Folks Festival stage w/ initial 2016 lineupMark your calendar: tickets and camping for the 27th Annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival (August 18-20, 2017) go on sale Monday, December 5.

In the 25 years of our "summit on the song," the Festival has relocated from Estes Park to Lyons (in 1994), grown to our current capacity of 4,000, survived a 500-year flood, and created its own culture, community, and spirit. All the while, Folks has remained true to our initial vision of spending a glorious Colorado summer weekend celebrating songs and stories from around the musical and geographic world. We can't wait to see everyone this August 19-21 for another magical weekend along the St. Vrain River.

The Festival

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 and nights of music. For these 3 magical days, Festivarians from around the world are treated like "Lyons locals."

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

From morning 'til 11pm each night, the world's most inspired songwriters share their songs and stories, projected through the best sound system at any festival in the country.

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 2016 lineup. Songwriting workshops continue throughout the festival in the intimacy of the new Wildflower Pavilion.

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.

Sun sets on the Folks Festival (photo Benko Photographics)
Sun sets on the Folks Festival
(photo Benko Photographics)

Pack a picnic -- you're welcome to bring in food and drinks, just no outside alcohol or glass. Or enjoy a wide variety of food options from our food vendors (fish tacos to ice cream, dumplings to artisan pizza), as well as New Belgium beer, wine, cocktails 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 perform their latest songs 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

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 (within perfect view and sound of the main stage) and constantly evolving rock sculptures.

Cooling waters of the St. Vrain River (photo Benko Photographics)
Cooling waters of 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 2,100) 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, along the St. Vrain at the new River Bend Campground (across the street from the Ranch), or under the cliffs at Meadow Park (an easy five-minute walk to the festival). Convenient, inexpensive parking is available at Bohn Park, just a 10-minute walk (or free shuttle bus ride) to the festival grounds.

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

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.

Make sure you're signed up for our "Notes from the Planet" emails for all the latest lineup and ticket news and follow us on Facebook for more regular updates.

Martin Sexton onstage during double rainbow at 2015 Folks Festival (photo: Benko Photographics)