Town of Wartrace
P.O. Box 158
29 Main St., E.
Wartrace, TN 37183


© 2020 by Town of Wartrace. 

Wartrace Music Fest

Saturday, June 6, 2020
Tickets $10 (12 and under free)

Jernigan Field    112 Bridgeview Ave.   Wartrace, TN

2020 Music Fest

The wonderful tradition of great music, wonderful food, fun activities, and great friends continues with the 2019 Music Fest, scheduled June 6, 2019 at Jernigan Field. Bring your lawn-chairs to enjoy the performances in optimal comfort... and remember parking is free.


To be announced

From the Mayor

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the 2019 Wartrace Music Fest. This year the Music Fest is being managed by our Wartrace Chamber of Commerce, an organization that strives to build existing businesses into successful retail attractions for our residents and visitors, as well as working to attract new companies to our area.


The Music Fest this year is titled “Rock N Rail: Rockabilly Fest” and will feature amazing musicians from our area. We are thrilled they will be performing in our charming town. Additionally, there will be an antique car show on site, craft vendors, and delicious food and refreshments.  Because this is a family friendly event, we will also have a kid zone featuring a new bounce castle, face painting, and other arts and crafts activities.


Please plan to say hello to any elected official you see at the event; we are here to serve our constituents and are always interested in hearing your thoughts and ideas.  I sincerely hope you enjoy your time in Wartrace and especially feel very welcome to the 2019 Wartrace Music Fest.


Vickie S. Smith

Mayor of Wartrace

MusicFest History

The first music festival in Wartrace was the brainchild of a local guitar maker Don Gallagher after he and his dad, J.W., attended the 1968 Union grove Fiddlers Convention in North Carolina. Mr. Gallagher, along with two of his friends, Wendel Hartman and Jimmy Atkins, pooled their money to incorporate and produce the Wartrace Pickin' and Fiddlers Convention to be held on August 17 and 18, 1979. J.W. passed away in June of that year so the festival was dedicated to him. 

Good weather, combined with the attendance of fans of the many acoustic musicians who performed lifted attendance to approximately 2,000 at the Wartrace Horse Show grounds that first year. Mr. Gallagher rigged lights along the north side of the field and built a pavilion for the 40 craft vendors who came. The first stage was on a flat-bed truck trailer in the middle of the field.  Musicians participated in a Friday night jam session and an all day competition with ten different categories on Saturday.

With so many national guitar picking champions in attendance, Mr. Gallagher thought the event should be proclaimed the official Tennessee State Championship.  He contacted former State Representative Pete Philips who presented a resolution on the floor of the State Legislature.  It was approved. Philips came to the next year's festival to officially make the proclamation.

As it always is, weather was a concern for Mr. Gallagher and the producers of the early festivals.  "One year there were thunderstorms all around us," he said. "You could stand in the middle of the field and see lightning in every direction you looked, but not a drop fell on the festival."  He further relates that the final  year was a total washout. "Fortunately, because of the program ads and sponsorships, we showed a small profit of $300, which we donated to the Child Development Center."

Mr. Gallagher remained involved in the festival's revival under the Wartrace MusicFest banner in the early 2000's serving as chairman of the MusicFest Committee, as well as Wartrace's mayor.  Now retired from Gallagher Guitars, he attends MusicFest as a fan and affirms, "The event remains dear to my heart."


James Anderson is a Bell Buckle native who has fronted local rock band - Speakeasy - for more than a decade. His solo studio project, named "A Studio East," keeps him busy on the production side of all things music!