The Tradition Continues
Updated: Aug 25
When Live Nation announced Jamboree In The Hills was going on hiatus, siblings Chris and Nina Dutton wondered what they were going to do for the month of July, as they hosted the party after the party at their family’s farm, Valleyview Campgrounds. Many country stars visited this site before or after their show: performers like Tanya Tucker, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Sammy Kershaw and more. Luke Bryan drove his truck through the campgrounds to see funnel fest and captured it all on Luke Bryan TV. He still talks about what a great time he had, most recently on the popular show Star Search. So, what did the Dutton siblings decide? They were going to continue to host country music fans in Belmont County, Ohio the third weekend in July, and blame their roots because of the tradition. Blame My Roots Festival is now an annual festival of country music in Belmont County, Ohio, founded by Chris Dutton, Nina Dutton, and Dino Giovannone.
Chris Dutton spent his summers working for his family’s Valleyview campground cutting grass, building fences, and building their marketing & social media. In his early pre-teen days, he would drive patrons (and coolers) from the bottom of the hill up to the road. He remembers fondly the glory days of working all day and playing all night all through Jamboree week. Most notably, “playing” also meant playing guitar with his brother and friends at their campsite on their homemade stage. Chris is excited to share this festival with all the old Jamboree fans near and far, as well as bringing an event to the Ohio Valley.
If you have camped at Valleyview, then you have met Nina Dutton. Now living in Pittsburgh, she still "vacations" every year by managing staff at Valleyview in the summers. Nina’s favorite celebrity spotting is the time Tanya Tucker stopped by Valleyview needing directions to a nearby farm. Nina got to ride with her to the farm and back. But even with a celebrity siting, her favorite memories of Valleyview involve all the time spent with family and friends that come together to work and hang out for the week. AND of course, all the regulars! Every year she gets to see some of her favorite campers, and this is one of the main reasons Nina is excited for Blame My Roots!
Dino Giovannone is President of Atomic Cowboy Productions. His musical experience dates back over 35 years playing in local and regional bands, as well as playing with “The Toys” and touring internationally with CBS Records recording artist Rachel Sweet. Dino has appeared on “The Merv Griffin Show,” headlined at legendary venues such as “The Bottom Line,” in New York City, and “The Roxy,” in L.A. and his extensive industry experience as an artist and talent representative makes him truly unique. Dino is an invaluable resource to the Blame My Roots Fest event.
This week, country music will fill the hills of Belmont County once again when the Blame My Roots Festival returns for its second year at the Valleyview Campgrounds, July 15-17. Headlining this year’s outdoor country music festival is super star Miranda Lambert. BMRF 2021 will also see the return of a valley favorite, Neal McCoy.
The party gets started on Wednesday, July 14th. The campground will open at 9 am. A free, BYOB concert, Valley Roots Night, will kick off at 6 pm and include hayrides, games, and snacks provided by the Belmont County Tourism Office. Local artists performing include Ashley Best, Sydney Mack, Hoard & Jones, and DJ Daner. Some of the festival’s food trucks will also be set up.
The Thursday Night concert is free for those with Friday or Saturday tickets. The entertainment begins at 7 pm with Kasey Tyndall. Thomas Gabriel, a grandson of Johnny Cash, will perform at 8 pm. The country outlaw music continues with Whey Jennings at 9 pm.
Known for his upbeat, high-energy performances, Neal McCoy will headline the Friday Showcase following a line-up that includes Jo Dee Messina, Adam Doleac, and Walker Montgomery. Luke Burkhardt, a local artist, will start the Friday show.
The multiple CMA, ACM, CMT, and Grammy award-winning Miranda Lambert will headline Saturday night’s full slate of talented artists, which also include Lee Brice, Tenille Townes, Niko Moon and Allie Colleen, daughter of Garth Brooks. Lambert won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Country Album for Wildcard. Brice won two AMC awards this year, Single of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for "I Hope You're Happy Now" with Carly Pearce. Towns recently won ACM Female New Artists of the Year.
Support from big-name sponsors and local community support has helped the growing country music festival offer different and exciting features. New this year is The Republic Services Food Truck Competition (with prizes to be awarded for Social Media Mogul, Most Unique, Best Meal, and Bet Overall), special ticket prices for graduating high school seniors sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank, and a Tailgate Zone at Main Gate A. There is also a VIP lounge and Country Cabana areas managed by staff from SeeSaw Columbus and FWD Day + Nightclub of Cleveland. The Glessner Group VIP area will include beer gardens, food trucks, and separate restroom facilities.
Blame My Roots Festival is Belmont County’s biggest party of the summer. The traditions here are deep rooted and shared through generations of fans. This is why there is still country music and campground carousing billowing out of the hills of eastern Ohio, on Belmont County.
To purchase tickets, camping passes, and merchandise or for more information, visit www.blamefest.com.