26th Annual Bluegrass First Class – February 18, 19, and 20, 2022. Reserved Seats and General Admission tickets on sale October 15th at 10:00am. For Hotel Reservations contact the Crown Plaza Directly at 800-733-3211 (ask for in-house reservations). Alternate hotels available upon request.

About Your Host


A native of Western North Carolina, Milton Harkey's lifelong love of bluegrass music often finds him traveling down the road... promoting, producing or just plain listening to the sounds of music he loves so well. He developed a good ear for bluegrass music and as a producer of several bluegrass music events today, his audiences get the benefit of hearing exactly what Milton likes to listen to.

He grew up in Asheville, NC - where Bill Monroe begin his radio career on WWNC Radio. His earliest influences were Flatt & Scruggs, Porter Wagoner and the Wilburn Brothers every Saturday afternoon on TV. He and his Mother sang gospel together sitting on the piano bench as she played. He got "hooked" and these bluegrass roots set the stage for the rest of us. 


In addition to producing his own events, Harkey has been instrumental in helping to establish other forums for the preservation and continued support of bluegrass music. Here's the short list of his accomplishments and what is year to come:

  • One of the founding fathers of the IBMA (June, 1985) and Chairman of the Board for 3 years.

  • Originator, founder and producer of The Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Family Style Bluegrass Festival in Denton, NC ( for 17 years ).

  • Founder and host of the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass showdown, a talent search for bluegrass and acoustic bands throughout the US and Canada. Pizza Hut was the Title Sponsor.

  • Founding member of the South Carolina Bluegrass Society, Inc. and Chairman of the Board for 3 years.

  • Producer of several bluegrass festivals: Fox on the Run Bluegrass Festival in Lexington, Little Mountain, SC, founder of the Kinston Winter Bluegrass Festival in Kinston, NC in conjunction with the Eastern North Carolina Bluegrass Association.

  • Disk jockey for 1 year with a 3 hour weeks show at WCOS-FM Radio, a 100,00 watt station located in Columbia, SC. 

  • Event producer at the Quarter Moon Listening Parlor in Columbia, SC.

  • Harkey continues to spend his spare time working with young bluegrass artist by providing the opportunity to showcase their talents and achieve the recognition of seasoned bluegrass audiences nationwide. 

Stay tuned: The Upcoming Bluegrass Concert Series is being produced several times each year at venues such as the Old Rock School in Valdese, NC and Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, TN along with some other collaborative endeavors that feature major artistic performances. When it comes to Milton Harkey and bluegrass music, you can expect the best and you'll never be disappointed. Everything he does is First Class!