It's been an icy January on Planet Bluegrass. The Lyons sun has been slowly melting each patch of snow just enough to add to our growing ice fields. Elk and fox prints lie preserved in alternating layers of mud and ice; last summer's festivarian rock sculptures stand caught in the melting ice shelves of the St. Vrain.
But inside our offices, the mid-winter hustle is beginning. Each day's mail carries another stack of Telluride Bluegrass tickets to lucky festivarians around the world. RockyGrass holiday tickets sold out earlier than ever, and the 20th Folks Festival is setting new early season records. We're talking to artists, listening to CDs, researching new carbon offsets, learning a few new banjo licks for next summer's jams.
For soon the ice will give way to more snow, giving way to the big melt, the runoff, the mud, and just 5 months from now: the summer solstice...
Less than 10 days remain to purchase your 4-day passes for Telluride Bluegrass at the "holiday" price - a $30 discount. We can't promise they'll be available at the end of the month: for when we sell our allotment of holiday tickets, they're gone.
So don't wait any longer to spend the summer solstice with Sam, Béla, Jerry, Edgar, Tim, Del, Peter, Leftover, Yonder, Josh Ritter, Edward Sharpe, and so many others. Order tickets for your festivarian family at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. As always, we charge no handling fees and Telluride tickets are fully refundable if returned by May 7. Forward this message to your tarp mates and they'll raise a vintage beer cup in your honor this June.
Camping is still available at Telluride High School (family camping, walking distance to the festival), Lawson Hill (down the valley floor bike path from Telluride), and Mary E/Ilium (riverside forested camping serviced by convenient free shuttles).
Or if sleeping outdoors isn't your thing, a number of our lodging partners in Telluride and Mountain Village are offering "early bird" discounts if you make your reservation in the next few weeks. Check out the deals from: Telluride Alpine Lodging, Hotel Telluride, Capella Telluride, Inn at Lost Creek, and the Lumiere Hotel. Many of them are offering a savings of 20% or more.
We're not quite ready to share our next round of lineup additions - but keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter, and the Festivarian Forum for the latest news.
In the meantime, check out some of this year's artists: listen to the recent Carolina Chocolate Drops NPR performance, preview the 4-song Mumford & Sons EP (so awesome!), or watch Yonder Mountain String Band's national late-night television debut on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
A lot has happened to Jonatha Brooke since she performed at the 4th Annual Folks Fest with The Story. She embarked on a hugely successful solo career, she released a string of critically-acclaimed albums on her own record label, and in 2008 she was invited to explore Woody Guthrie's unrecorded archive to record an album of new songs using Woody's words (check out the NPR interview). We're thrilled to welcome Jonatha to Lyons this August to teach at The Song School (August 8-12) and perform at the 20th Annual Folks Festival (August 13-15).
Ani DiFranco, The Swell Season, Marc Cohn, Richard Thompson, The Waifs, and many more still to be announced will be joining us on the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons for this historic 20th Anniversary festival. Songs and stories, sunlight and inspiration along the St. Vrain River.
Holiday-priced three-day passes for Folks Fest ($30 discount) are still available. But we will run out of them earlier than ever before. If you usually wait until mid-February, you're probably waiting too long this year. Take the next step at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.
We're also excited to share the Song School week with multi-instrumentalist, musical madman, and masterful curator of creative energy Joe Craven. If you've ever wishfully penciled "Song School" onto your life's todo list, start making plans now for August 8-12 in Lyons. Spaces are already over 2/3 full for our week-long exploration of the art and craft of songwriting. Reserve yours now.
"With a voice like a wrecking ball made of honey" (MusicWorld) Patty Loveless will make her Planet Bluegrass debut at this summer's RockyGrass. The Kentucky-born new traditionalist extraordinaire recently released her second bluegrass album, Mountain Soul II, with a stellar band that includes Del McCoury, Rob Ickes, Bryan Sutton, Emmylou Harris, and others.
Patty joins a RockyGrass lineup that already includes Doc Watson & David Holt, Tony Rice Unit, Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, Jesse McReynolds & Bobby Osborne, and many others.
Three-day passes and camping are now available to spend the last weekend in July (July 23-25) with us in Lyons. Order yours now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. We'll have many more lineup announcements in the coming weeks leading to the release of single-day tickets later this winter.
The first notes on a 2010 Planet Bluegrass stage are going to come from 4 guys from North Carolina gathered around a single microphone. Those notes are going to sway and swoon and rock with a hint of country's alt-side as only Chatham County Line knows how to do. Tickets are now available for our opening night in the Wildflower Pavilion in Lyons: Saturday, March 27. A bonfire next to the river, drinks at the Wildflower bar, and one of our favorite young bluegrass bands - a band equally admired by the Washington Post, No Depression, and Pitchfork. And stay tuned: we have a bunch more Wildflower shows in the works for this Spring.
We are now accepting volunteer applications for all our summer festivals. If you'd like to give back to the festivarian community and play a vital role at our festivals, we'd love to hear from you. Learn more about volunteering for Telluride, RockyGrass, or the Folks Festival.
Are you following us on Facebook and Twitter yet? In the past 2 weeks we've shared: a super sale on Sarah Jarosz's debut CD; and free streams from Dave Rawlings Machine and Patty Griffin. In turn, you've joined us in a great discussion of 2009's best albums and concerts, and stories about this year's festival artists. Help us reach the next milestone of 4,000 Facebook fans and 1,500 Twitter followers by inviting us into your online circle of friends.
Enjoy these winter days and nights. Soon we'll all be together again under the warm Colorado sun. We can't wait to share it with you.
The Folks on Planet Bluegrass