Just a week ago we were planted on our tarps, anxiously awaiting the surprise guests who would replace the injured Tony Rice at the 38th RockyGrass. It was another special weekend on Planet Bluegrass, as Lyons simmered like the sun at the center of the bluegrass solar system, where the number of pickers was rivaled only by the number of smiling tubers making their way down the St. Vrain.
Kids were learning balance on the slackline, while adults were recovering from the Horse Flies late-night cosmic throw-down in the Wildflower Pavilion. All the while the not-too-hot Colorado sun bathed us in summer and the sweet sounds of mandolins, banjos, Doc Watson, and dozens more of the world's greatest musicians...
Thanks to everyone who helped make the 38th RockyGrass so unforgettable. From all our festival volunteers to the RockyGrass Academy students to the sold-out crowd of festivarians who once again nurtured the soil and soul of bluegrass music. And as we wish Tony Rice a speedy recovery from his back injury, we'd especially like to thank Dan Tyminski and David Grisman for dropping what they were doing last weekend to fill-in as special guests.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on last weekend's RockyGrass in our online survey. Spend 5 minutes telling us about your favorite artists, vendors, merchandise, campgrounds, and ways we can continue to improve the festival – and you'll be eligible to win a pair of 3-day passes to the 2011 Festival. We look very closely at the comments from festivarians, so this is your chance to shape the 39th RockyGrass and beyond.
On the main stage last Saturday morning the instrument contestants again wowed us with their virtuosity. This year we watched several musicians qualify for the finals on several instruments – with Bryan McDowell making history by making the finals in 4 instruments and winning on banjo, fiddle, and guitar. Congratulations as well to the 2010 band contest winners the Henhouse Prowlers. They're the first confirmed band on the 2011 lineup.
In the campgrounds, Camp Zero Hero made history by being named the first 2-time Sustainable Campsite winner. Congratulations to their camp of over 20 festivarians! For their outstanding efforts, they earned onsite camping passes for the 2011 RockyGrass.
If you missed out, read about the festival at the Daily Camera, Boulder Weekly, Festivarian Forum, and Facebook. And make your plans now to join us in less than 2 weeks for the 20th Anniversary of the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival. But first...
If you're heading to Telluride next weekend to celebrate the return of Phish to 8,750', make your plans now to join Planet Bluegrass for several special celebrations high up in Mountain Village at the Telluride Conference Center.
On the eve of Phish (Sunday, August 8), kick-off the celebration with Jeff Austin & Friends. Yonder Mountain String Band's Jeff Austin will be joined by Danny Barnes, Tyler Grant, and Eric Thorin for a bluegrassy opening to the Phish festivities. Tickets are available now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.
Then the following two nights (Aug. 9 & 10) board the free gondola after the Phish sets for late-night shows from Karl Denson's Tiny Universe in Mountain Village. Ride the party late into the night with the saxophone / vocalist / co-founder of The Greyboy Allstars and his hybrid of jazz, funk, and rhythm and blues grooves, making "jazz" a dance term once again. Tickets are available now at KDTU Ticketing.
We're less than 2 weeks away from our most historic gathering of the summer: the 20th Annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival. For months, the lineup has been nearly complete with the legendary performers and storied songwriters that have defined the Folks Festival (and Planet Bluegrass) for 20 years – John Prine, Ani DiFranco, Richard Thompson, The Swell Season (Academy Award winners Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from the film Once), Jenny Lewis, Greg Brown, Marc Cohn, and many others.
But we've saved one final Sunday morning slot, waiting for a special pairing of artists to bring together virtuosic musical mastery and a deep understanding of the world's musics...
We're excited to complete our 20th Anniversary lineup with an intimate "gospel set" from Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck. Last performing together in Lyons with The Sparrow Quartet, Abby and Béla bring both a rich Planet Bluegrass history (with many Telluride Bluegrass and RockyGrass performances) and a fresh, wide-eyed perspective for their first Folks Festival performance. From Africa to China to Appalachia, these two artists will christen our final festival day of 2010 with spirit and grace.
It's not too late to make your plans to join us for one last summer weekend in Lyons. Check out the complete main stage schedule, then order your single-day tickets, 3-day passes, and camping at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. We don't mean to pressure you, but onsite camping sold-out last week and tickets continue to sell at a record-setting pace. Gather your festivarian family and get those tickets while you can. We can't wait to see you in 2 weeks.
The Folks on Planet Bluegrass