ROMP Fest returns to Daviess County at new month with new rules

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DAVIESS COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) After being a virtual event last summer, Romp Festival returns to in-person performances at Yellow Creek Park in Owensboro this week.

This year’s festival is at a new time of year and with new rules.

As the stage was getting set for the start of four nights of performances here at Yellow Creek Park, the first festival goers arrived this morning for its return. But this year’s edition has a different feel as its held in a different time of year.

Before bluegrass music fills the air, the sounds of campers and generators setting up across the park is in the air.

“It’s the best vacation we have all year, the most relaxing,” said Lisa Diercks, who arrived from southern Illinois for the festival.

“We’ve been looking forward to it all year,” adds Jeannine Davis of Vincennes, Ind.

The first campers arrived this morning to get the prime locations for four days of music. Some say it didn’t seem as busy as it did on other opening days. But others say more could come later.

“Not as many people this year, which didn’t surprise me because of school being in,” Davis said.

“Maybe they’ll come in a little later. They’re working today,” adds Camilla Martin of Boonville, Ind.

People had to show proof of vaccination or a negative covid-19 test before they were allowed to enter.

“It was painless. We had our COVID cards and stuff, and it went very smooth. It went better than we thought,” said Tommy Diercks, who arrived from southern Illinois.

Chris Joslin of the bluegrass music hall of fame and museum says it’s also different for patrons when they get in the park, with a reconfigured festival grounds that’s more open to encourage more spreading out.

We’re just messaging to folks, be mindful when you’re in the festival field to make some distance between you and your neighbor, and to be courteous in that matter. If you’re in a high traffic area, consider wearing a mask,” Joslin said.

Joslin also says he’s unsure of how many will attend this year, adding that moving this year’s edition from June to September made it better for some to attend, but not others.

(This story was originally published on September 15, 2021)

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