Yellow Pine, Idaho, USA – Population 35





27th Annual

Yellow Pine
Music & Harmonica Festival

Aug. 5, 6, & 7, 2016



Each year during the first full weekend of August, this sleepy mountain hamlet…




…Is transformed into the harmonica capital of the western world.

Entering its 27th year in 2016 (Friday-Sunday, August 5-7), the Yellow Pine Music & Harmonica Festival has long been one of the world’s largest (and most fun!) harmonica-related events.2014crowdFor the last 26 years, the festival has provided musical enjoyment to thousands of people in our unique rustic village of Yellow Pine, situated in the beautiful mountains of the Idaho backcountry.

While we are still honoring prospecting pioneers who carried pocket harps into the wilderness with them, this yearly event has also evolved to include many types of music.

2012 saw the festival turn a corner… We are no longer holding a harmonica contest, for which there had been fewer contestants each year for some time. Instead, we are featuring great harmonica players and other fine musicians in multiple performances, as well as the ever-popular “Crowd Pleaser” competition, on the outdoor stage.

We thank you for the feedback we heard from you since our “re-envisioning” – and we incorporated many of your suggestions in the festivals of the last few years. For instance, you said you wanted more harmonica music… and we were glad to comply! We added harmonica jams onstage for all players, special performances by favorite harmonica players and harmonica-featuring bands, a full spectrum of harmonica lessons by superb professionals, and a “Masters at Play” performance treat showcasing the skills of some great pocket harp players:


…All of which was fantastic!

Thanks again for the feedback, and keep it coming – we like hearing from you. Also, if you know you will be here for the upcoming festival and are willing to help, we love and greatly appreciate having volunteers! Just let us know you are interested and what your plans are for visiting.

No fires will be allowed this year in the free camping areas in the woods around town.

The Yellow Pine Music and Harmonica Festival is a family friendly event where the health and comfort of families and performers is of the utmost concern. We ask that people refrain from smoking in the audience and performance areas at all times during the festival. Thank you!


The Crowd Pleaser Contest will, as ever, be open to all types of entertainers and will be conducted on the free outdoor stage in the center of town. (The rules are here.) The audience selects the Crowd Pleaser winner by purchasing tickets to use as votes for their favorite act. (Encourage your talented friends to think about entering! – it’s really just a great way to perform in front of an appreciative audience.)

CrowdPleaser2015fire-guyWatch for our updated-for-2016 events schedule next year to see when the Crowd Pleaser event will be. (It has limited performance slots available, first come, first served – on Friday and/or Saturday evening). All types of performers may sign up (at set times, behind the stage) for the sets. (Performances going over the time limit will be disqualified from the contest, so prepare well!) Groups, duets, or solos, it’s all good – it just has to be live. It’s free to participate – and the winner will be awarded an excellent prize. The winning entry will be announced 30 minutes after the contest ends (and on the website, after the festival weekend is but a wonderful memory).

Crowd Pleaser winners are, as ever, determined by votes cast by the audience of the day. To vote for your favorite performer/s, purchase tickets from the folks behind the stage or staff walking through the crowd… and place the tickets in the can that corresponds with the performer’s number.

See the Events page for the estimated contest sign-up time (first come, first served) and posting of times for performances that day (determined by a random drawing). And check back closer to the event, as changes may be made (maybe even because of your suggestions?).



ALSO, we instituted a totally iconoclastic “walking music parade” to get the fun off to a good start on Friday and Saturday mornings at 10:00 – and anyone can join in (so please do!). The parades will end in jam sessions on the stage for those who want to “step up” and keep playing.

HarmonicaWorkshop2015Expect more great music workshops, perhaps like the ones on song-writing and looping & effects, along with those greatly appreciated harmonica skills and performance lessons. (And let us know if you have a desire for a different kind of training, and we’ll try to get someone to do it for you.)


Those appearing onstage in 2015 (many back by popular demand) included:

  • Stellar Tide
  • Ewald Grabher & Triple Crown
  • Dennis Cooper
  • Harmonica John Wilbur
  • Half Fast Hillbillies
  • Dick Earl’s Electric Witness
  • Roby Kap
  • Mack Lantz
  • West of Ustick Band
  • Lee Penn Sky & The Oliphants
  • David Richardson
  • Brent Palmatier
  • Jim Keezer
  • Marvin Jaramillo
  • Brandon Boulan
  • The Sevy Brothers
  • David Henry
  • Jim Roberts & Dr. Vernon Barton
  • Merle Davis
  • Jane Leche
  • Doobious Cobb
  • Wild Bill Boulder
  • Harmonica Rascal Floyd Barto

…And all this star-quality entertainment is totally free!

There will also be under-the-stars concerts on both Friday and Saturday nights by our great headliner stage band, Stellar Tide – and, if we know musicians, any number of jam sessions going on in the woods next to town!StreetDance2015

This is a family-oriented event with something for everyone. Along with a popular “Children’s Time”, there will be food and craft vendors, raffles, auctions, special stuff at the Museum, and toe-tapping music on stage each day!





And just so you know…  All of the fund-raising events of the festival go to support the festival and the Village of Yellow Pine. (For instance, funds from the Wristband sales go towards street maintenance. Monies from other elements, such as the auctions, T-shirt sales, and roving drawings, are designated for other greatest needs of the time.) So thank you very much for your support!! – we couldn’t do it without you.

So come, step back in time, camp in the beautiful Idaho mountains, dip the toes at Devil’s Bathtub, fish Johnson Creek and the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River, visit the YP Backcountry Historical Museum in the little red schoolhouse…  Best of all, relax and listen to some great music, enjoy great food, interesting vendors, and meet great friends both new and old at the gateway to Idaho’s wilderness.


For more information on the festival, and Yellow Pine, choose from the links at the top or the left-hand sidebar column… (For info on where to stay, see “Services & Accommodations” under the About page.)


Come to the mountains! – Music is ringing all around… (Silence, too)