The Planet was awakened this morning by the glory of Moira Smiley and 150 voices singing in the round. The Wildflower Pavilion quaked and vibrated with chants and song. After a year of waiting and preparing, The Song School is underway - with inspiration lurking around every rock and tree - and, thus, we begin the magical ascension into this weekend's Rocky Mountain Folks Festival (Aug. 15-17).
If you haven't heard: due to circumstances beyond our control Jakob Dylan has cancelled his Folks Fest performance. We're as disappointed as anyone. But it's given us an opportunity to put one of our all-time favorite performers, Tim O'Brien, on the Sunday evening stage,
And... it's allowed us to add one of our favorite indie songwriters to Sunday's lineup: John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. Described by The New Yorker as "America's best non-hip-hop lyricist," John will be performing a rare solo set at 2:15pm on Sunday. John jumped at the opportunity to play the Folks Fest, in part, because he's a huge fan of fellow Festival artists Missy Higgins and KT Tunstall. We know the feeling.
We've added a third full day of intimate performances throughout the Festival in the Wildflower Pavilion - including Gregory Alan Isakov (2007 Telluride Troubadour winner), Priscilla Ahn, Madi Diaz, Dan Craig, and many others. The complete main stage and Wildflower workshop schedules are now available at bluegrass.com.
Then on Saturday night, August 16, one of roots rock's most energetic and lively bands, Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers, will host the first ever Folks Fest late-night MoonGrass show in the Wildflower Pavilion. Tickets for this intimate performance are just $10 and they'll be available in advance at shop.bluegrass.com or at the door on the night of the show.
Tickets and camping (including a precious few remaining on-site camping passes) are still available for this weekend's "summit on the song" here under the cliffs in Lyons - 800-624-2422 or shop.bluegrass.com. Celebrate the last big weekend of the summer, dangling your feet in the river, listening to KT Tunstall, Amos Lee, Nanci Griffith, Greg Brown, Dar Williams, Josh Ritter, Todd Snider, and many more. Get your tickets right now - as always, we charge no handling fees of any kind, and we'll conveniently hold your tickets at will-call.
If you're joining us this weekend, don't forget to bring all your reusables - vintage beer cups, water bottles, utensils, napkins. Spend a little extra time planning out your sustainable campsite, and you might walk away with on-site camping passes for next year's Festival from our How Green Is Your Grass campsite challenge. We're offering a free New Belgium beer token just for nominating a fellow campsite!
If you're driving to the festival, have a look at our online festival map. Or, even better, consider riding your bicycle to the Festival. Our friends at Bluegrass By Bike are organizing a group ride to Lyons, including a free gear shuttle to the Festival. As an added incentive, the first 10 riders to sign-up will receive free passes to the Festival! For more info, email email@example.com or check out the thread on the Festivarian Forum.
It's hard to believe it's been 2 weeks since Carolina Chocolate Drops got us all up on our feet at RockyGrass. Thanks to everyone who joined us for the 36th Annual Festival. If you joined us, take 5 minutes to complete a quick online survey about your experience. We look closely at all the comments we receive every year as we continue to evolve the Festival year after year. As an added bonus, we'll give away a free pair of passes to the 2009 Festival to one randomly-selected survey respondent.
Congratulations to the winning campsite of the RockyGrass sustainable campsite challenge: Brando and Amando. They won a pair of onsite camping passes for next year's Festival. We received 14 entries in this year's contest, with deserving finalists announced each day.
Finally, it's about time to start looking toward the fall... Tickets for the autumn schedule of shows in the Wildflower Pavilion are now available. We'll kick things off with one of Colorado most joyously inspired new bands - Paper Bird - on Sept. 11. This 7-piece acoustic band combines stunning 3-part female harmonies with the colorful backup of trombone, banjo, guitar, and upright bass. Seriously, give a listen, they're infectious - you won't want to be anywhere else on this night.
Then the following weekend (Sept. 20) we're welcoming Adam Aijala & Ben Kaufmann (of Yonder Mountain String Band) for another unforgettable Mabon celebration in the Wildflower, with camping and a special Mabon feast. Check out wildflowerpavilion.com for the complete fall schedule, which also includes The Packway Handle Band (Oct. 3), Darrell Scott (Oct. 10), The Greencards (Oct. 18). Tickets for all these shows are on sale now.
But first... This weekend's forecast calls for late summer: mid-70s and sunny. So gather your Festivarian family, load up your red wagon with tarps and supplies, and join us in Lyons. The magic won't be the same without you.