It's been cold here in Lyons. Like fingers freezing on the fretboard cold. So we've been doing what any bluegrass lovin' festivarian would do: curl up next to the fire and think about the hottest days and nights of the year and... RockyGrass!
We're proud to announce the initial artist lineup for the 37th incarnation of our traditional bluegrass festival in Lyons — RockyGrass (July 24-26, 2009). One of our favorite songwriters in any genre, Steve Earle, will be bringing his Bluegrass Dukes (Tim O'Brien, Darrell Scott, Casey Driessen, Dennis Crouch) for a special set in Lyons. Hot Rize returns to the RockyGrass stage, with their touring partners Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers making their first RockyGrass appearance this century. Traditional bluegrass will be front and center as we welcome two of the music's greatest legends - the father of bluegrass banjo Earl Scruggs and the definitive high lonesome sound of the Del McCoury Band.
Between Rob Ickes (Three Ring Circle), Michael Cleveland, Bryan Sutton (Hot Rize), Ronnie McCoury & Jason Carter (Del McCoury Band), Jim Hurst & Mark Schatz (Claire Lynch Band), that's 36 IBMA instrumentalist of the year awards. Add in a few vocalists of the year (Claire Lynch, Del McCoury, Tim O'Brien), a few instrumental groups of the year (California, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Del McCoury Band), and even a few entertainers of the year, and the awards table will be overflowing at this year's RockyGrass. [Stop and catch your breath for a second...]
Darrell Scott is bringing his bluegrass band. Mike Marshall & Darol Anger will be joined by the magical Swedish string music of Väsen. The virtuosic trios of Three Ring Circle (Rob Ickes, Andy Leftwich, Dave Pomeroy) and the Kruger Brothers will dazzle us. A couple of our favorite younger bands (Sarah Jarosz, Bearfoot, and 2008 band contest winners The High 48s) will showcase the next generation of bluegrass. And Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass will positively knock us off our feet with their gritty, soulful bluegrass.
We'll have many more artists to add in the coming months, leading up to the announcement of single-day lineups (and the release of single-day tickets) in the Spring. Check out the initial lineup at www.bluegrass.com.
Then get your tickets and camping to spend the weekend along the St. Vrain River - including a very limited number of holiday-priced ($30 discount) 3-day passes. In the first week, we've already sold over half our allotment of these discount tickets, so don't wait long. If you act right this second, you might even be able to grab one of the last few Meadow Park vehicle passes.
A month before RockyGrass, the sun reaches its highest point in the sky as we convene the 36th gathering of the festivarian nation for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival (June 18-21, 2008). We're hard at work on the initial Telluride lineup. Check out our last "Notes from the Planet" for a few lineup leaks. To which we can now add: Jerry Douglas and Tim O'Brien will be opening the festival - the first of numerous Jerry Douglas performances as he celebrates his 25th year in Telluride.
You don't need to wait for the lineup to get your tickets and camping. Telluride tickets are fully refundable if returned by May 8. Get your holiday-priced festival passes now – while they last. At last check, we still had a few Coonskin RV passes still available. Order online at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.
Keep warm this winter in festivarian style. Our line of winter gear is now available at the Festivarian Mercantile - including two-tone fleece vests, fleece beanies, and the collectible 2009 Bluegrass license plate hats. While you're there check out our collection of classic festival posters, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival DVD, and our stainless steel "Sustainable Festivation" water bottles.
Tickets are now available for our other 2009 events: The Song School (August 9-13), the last few spots in the RockyGrass Academy (July 9-13), and the 19th Annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival (August 14-16). Get your Folks Fest passes now to take advantage of the holiday discount, including those coveted on-site camping passes.
Though many of our tarps are now under a blanket of snow, the festivarian community is warm and outgoing year-round at the Festivarian Forum. Connect with fellow and future festivarians on Facebook and MySpace; and be the first to hear about our latest lineup additions by following us on Twitter.
Finally, join us in welcoming Tim O'Brien to Colorado this week (Thursday, December 18) as he performs during a live ETown taping at the Boulder Theater. Tickets are still available at etown.org. We'll see you there.