Big Muddy Folk Festival returns on November 12-13

Boonville Daily News
The Big Muddy Folk Festival will return for another season on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 12 and 13 at Historic Thespian Hall in Boonville.

The Big Muddy Folk Festival is BACK after taking a hiatus in 2020. This national renowned folk festival features multiple entertainers and will be held during a course of two days this year on Friday and Saturday, November 12-13. 

Friday’s lineup will feature Wil Maring & Robert Bowlin, Howard Marshall, Matt Watroba, and Harmony. Saturday brings us Harmony, Rick Thum, Lonesome Companions, David Grimes and Newberry & Verch.

Saturday morning and afternoon will feature music workshops of many types, at Thespian Hall, First Presbyterian, & Christ Episcopal churches. The workshop schedule is still under construction at this writing and will be available on the Friends website shortly. In addition to the Saturday morning feature music workshops, a tribute to Cathy Barton will be held by Lowesome Companions, Newberry and Verch, David Grimes and Rick Thum.

"We are so excited to be able to hold the Big Muddy Folk Festival again this year," stated Friends director Laura Wax.  "The Big Muddy has become an integral part of the arts community for Boonville and Mid-Missouri.  It is something that everyone looks forward to all year.  Having to cancel the event last year was a hard decision that we felt we had to make. But we are pleased to be able to bring great entertainment back to Thespian Hall.

“The Big Muddy is generally held the first weekend in April.  "Given the current COVID status, we didn't feel that April was the right time to hold the Big Muddy, so we shifted it to Fall in hopes that people would feel more comfortable in attending" stated the Friends of Historic Boonville.  There will be stringent COVID protocols in place for attendees.  Masks will be required when in Thespian Hall and all patrons must show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the performance.  "Our goal is to hold as safe of an event as we are capable.  The Big Muddy committee feels that this directive is our best shot at keeping everyone healthy.”

The inaugural Big Muddy Folk Festival was held on Saturday May 16, 1992.  The Big Muddy Folk Festival was a collaborative event between the Friends of Historic Boonville, David & Cathy Barton Para, and Robert Dyer.  The idea was to highlight folk music and folk performers from the central part of the United States while showcasing our unique, historic theater.  That year, there were 4 acts that comprised the evening's event.  The concert was a success and over the course of almost 30 years, it has grown by leaps and bounds.  Today, it is a 2-day, nationally renowned event that brings in performers and visitors from all over the United States.  

Tickets are on sale now. They are $30 for each evening and $50 for both nights. Admission to all Saturday daytime sessions is only $5 and free with series ticket purchase. Purchase them online at: or by calling the box office at 660-882-7977.

The Friends of Historic Boonville receives financial support from the Missouri Arts Council, Isle of Capri Hotel & Casino, and City of Boonville Tourism Commission. For more information, call 660-882-7977 or email at Consult the festival website for updated information.