Blue Plum needs you

Want to see the Blue Plum Festival succeed? Put your back into it.

If you have the time and the inclination, the Blue Plum Organization wants your help. The annual music and arts festival is set for June 2-3 in downtown Johnson City’s Founders Park, and volunteers are needed to make everything run smoothly.

“Ever since the first event was held in 1999, the Blue Plum Festival has been driven by volunteers, and we look forward to having the support from the community again this year,” Tracy Johnson, president of the Blue Plum Organization, said in a news release.

plumNow in its 18th year, the festival needs help in a number of ways, including but not limited to staffing the 5K race, assisting in the kids’ areas and helping with setup.

Each volunteer will receive a 2017 Blue Plum T-shirt for the effort. Those interested in volunteering with the 2017 Blue Plum Festival should visit the event website at

Blue Plum will return to a free admission structure this year, as sponsors stepped forward to help cover concerts and other costs.

Festival attractions include music and arts, food vendors, a chalk art competition, beer tents and a Ferris wheel, which was extremely popular at last year’s event.

The concert lineup will feature some Music City airtime: Music City Roots, a weekly radio show from Nashville, will broadcast live from the festival Friday night, June 2. Jill Andrews, an East Tennessee State University graduate, will perform with David Mayfield Parade during the live broadcast.

On Saturday, June 3, Andrews will again perform, followed by The Wood Brothers, a Nashville folk group.

The Blue Plum 5K will take runners through Johnson City’s streets on Friday night.

A chalk art competition will take place on the pavement in Founders and a silent disco will be in the park on Friday. In a silent disco, music is broadcast through headphones to dancers.

“There a DJ, and everyone who gets headphones is dancing, but when people walk by, it’s just silent,” Johnson explained in April. “It’s something really cool that happens at some music festivals.”

The Johnson City Omnium, a three-race bicycle competition capped off by the downtown Criterium, will again take place on Sunday. Johnson said there will be cooperation and cross-promotion of the races between Blue Plum and Omnium organizers.

Other musical acts during the festival include Symphony Rags, The Rhythm Brewers, New Orleans Suspects, Ed Snodderly, Broomstix, Seth Glier, Momma Molasses, Shake It Like a Caveman and Jordan Copas.

Check Blue Plum’s website at for more announcements.

Sponsors of the 2017 festival include Commercial Bank; Wild Wing Café; Yee Haw Brewing; JRH Brewing; City of Johnson City; East Tennessee State University; Johnson City Medical Center’s Level 1 Trauma Center; People’s Community Bank; Main Street Pizza Company; Carnegie Hotel; Doubletree Hotel; Fairfield Inn; Summers- Taylor; Reclaimed Inspired Goods; Morris-Baker Funeral Home; Ben Igou State Farm; Herndon, Coleman, Brading & McKee; Dreaming Tree Wines; Universal Wine and Liquor; and Inspire Business Interiors.