s set to roll into Valley View Campgrounds in Belmont this summer, as the Blame My Roots Country Music Festival promises to return in grand fashion, bringing back the local tradition of live country music to the area on the third weekend in July. (Photo by Eric Ayres)

This past week, the Belmont County Tourism Council and several area chambers of commerce teamed up to continue building excitement for this year’s event. A special breakfast was held at Ebbert Farm Market in St. Clairsville, where local business leaders from the Barnesville, Martins Ferry, Marshall County and St. Clairsville Area Chambers of Commerce gathered to get a first-hand breakdown of Blame My Roots Fest 2021 from Dutton.

“We’re excited about 2021,” Dutton said. “We’re excited that we’re brining one of the most decorated female artists to the Ohio Valley in Miranda Lambert, which is incredible. I still get goosebumps from the time that we found out we were actually getting her, and that was back in August.”

Lambert will headline Saturday night’s full slate of artists, which also include Lee Brice, Tenille Townes, Niko Moon and Allie Colleen.

A JITH staple and fan favorite will make his triumphant return on Friday night. Neal McCoy will headline on Friday, with a host of talent that day which includes Jo Dee Messina, Adam Doleac, Walker Montgomery and more to be announced.

Dutton said even more partnerships have been developing with Blame My Roots over the past month as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has shown a light at the end of the tunnel for the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, things have continued to slowly open up, vaccines have become readily available and people are ready to safely get out and about again, finally.

This year will be different as there will no longer be coolers allowed in the concert area. There will be plenty of beer for sale at a reasonable price inside, Dutton said, noting that the outrageous insurance costs associated with a BYOB policy don’t give the festival or the fans the best bang for their buck.

Obviously, coolers and BYOB will be allowed for those staying in the Valley View Campground, he said.

There will be a Food Truck Rally this year, special ticket prices for graduating high school seniors, VIP lounges, kick-off festivities and much more.

For more information on this year’s Blame My Roots Country Music Festival, visit www.blamefest.com.

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