Before we delve into the excitement of this weekend's 44th RockyGrass Festival, we have some massive news to share... Neil Young is coming to Telluride!
Together with Telluride Blues & Brews, Planet Bluegrass is proud to welcome Neil Young + Promise of the Real to Telluride Town Park for back-to-back shows Friday, September 30 & Saturday, October 1.
Tickets for these once-in-a-lifetime shows go on sale today (Thursday, July 28) at 11am MDT, including 2-day passes, single-day tickets, and Town Park camping. These shows will mark the first-ever slated performances from Neil Young in Telluride and his only Colorado shows of the summer. Learn more at NeilYoungTelluride.com.
With the arrival of 350 RockyGrass Academy students last Sunday and another 1,500+ campers today, Lyons has once again become the center of the bluegrass universe for this weekend's sold-out RockyGrass Festival (July 29-31).
We just announced the schedule of workshops and contests in our intimate Wildflower Pavilion throughout the Festival, including the legendary RockyGrass band contest and a Saturday performance by the ArtistWorks All-Star Bluegrass Band -- featuring all 8 of the ArtistWorks Bluegrass instructors: Mike Marshall, Tony Trischka, Bryan Sutton, Michael Daves, Darol Anger, Andy Hall, Mike Block, and Missy Raines. Wow, what a lineup!
Be sure to visit the ArtistWorks booth throughout the Festival as they celebrate 5 years of the ArtistWorks Academy of Bluegrass with a raffle, free swag, and a chance to hang out and jam with many of the RockyGrass performers.
Spaces are still left in a few of the RockyGrass instrument contests. If you've ever considered entering one of our picking contests, this is your year to take home a gorgeous new instrument from Gibson, Deering, Beard, or Devereux.
The 44th Annual RockyGrass program, featuring artist bios, schedules and this year's artwork by Half Hazard Press, is now available online. Free programs (and new pocket schedules!) will be available at the Festival box office while they last.
If you're not able to join us this weekend, find an empty space on a tarp in your backyard and listen to the Festival on community radio KGNU (88.5 FM / 1390 AM) and streaming at AfterFM.com. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for photos and live updates from RockyGrass all weekend.
Finally, the 2016 the International Bluegrass Music Association announced their 2016 award nominees yesterday. With 2016 RockyGrass artists in nearly every category, we'll be doing lots of congratulating this weekend, including RockyGrass newcomers Flatt Lonesome (5 nominations!) and Sam Bush (3 nominations!).
The deeper you go into the 2016 Folks Festival lineup, the more exciting it becomes. Here are a few things we've been digging recently:
"I'll stop singing' when I have nothing left to say... and that ain't gonna happen" (Mavis Staples). The recent HBO documentary Mavis! is a wonderful portrait of the legendary gospel singer and Saturday headliner (performing before Conor Oberst).
Ukrainian "ethno-chaos" quartet DakhaBrakha (performing Sunday before The Decemberists and Dougie MacLean) is unlike anything we've ever heard. Here they are inspiring a Glastonbury crowd into a dance frenzy last month.
UK singer-songwriter Passenger (performing Friday before Lucinda Williams and Andrew Bird) releases his new album in September. Here's a shimmering new song performed live in Neil Finn's New Zealand studio, where the entire record was recorded.
Tickets and camping are still available for the 26th Annual Rocky Mtn Folks Festival (August 19-21) in Lyons. Spread the word to your Festivarian family and make your plans now to join us at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in just 3 weeks.
The Folks on Planet Bluegrass