The Kruger Brothers perform a workshop set at the Common Ground on the Hill Roots Music & Arts Festival July 14, 2018.

AJ Blye and Al McKegg sat on yoga mats in the grass of the Carroll County Farm Museum, enjoying a cool breeze and listening to headliner The Kruger Brothers’ 2 p.m. workshop set before the main show a few hours later.

They’d recently finished an outdoor yoga class, one of a handful that took place throughout the day at the Common Ground on the Hill Roots Music & Arts Festival.


Blye, of Sykesville, said McKegg, of Onancock, Virginia, was kind enough to take a break from the musical performances and participate in her class, but McKegg said choosing to do the yoga was “not a hard choice” and that he enjoyed the class “very much.”

Blye said overall she enjoyed getting to be in the fresh air of the Farm Museum and around the music community, but teaching outside on a slanted floor was a bit of a different type of class for her.

“You just have to let it be OK. That’s life,” she said.

For both Blye and McKegg, Saturday’s annual festival was about a lot more than yoga. Blye said the day offers an opportunity to listen to live music that’s unique — what’s performed isn’t something someone can hear on the radio, she said.

“Once you hear it, you realize you want to find more,” she added.

McKegg has been coming to the festival for about two decades now. Now more than ever, with the current climate in America, the event is important, he said.

Folk trio to headline Roots Festival

The Kruger Brothers, an Americana music trio, will headline the annual Roots Music & Arts Festival at the Carroll County Farm Museum Saturday, July 14.

“In this time where the country is finding damn little common ground,” the festival means even more, McKegg said.

A small crowd of people covered the grounds of the Farm Museum throughout the day Saturday. Some swayed to music, others ate snacks from food trucks, some wandered and shopped at booths and some sat in the grass, enjoying the company of friends and family.

In its 21st year, the Common Ground on the Hill Roots Music & Arts Festival brings people from far and near to celebrate traditional arts, Walt Michael, founder and executive director, said. The day includes all kinds of different ethnic music from some of the best musicians, he said.

The festival has been seen as one of the best, Michael said, though added that doesn’t mean there’s a huge crowd.

“What it means is it’s a treasure,” he said.

Once people experience the Roots Festival, they’re looking to come back. But, people have to put their toe in the water first, Michael added.

Brett Miller, of Cape May, New Jersey, attended Saturday’s festival with his daughter, 7-year-old Anna Miller.

Miller said he’d been to the festival before, but it was years ago. He wanted to come back and bring his daughter because it’s a chance to listen to music, and, he said, the weather was perfect.


“It’s nice because everywhere you go, you can hear someone playing,” he added.