Frequently Asked Questions

These are frequently asked questions we've gathered over the years. If you have a question that isn't posted, please email these to: planet@bluegrass.com


2007 Academy band scramble (photo: Laura Klein)
2007 Academy band scramble
How will the Academy be structured?
Each day at the Academy is divided into four sessions that run from 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM. Each morning, you'll be treated to instructor jams. Elective sessions follow, including instrument instruction, mentoring sessions, and song session groups to work on ensemble material, with coaching by instructor teams. After a lunch break, you will have an instrument instruction session followed by an elective session (10-12 electives) to end your day. Some examples of elective topics are: songwriting, harmony vocals, music theory, and specific instrument styles and topics. After a dinner break, there will be evening activities offered including a band scramble, open stage time and campfire jamming.
What does it cost?
Instrument instruction is $525. Classes are sold through our online lottery - open from November 3 thru November 12, 2014. A $125 deposit is required to hold your space. The balance is due by April 1st, 2015.
When are full payments due? Can I get a refund?
Full payments for the Academy are due by April 1, 2015. Your $125 deposit is non-refundable, but your remainder payment is fully refundable before April 27, 2015. There will be no refunds after April 27, 2015.
2007 Academy basses (photo: Russell Bramlett)
2007 Academy basses
What about ability levels? Which class should I sign up for?
The Academy offers different levels of instruction for various bluegrass instruments. Please note that there are no beginner classes. Do not sign up for a class if you have never played the instrument! To be considered a novice you must at least be able to strum, pick or bow, as well as change basic chords in time and play simple melodies. Intermediate level participants should be able to play lead and rhythm parts and be comfortable with slow jamming. Advanced level participants are expected to play well with others, be competent at faster rhythms and complex lead parts, and cover material quickly. Classes with only two levels will divide the intermediate students into upper and lower levels. It is usually not a problem to switch levels within your instrument class once the Academy has started. However, you will not be permitted to switch to a different instrument.
Will any meals be served?
During the Academy, we offer two evening BBQ's on Monday and Thursday evenings; included in the tuition. Friends and family of participants may attend only if they have purchased a guest pass (see below). Every morning we offer complimentary coffee, tea and muffins to start your day. Additionally, we plan to again have a local vender on site for those wishing to purchase lunch and snacks.
 
Darol Anger's fiddle class (photo: Russell Bramlett)
Darol Anger's fiddle class
Can I bring friends or family along to the Academy?
One adult companion may stay with you during the Academy under the following conditions:
  1. You must purchase a guest pass for your guest in advance. In order to preserve the intimate setting of the Academy, guest passes are extremely limited. A guest wristband costs $200 and includes camping, evening activities and both Academy BBQ's. Children 12 and under will need to purchase a wristband ($10) if they wish to eat at the BBQ's.
  2. Guests must share tent or camper with Academy attendee, and they may not save additional space for the festival.
  3. Guests may not bring vehicles on site.
  4. Guests are not permitted in "campus" areas during the day (including the Wildflower Pavilion morning sessions) and must be respectful with regard to noise.
How do I get to the Planet Bluegrass Ranch?
If you are planning to fly into Denver International Airport, you have several options to get from Denver to Lyons. The Denver metro bus system, RTD, stops about 1/2 mile from the Planet Bluegrass Ranch gate. Another private service, the Estes Park Shuttle, makes four daily runs from DIA to Estes Park, dropping you off at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch on the way. The North Denver Airport Shuttle and Superior Shuttle both serve Lyons. For more details, contact these services directly:
  • RTD: 800-366-7433
  • Estes Park Shuttle: 970-586-5151
  • North Denver Airport Shuttle: 303-457-4646
  • Superior Shuttle: 303-399-2812
 
Can I line-up to gain entry on-site?
Yes. Because Planet Bluegrass is located on a highway and the line has grown in the past few years beyond what can safely be accommodated by the shoulder, we have relocated the line to Meadow Park. For complete details, click here.
What about the Kids Camp?
If you've been thinking about introducing your children to bluegrass, or bringing the family to the Academy this program will provide excellent instruction for ages 7-14. Classes will run at the same time as the Academy. Additional information is available at the Kids Camp page.
Directions to Lyons From DIA:
Check out our interactive map and driving directions.
2007 mandolin class (photo: Laura Klein)
2007 mandolin class
What accommodations should I expect to find?
Planet Bluegrass offers convenient on-site camping during the RockyGrass Academy and during RockyGrass. Our Ranch is situated on 14 beautiful acres of private property. It's nestled along the St. Vrain River; tucked beneath a rim of 75 foot high red sandstone cliffs. We also have a bathhouse, which offers indoor toilets, sinks and showers.
Can I bring my RV?
Yes, you may bring an RV with you to Academy and the Festival, but vehicles over 21 feet may not park in the on-site campground. In order to protect the natural environment of the Planet Bluegrass Ranch, we will not be allowing any RV's on-site during any of our events. If you purchase a Meadow Park RV pass for the festival, you may stay there during the Academy. Otherwise, we will provide you with an RV space in Bohn Park during the Academy, but please note that this campground is over a mile away from the Planet Bluegrass Ranch and there will be no shuttle during the Academy. You will need to purchase a separate RV pass at Meadow Park or Bohn to park your RV during the Festival.
Meadow Park Camping?
We also offer camping at Meadow Park across the street from our Ranch. This campground is operated by the town of Lyons and there is a fee per night until Monday morning when Planet Bluegrass takes over. If you display a Meadow Park camping and vehicle pass for the festival, you may stay for the Academy for no additional charge.
What about other vehicles and tents on site?
You may camp in a tent or vehicle (up to 21 feet) free of charge while attending the Academy in the designated Academy camping area. To stay on-site during the festival you will need to purchase a three-day festival pass with on-site camping privileges. Vehicles require additional passes during the festival, separate from the per-person camping pass. On-site camping is being sold through a special random online lottery. You may also choose to purchase an on-site camping pass through the Academy lottery. If you are not staying for the festival you may have your vehicle with you in the camping area or a tent - NOT BOTH. If you choose to have your tent in the camping area, you will be able to park your vehicle on-site in a designated area as space permits. Overflow vehicles must be parked off site.
Can I set up and stay in the same campsite for the Academy and the Festival? What about my vehicle?
Academy campers who have festival and on-site camping passes can set up and stay in the same campsite once the Academy has ended. Buy your festival, camping, and vehicle passes ASAP before they sell out. Camping during the Academy occurs in a designated area on the Festival grounds. If you don't have a vehicle pass for the Festival, you may have either a vehicle or a tent in the camping area - but not both. If you chose to have your tent in the camping area, you may park your car in the designated Academy parking area on the grounds as space permits. You will be required to move your vehicle and campsite on Friday morning by 9:00 am if you do not have festival camping passes. If you are not camping with your vehicle for the festival, you may park it in a secured lot for the weekend.
2007 fiddle class (photo: Russell Bramlett)
2007 fiddle class
What can I buy in Lyons?
Lyons is a small town where you can get the basics. Within a mile or less from the Ranch gate, you can get to the post office, a health food store, a small grocery, a pharmacy, a half dozen restaurants, several liquor stores, and several coffee shops. Within a two-mile radius you can find a dozen restaurants, several gas stations, two banks, and several antique dealers.
What should I bring with me?
The classrooms are outdoors, under shade tents, so bring raingear and warm clothing as well as shorts, a swimming suit and sunscreen. Also bring picks, rosin, extra strings, watch, audio recorder and plenty of extra batteries, a flashlight, tarp, folding chairs, camera, and snack food.
Are there phones available? Will my cell phone work?
We do not have a pay phone on the Planet Bluegrass Ranch. Pay phones may be found nearby in the town of Lyons. Cell phones users have experienced trouble with reception on the Ranch, though Verizon users tend to have the most success. Service improves once you are a mile or so away or closer to Boulder and Longmont.
How soon can I set up camp and check in for the Academy?
The Academy campground opens at 10am on Sunday, July 19, 2015. You may check in and pick up Academy materials from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM on Sunday and on Monday morning starting at 8:00 AM.
What's the weather like?
Usually Colorado is sunny and warm with an occasional afternoon thunderstorm - but not always. The phrase "if you don't like the weather just wait fifteen minutes" is truly appropriate in Colorado. It's good to be prepared for a little rain, wind, and cool evenings. Daytime temperatures usually are in the 80s and 90s and at night you can expect 60s and 70s.
When will instrument building classes begin? What do I need to bring?
Mandolin and Mandola building classes will start at 2:00 PM, Sunday, July 19. The first item of business is to select your instrument kits and receive an overview of the entire building process. Everything will be provided for you, so come on time ready to start! You can set up your camp after class if necessary.
2007 Kids Camp students (photo: Russell Bramlett)
2007 kids camp students
Can I bring my pet?
Sorry, no pets are allowed on site. Call us for a list of local kennels if necessary. Here is a list of some local kennels:
Hotels and other places to stay
There are a number of lodges and motels in the surrounding area, which offer a wide range of accommodations. Visit our lodging page for more information.