Sagebrush Round-Up gets a modern makeover

Heavy metal performers at the Sagebrush Round-Up

Step aside, Pops— bluegrass will share the “County Music Hall of Fame” with heavy metal!

The weekly Sagebrush Round-Up concert has attracted generations of fans with its live country music, traditional western atmosphere and clean family fun. Now, it wants to freshen its image by auditioning grunge and death metal groups.

Out with the Old?

Sure, there’s plenty to love about the Sagebrush Round-Up. From the scarred wooden dance floor to the country décor, the ambience feels genuine and wholesome.

“That’s a good thing and a bad thing,”  Fairmont resident and regular show attendee Jim Giddy said. “You soak up great western atmosphere and listen to amazing local musicians, but at some point, you kind of want more, you know?”

While he applauded musicians like Ralph Stanley and the Matheny Family appearing on the stage, he said people want to hear something edgier than “Ragtime Annie.”

Popular Opinion

The Sagebrush Round-Up team polled West Virginia residents and discovered Giddy wasn’t alone. 58% of respondents said mixing Appalachian and country acts with grunge and thrash metal bands was a good idea.

“We’ve had plenty of square here, so let’s keep things both fair and square,” wrote one fan.

But not everything will change. No one wanted to change the kitchen. The homey concession stand, with its cheerful checkerboard tablecloths and affordable fare, will remain the same. Banjo players and other traditional musicians can still join the house band, too.

Future Plans

While it’s not clear when the change will happen, a source close to Sagebrush Round-Up said that they are encouraging Korn, Slayer and Slipknot cover artists to audition.

Another insider (who asked to remain anonymous) said, “We’ve already heard from teens in the area who really know their stuff; they know how to get that distortion, and they know how to do those growls and screams.”

Sagebrush Round-Up’s gift shop will also add metal merch. While country music fans will still be able to purchase acoustic guitars, shirts, and other Appalachian memorabilia, heavy metal trinkets and gear will share shelf space, too.

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