Some called it the wettest Folks Festival ever. Some called it "Soaks Fest." But on Saturday night, as a dramatic double rainbow appeared during Greg Brown's main stage set, one festivarian called it just right: "No rain, no rainbows." To which we added on Sunday afternoon: "no rain, no kids covered head-to-toe in mud..."
Through it all, we were reminded why Festivarians are the greatest music fans in the world. Singing along to Dar Williams' "Iowa" under layers of tarps and umbrellas and jackets; doing the Dr. Seuss Dance to Patty Griffin and Amos Lee in sopping wet clothes, holding that partner extra close for warmth; and grinning through it all, fostering tighter bonds with fellow Festivarians and even deeper memories for years to come.
Of course, having three impeccable days of music certainly helped. From Josh Ritter's neverending grin on Friday afternoon, to Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers' rollicking late-night show on Saturday, to a packed Wildflower Pavilion set from Ellis, to KT rocking the Planet on Sunday night. So many highlights. Share yours over at the Festivarian Forum, or read a few reviews of the Festival.
Congratulations to all the finalists in our Folks Songwriter Showcase. Check out the websites for each of these talented artists, we expect we'll be hearing lots more from them in the future. Starting with... Chuck E Costa. Chuck was the 1st place winner of this year's contest - winning a custom Hayes guitar and a main stage spot at next year's Folks Festival - August 14-16, 2009.
If you joined us for Folks Fest, take 5 minutes to complete our online survey (and you might win a pair of tickets to next year's Festival). We listen closely to all comments from Festivarians as we strive to improve the Festival year after year. And if you attended this year's RockyGrass or Telluride Bluegrass festivals, share your thoughts about those events in their respective surveys - Telluride survey, RockyGrass survey.
Congratulations to our campsite challenge daily finalists: The Green-Go Girls, Eric Paul, Sandra Stringfellow, and Lisa & Cheyene. These campsites were inspiring models of sustainable camping - using rainwater to wash dishes, biking 30+ miles to the Festival, and even carrying their compost home to use in their own gardens. Congratulations to the Campsite Challenge winners, Lisa and Cheyenne and their "Her Land" campsite, who impressed us by offsetting their travel emissions from Utah to Lyons by planting 40 trees before they left for the Festival.
Be our friend on Facebook. With the festival season ending, we spent a few minutes in front of the computer to create Facebook pages for our events, including the Wildflower Pavilion series and the Planet Bluegrass festivals. If you're a Facebook user, submit your own photos / videos, share your thoughts, and connect with fellow Festivarians.
Tickets are now available for the five shows in this fall's Wildflower Concert Series. We kick things off in just 2 weeks with one of our favorite new Colorado bands, Paper Bird (Sept 11). This 7-piece band combines old-time and 1920s jazz with modern folk-pop songwriting and stunning 3-part female harmonies. After touring the country all summer with New Belgium's Tour de Fat, we're thrilled to welcome them to Planet Bluegrass. Bring a few friends out to the Ranch to dance and shout as we're all introduced to this joyous young band.
Then the following week we welcome back Adam Aijala & Ben Kaufmann (of Yonder Mountain String Band) for a special duo set to celebrate the Mabon on September 20. We'll offer special Mabon meals, overnight camping, a post-show bonfire, and an enchanting day on the Planet Bluegrass Ranch to mark the official end of summer. Tickets and camping are still available, but be warned: this Wildflower show will definitely sell-out.
The Wildflower schedule continues with the progressive Georgia bluegrass of the Packway Handle Band (Oct 3), a solo evening with Darrell Scott (Oct 10), and the international roots music of The Greencards (Oct 18). We'll offer beer, wine, and other beverages at all shows, along with bonfires when the weather's right, and the beautiful setting of the 300-seat Wildflower Pavilion under the cliffs of the St. Vrain in Lyons. Tickets are available now - with no service charges of any kind - at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.
Finally, as 80,000 people make their way to Denver's Mile High Stadium today for the final day of the Democratic National Convention, they'll be treated to a set from our friends Yonder Mountain String Band. YMSB is the first band on the stage that will conclude tonight with Barack Obama's acceptance speech. Congratulations to the band for being honored with this historic command performance.