ROMP, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum’s internationally known festival, should be starting on Wednesday with 25,000 or more fans from around the world enjoying the music in Yellow Creek Park.
However, the coronavirus pandemic caused the festival to be postponed until 2021.
But now, ROMP is going online with 20 hours of performances from past years being streamed on ROMPFEST.com, Facebook and Instagram.
Carly Smith, marketing director for both the Hall of Fame and ROMP, began streaming performances from past years on Monday.
She’ll continue doing that through Saturday, she said.
“We have stuff dating back to 2004, when it was at English Park,” Smith said.
There’s also footage from 2010 and the past three years, when Western Kentucky University PBS taped the performances.
“It’s a great mix,” Smith said. “And we have some of the legends’ performances from 2005 and 2007. We’ll be releasing some footage each day.”
She said the older entertainers will be featured earlier in the day and the younger ones in the evening.
“We have a lot of images from the past 17 years that we’ll be showing,” Smith said. “We’ll have some special merchandise and some ticket giveaways for next year.”
The virtual ROMP will be on the “Wish You Were Here” section of ROMPFEST.com.
Smith said she has friends who plan to camp in their backyards and watch the performances online.
“I was out at the (Yellow Creek) park this morning,” Smith said. “It looks great. It’s a shame we’re not going to be there.”
“Live From Here With Chris Thile,” the American Public Media radio show that was heard by 2.6 million listeners each week on nearly 600 public radio stations, online and on the American Forces Networks, SiriusXM Radio, Radio New Zealand and KPRG in Guam, was to have been recorded at ROMP on Thursday night.
After this year’s ROMP was canceled, the Hall of Fame was hoping to book “Live From Here” for next year.
But American Public Media canceled the show earlier this month.
The announcement said that with public performances not being allowed, the show couldn’t continue.
Thile said in a statement, “Over the weekend, I was informed that American Public Media will no longer be producing the show. While this news fills me with sadness, I understand the decision, as my extraordinary teammates and I conceived of ‘Live From Here’ as a celebration of live, collaborative audible art, and there’s just no telling when it could be that again.”
The final live show, retitled “Live From Home,” aired on June 13.
Smith said she hopes when the pandemic is over, either American Public Media or another radio network will resurrect the show.
Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@ messenger-inquirer.com