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Great 48 adjust plans for safer jam

20200111-bc-jam 2022

Rich Ferguson jams with five other musicians in the lobby the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center for the Great 48 in 2020. The annual bluegrass jam returns to the hotel, running Thursday through Saturday.

Bluegrass lovers have a reason to celebrate this week with the return of the Great 48 Jam. Organizers opted to make some changes recently to ensure the annual event will be as safe as possible.

First off, the scheduled Friday concert, featuring A.J. Lee & Blue Summit and Crying Uncle, has been canceled "due to health, logistical, and financial concerns," according to the California Bluegrass Association, which puts on the event.

Jamming will still take place in public rooms and spaces, including the CBA-designated hotel floors, but workshops will move to the ballroom area, which will be divided into separate, large (1,800-square-foot) rooms, allowing for appropriate social distancing. These large areas will also be available for jamming.

The CBA is also working with the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center to designate outdoor areas for more jam sessions, weather permitting, with comfy chairs and patio heaters.

Per state regulations, masks are required for indoor spaces, including the lobby, and attendees are required to either show proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Check in at the CBA welcome desk to obtain your wristband. 

There will also be a raffle for a brand-new Deering Goodtime Two banjo and a Paul Beard signature resophonic guitar by Gold Tone.

Raffle tickets are $5 per ticket or $25 for six tickets, available at the event. Ticket sales close Saturday, with the drawing taking place at the event. You don’t need to be present to win.

The Great 48 will continue through Saturday at the Marriott, 801 Truxtun Ave.

Visit for more on the gathering.