Forty years ago the father of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe, collaborated with members of the volunteer-run Colorado Bluegrass Music Society to organize the first annual Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival at the Adams County Fairgrounds.
Forty years later, Monroe's music – and the community of bluegrass – is more vibrant than ever. As we come together this July at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons, we welcome not only bluegrass legends (past, present, future) but generations of the bluegrass family united for our grand weekend of traditional bluegrass: RockyGrass.
We are thrilled to announce the complete single-day lineup for the 40th Annual RockyGrass (July 27-29) – including the long-awaited return of the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley. A veteran of the 2nd Annual Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival (as well as the 4th and 5th), this will be Ralph Stanley's first Lyons performance since 2000.
Friday, July 27 • Sam Bush Bluegrass Band | Punch Brothers | Trampled by Turtles | Lonesome River Band | Chris Thile & Michael Daves | Bluegrass Etc. | Noam Pikelny & Friends | 23 String Band
Saturday, July 28 • Béla Fleck with Alan Bartram, Jason Carter, Ronnie McCoury & Danny Paisley | Dr. Ralph Stanley & His Clinch Mountain Boys | The Infamous Stringdusters | Bobby Osborne & the Rocky Top X-Press | The Hillbenders | Red Molly | Monroeville
Sunday, July 29 • Tim O'Brien & Friends | Seldom Scene | Peter Rowan & The Travelin' McCourys | Emmitt-Nershi Band | Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper featuring Dale Ann Bradley | Jesse McReynolds & the Virginia Boys | Gospel Set
The single-day lineup also welcomes final additions: forward-thinking progressive quartet Emmitt-Nershi Band (Drew Emmitt's own Left Hand String Band first played RockyGrass in 1983), female trio Red Molly (whom the Boston Globe describes as "tick-tight arrangements, crystalline vocals and caramel harmonies"), and young newgrass sextet Monroeville (two-thirds of whom are already Grammy-nominated artists).
Single-day tickets are now onsale. As we warned in our last email, these are the only tickets that remain – after 3-day passes sold-out last week, nearly 2 months earlier than ever before. Get your single-day tickets and camping while you can at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.
Beyond the brilliant music on the main stage, RockyGrass is a gathering of the bluegrass family – sharing tarp space, tubing the St. Vrain, trading licks in the campground, competing in band and instrument contests, connecting and reconnecting with friendships that are cherished throughout the year. And taking care of each other. If you haven't heard from your RockyGrass family in awhile, drop them a friendly reminder to make their plans right now. Once you've spread the word, reward yourself by streaming the brilliant new Punch Brothers CD.
The lottery for single-day tickets to the 39th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival (June 21-24) closed last Thursday. If you entered the lottery you should have already received an email with the status of your lottery entry. As expected, all of the single-day tickets did sell-out via the lottery. But there was good news for many festivarians: a full two-thirds of the entries received at least some of the tickets they requested.
If you purchased festival tickets (either single-day or 4-day passes), we highly recommend you consider your plans for camping or lodging very soon. As of right now camping is still available at Telluride High School (family-friendly camping), Lawson Hill, or Mary E / Ilium. But act now – we do expect camping to sell-out.
If you're still looking for tickets, have a look at the "Ticket Exchange / Swap" board on the Festivarian Forum. As well, we'll be reselling any returned tickets on Tuesdays beginning in April at shop.bluegrass.com. And looking even further ahead: watch for info about the 2012 NightGrass series beginning in mid-April.
For the second show in the 2012 Wildflower Concert Series we welcome 2 fine young Colorado artists – a favorite of last August's Folks Festival: Danielle Ate The Sandwich; and Pueblo old-timey quintet (and recent performers on A Prairie Home Companion) The Haunted Windchimes. Tickets ($12 advance) for their show on Friday, March 23 are available now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.
Our season opening show with Girlyman on Friday, March 9 continues to sell quickly. Tickets are still available, but we do expect this show to sell-out in advance. Gather your festivarian family and make your plans to spend a cozy winter evening with us inside our "cathedral of bluegrass" – the Wildflower Pavilion in Lyons.
As we continue to trod our way through this most unusual year of uncomfortably early sell-outs, we remain mindful that the true magic of these festivals resides in the loving community of festivarians. Nothing is more inspiring than watching this community come together every summer. And right now nothing hurts more than telling dedicated festivarians that that their beloved festival is sold-out. We're working harder than ever this year to listen and to learn and to dream up better ways to manage these festivals (and their tickets) now and in the future. Join the dialog on the Festivarian Forum, Facebook, or Twitter. We're always eager to hear from you.
The Folks on Planet Bluegrass