Next month in McMinnville, Tennessee, the 2nd annual Taste of the Underground festival will take place.  Held during the same weekend as the PBS taping of the Emmy award winning show, Bluegrass UndergroundMarch 24-26, a festival atmosphere will fill the air during the afternoons and evenings. Bluegrass Underground is filmed at a most unusual venue that is 333 feet below ground, at the historic Cumberland Caverns. Separate from the taping, music, food and local breweries will be involved in Taste of the Underground, showing off some of the local treats to visitors who are checking out the area for the first time.

On Friday the 24th, Park Theater will host Funky Friday: Welcome to the Park, which will include beer tastings from local Depot Bottom Brewery, as well as eats to go along with the cold ones. The big event on the 25th will feature a Battle Saturday at the Park. A nationwide battle of the bands, as well as a battle of chefs from local food trucks and restaurants will get underway. In addition, tastings from local Calfkiller Brewery will be featured. Music will be ongoing throughout the day, and well into the evening.  On Sunday the 26th, a VIP Brunch & Bluegrass at the Park will take place.  This will be an intimate event with limited tickets available.

Submissions for the Battle of the Bands event is now open. Band submissions are welcome from around the nation. There will be 4 finalists, who will compete in a live competition, with the winner determined on March 25th as part of the Taste of the Underground. Online submissions are being accepted now through February 24th at midnight.  The winning artist or band will get a spot performing at an upcoming Bluegrass Underground or Live From The Underground concert at the Volcano Room at Cumberland Caverns. Full contest rules and information, as well as further information regarding Taste of the Underground, can be found here. Good luck to all bands who enter!

Words by Sarah Bourque