Five days of fun!
The fest is at the Welk Theater, soon to be renamed, but apparently to continue operating. It is south on 165, a couple of miles from 76. Nearby resorts would include Fairfield at the Meadows, Fairfield Mountain Vista, Sunterra Plantation, and Pointe Royale. Not that it matters, as the crowds are still far away in very early April, and the other activities there mean that people are arriving over a long period. There are enough people who attend that there is some traffic control. It works well enough that most times, it looks unnecessary.
There are exhibit tents set up in part of the parking lot. In one, there are continuous free shows every day. Some of the Acts who will perform in the theater also perform in the tent, and there are quite a few others that I suspect don't have a regular show. All fun, like a jam or (age showing) hootenanny.
In another large tent are displays sponsored by TV and radio stations, a few perfomers and attractions, and some other commercial ventures. We scored some water from Andy Williams' booth on a couple of days.
Another tent has a craft show and perhaps some flea market items. We don't need any more arts and crapts stuff so we didn't exactly study that tent.
Finally, there is a food tent. There is some decent food for sale here, you just have to find it. Prices were, IMHO, fair for the time and location; not cheap, but certainly not outrageous.
There also were some outside activities last year. There was quite a display of lumberjacking "stuff" including some saw competition logs and an axe throwing target. We never hooked up with the activities there other than to watch a few minutes of amateur axe throwing so I'm sure I missed some nuances on the lumberjack display.
Inside - the Shows
Each day features a show lasting at least two hours (I never checked my watch) which includes performances by ten different Branson performers. So by the end of the fest you will have seen fifty performers! Usually, each does two or three numbers, so you could have an idea what to expect when you go the see their regular shows.
Each day there will be a different set of presiders/masters of ceremonies. I remember local radio personalities one day, and on another the show was hosted by Ed Ames and Carol Lawrence, who had a show this year but are not Branson regulars.
Some of the big names make appearances, and some don't. There are over 120 shows in Branson, so a sample of 50 wouldn't include half of them. But we saw quite a few in the outside tent so our total last year would easily have been 65 or 70.
Summary - Big Deal?
This kind of fest is not for everyone. I doubt that locals regard it as a big deal. TUGGers with children in school will find it very difficult to attend. Barb and I are retired, have a couple more timeshare weeks than we can use, and Branson is an easy trade and an easy drive, so we have tattooed this week onto our schedule. But your mileage may vary.
I haven't found a good site yet. The first one locked my computer up (or at least, rendered it slow beyond redemption). Google it up, you will find it. You are probably running a newer computer and an operating system newer than Windows98.
This sounds like a great opportunity for a little culture.
This sounds like a travel trip for shaggy, I love that kind of stuff and am a real hoarder of arts and crapts. Think I'll think of this one for a vacation. Not heard of this before, glad you mentioned it. Thanx, Leslie