Golden Ticket

In the famous tale of Willy Wonka, a coveted golden ticket awarded a lucky few a once-in-a-lifetime trip to see the magical chocolate factory.

Master Musicians Festival’s golden ticket is even better. Instead of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it’s an entire lifetime opportunity.

On Friday, Master Musicians Festival (MMF) announced that at this year’s milestone 25th year event, one lucky festivalgoer would receive a lifetime pass to Somerset’s popular two-day outdoor concert.

On Saturday, July 14, anyone who comes through the gates between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. will be eligible to register for the prize.

“We wanted to do something big for our 25th (edition),” said Tiffany Finley, MMF Board President. “We’re always looking for ways to get people to come into the festival early and see the bands that have the earlier slots. The biggest crowds always come at night or the afternoon after it cools down.”

This time, the early bird might just get the worm — or in this case, a gorgeously-designed framed record featuring the image of this year’s featured performer, John Prine, and the words “Golden Ticket” on it. It will serve as the official pass for any future festival that person wants to attend.

The prize is non-transferable and applies only to the specific winner, said Finley. There is no age limit on eligibility.

It’s also easier to get than some other similar promotions — Finley noted that Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta, Ga., requires getting a tattoo of the festival’s logo to earn a free pass.

The artwork on the pass was created by Shirer Burkett of Superfab Digital website and graphic design in Somerset

This year’s Master Musicians Festival, presented by the Don Franklin Family of Dealerships, will be Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14 at Somerset Community College’s Festival Field, and will feature two stages of performances throughout the day. Things get underway at 4 p.m. Friday with LaMay & Reese on the main stage, and at noon on Saturday with the Kentucky Americana Women Songwriters.

Tickets are $65 at the gate for a weekend pass, $25 for Friday only and $45 for Saturday only. Children ages 12 and younger are admitted free.

For more information, visit mastermusiciansfestival.org.

Things are going well so far on the sales front for MMF’s 25-year blowout, said Finley — and the golden ticket is just one more way to reward the loyal fans.

“Ticket sales three weeks ago hit the mark of what the whole festival did last year,” said Finley. “We’re expecting another big year. The weather looks great. We’re excited.”