Bones Fests Overview


This page presents a brief introduction to each Bones Fest and links to more details.

In the history of rhythm bones playing, it seems to have been pretty rare that a lot of rhythm bones players gathered together for the sole purpose of playing rhythm bones. But we do just that every year. This wonderful new tradition was started by the Cowett family, and has grown every year since then. Although recently the Bones Fests have included many more people and been slightly more formal, we try to keep the feel of a family reunion when we get together.


Below are links to two special issues of our newsletter that summarize two decades of Bones Fest.  Below that are the date and location of each Bones Fest with links to a summary of each Fest and a link to the original story in the Newsletter.


Reflections on Bones Fests I to X

Reflections on Bones Fests XI to XX (Includes Ev Cowett’s BFI-X and Steve Brown’s BFXI-XX brief summaries)


Bones Fest I was held at the Cowett residence, in Greensboro, NC, on Saturday, September 20 1997. 11 bones players attended.


Bones Fest II was also held in Greensboro, NC, at Bur-Mil park, on September 26 1998.


Bones Fest III was hosted by Russ and Wilma Myers of Brightwood, VA on September 25, 1999. This Bones Fest marked the start of the Rhythm Bones Society.


Bones Fest IV was hosted by Steve and Janet Wixson in Chattanooga, TN, and for the first time in was over the entire weekend of September 22-24, 2000. This format continued for all Bones Fests.


Bones Fest V was hosted by Steve and Jennifer Brown in Phillipston, MA on the weekend of August 3-5, 2001. 44 bones players were in attendance.


Bones Fest VI was hosted again by the Cowett clan in Greensboro, NC, this time on the campus of Guilford college. This Bones Fest, held from August 2-4, 2002, included more than 50 bones players.


Bones Fest VII was hosted by Gil and Linda Hibben in Louisville, KY on the weekend of July 25-7, 2003. It appears that we had more than 60 bones players in attendance this year!


Bones Fest VIII was at the Lake Anne Plaza in Reston, VA, near Washington, DC, hosted by Sally and Terry Carroll the weekend of August 20-22, 2004.


Bones Fest IX was held in Signal Mountain and Chattanooga, TN, the weekend of July 8-10, 2005, hosted again by Steve and Janet Wixson.


Bones Fest X was hosted by Jonathan and Melissa Danforth in New Bedford, MA, on the weekend of July 28-30, 2006! This had the largest number of attendees with 89 paid. The group photo is great!


Bones Fest XI was hosted by Dave Boyles and Don Gilmore at the Riveredge Nature Center north of Milwaukee, WI on August 18-20, 2007.


Bones Fest XII was hosted by Spike Bones and Scott Miller in St. Louis, MO on October 17-18, 2008.


Bones Fest XIII was hosted again by Gil and Linda Hibben in Louisville, KY on August 28-30, 2009.


Bones Fest XIV was hosted by Kenny Wolin and Teri Davis in Old Towne Alexandria, VA on July 23-25, 2010.


Bones Fest XV was hosted by Dennis Riedesel in San Antonio, TX on June 9-12, 2011. This was the ‘Performance’ Fest

with over 9 hours of stage time at the Texas Folk Fair and the Alamo Compound.


Bones Fest XVI was hosted by Mary Lee and Frank Sweet in Orlando, FL on August 9-11, 2012.


Bones Fest XVII was hosted again by Steve Brown in Leominster, MA on August 9-11, 2013.


Bones Fest XVIII was hosted by Bill Vits in Grand Rapids, MI on August 7-10, 2014.


Bones Fest XIX was hosted by Skeffington Flynn in Shepherdstown WV on August 6-9, 2015.


Bones Fest XX was hosted by Gerry Hines in Homer, NY on August 4-7, 2016.


Bones Fest XXI was hosted again by Dennis Riedesel in San Antonio, TX on August 24-26, 2017.


Bones Fest XXII was hosted by Sky and Jessye Bartlett in Lincoln, NH, in the heart of the White Mountains, on June 7-10, 2018.


Bones Fest XXIII was hosted by Randy Seppala in Clarksdale, MS, the birthplace of the’Blues’ on May 2-5, 2019.


Bones Fest XXIV was hosted by the RBS Board and was Virtual on Zoom on July 25, 2020


Bones Fest XXV, the Silver Anniversary Fest, hosted again by the Board and was a Virtual Fest on Zoom for July 24, 2021


Bones Fest XXVI, The 26th annual Bones Fest with both in-Person and Virtual Events.


Bones Fest XXVII was hosted again by Sky and Jessye Brlett in Campton, NH on September 7-10, 2023.


Bones Fest XXVIII was hosted again by Randy Seppala in Clarksdale, MS on May 2-5, 2024.  The 25th Anniversary of the Rhythm Bones society was also celebrated




What is a Regional bones Fest?

Steve Brown’s Regional Bones Fest was held at the Red Apple Farm on October 2007.

Mary Lee Sweet’s Slide Show of Many Fests

Slide Show