Covered stage areas with scheduled shows feature 'headliner'
national and regional touring bands on several consecutive days, with overnight camping areas and other lodging usually available, food for sale, and casual jam sessions as a major feature for audience participants.
Music festivals come in a variety of 'flavors' in the South Cumberland area, including reggae, bluegrass, old time, blues, and alternative 'indie' or independent (read non-Nashville, not signed with a major commercial recording company) and 'world' music. Festivals generally cost significantly more than oprys, to help cover the costs of hiring good quality, high profile musicians. In turn, festival bookings help to create the "high profiles" of high quality musicians, and to build the fan base of recording artists, who perform without studio assistance, 'live' at festivals.
Festivals are slingshots to professional careers for some musicians. Festivals are the professional careers for many musicians.