Tix for the 25th Annual Folks Fest are onsale now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422
Festivarians at the Folks Festival (photo Jennifer Schumacher)
Festivarians at the Folks Festival
(photo Jennifer Schumacher)

In the 25 years since we started our modest "summit on the song" in Estes Park the festival has moved (to the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons in 1994), grown, survived a 500-year flood, and created its own culture and spirit. All the while it has remained true to our initial vision of spending a glorious Colorado summer weekend celebrating stories and songs -- from around the musical and geographic world. Mark your calendar for the historic 25th Anniversary celebration -- August 14-16, 2015. Tickets and camping are onsale now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.

The Festival

"This is probably just about the nicest festival I've ever driven up into."
—Jackson Browne

Lyons locals often look forward to the Folks Festival as their time to finally relax and enjoy summer. In contrast to the hot licks and hyper tempos of RockyGrass, the mellower moods of Folks Fest are the perfect antidote for the warm Colorado sun. Claim your space with a blanket or tarp, set down your low-back chair, and settle in for unforgettable days of music.

Darrell Scott in 2012 (photo Benko Photographics)
Darrell Scott in 2012
(photo Benko Photographics)

The festival opens with the prestigious Folks Songwriter Showcase, where a juried group of the most gifted new songwriters from around the world compete for a spot in the 2014 lineup. Songwriting workshops continue throughout the festival in the intimacy of the new Wildflower Pavilion. Music runs on the main stage from morning 'til after 10pm each night, projected through the best sound at any festival in the country.

Festivarians at the Folks Festival welcome newcomers with a space on their tarp and conversation about summer and song. Children create their masterpieces in the sandy beach next to the stage (kids 12 and under are free, of course) while parents dream their own masterpieces to the sound of acoustic guitars and lyrical songs.

Festivarians at the Folks Festival (photo Benko Photographics)
Festivarians at the Folks Festival
(photo Benko Photographics)

Pack a picnic -- you're welcome to bring in food and drinks, just no alcohol or glass. Or enjoy a wide variety of food options (from fish tacos to ice cream, dumplings to artisan pizza) from our food vendors, as well as beer and wine, and free filtered local water.

As the sun sets over the Rocky Mountain Foothills the campgrounds come alive with Festivarians from around the country eager to sing their latest creations or share in the creation of new ones with new friends. Whether you are a musician or a music lover, camps from around Colorado and around the country welcome you in with a hearty hug. Connect with your past and future tarpmates on the Folks Fest board at Festivarian.com.

A Summer Day in Lyons

In August the St. Vrain is transformed from a hub of recreation to a cooling wet paradise. The shallow depths of the river are filled with damp armchairs and constantly evolving rock sculptures.

Hanging out in the St. Vrain River (photo Benko Photographics)
Hanging out in the St. Vrain River
(photo Benko Photographics)

The relaxed pace leaves time to explore the spectacular environment of Lyons, Colorado. The historic quarry town is located just 15 miles north of Boulder in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The small town (population 1,600) is known for its antique stores, restaurants, artists, and musicians – NPR's All Things Considered calls Lyons "the Nashville of the Rockies."

Numerous camping options nearby include: on-site at the festival grounds or under the cliffs at Meadow Park (a quick five-minute walk to the festival). Convenient parking ($5 for the whole weekend) is available at Bohn Park, just a 10-minute walk (or free shuttle bus ride) to the festival grounds.

Non-musical activities in and around Lyons include numerous trails for hiking and mountain biking at Hall Ranch, Heil Valley Ranch and Rabbit Mountain; touring through Rocky Mountain National Park (20 miles up the hill from Lyons); or enjoying our rivers for swimming, tubing, or simply cooling off from the warm Colorado sunshine.

Connect with your fellow Folks tarpmates on Facebook and in the Festivarian Forum.