By Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner
Preliminary lineups for three summer bluegrass festivals in Colorado have been announced — Telluride Bluegrass Festival (June 19-22), RockyGrass (July 25-27) and Rocky Mountain Folks Festival (Aug. 15-17) in Lyons, CO.
Banking on the success of 2007, both Telluride Bluegrass and RockyGrass sold-out in advance last year; all 3,500 tickets for RockyGrass sold out in May, more than two months in advance of the event. All camping for last year’s Telluride Bluegrass were sold-out weeks before the festival, with single-day tickets selling out the week prior to the festival.
Considered the granddaddy, the 35th Telluride Bluegrass Festival line-up includes Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby with Kentucky Thunder, the Sam Bush Band, Ani DiFranco, Bela Fleck, the Yonder Mountain String Band with more to be confirmed in the coming months.
The RockyGrass lineup, now in its 36th year, explores the roots and branches of bluegrass music from Celtic (Natalie MacMaster) to newgrass (Psychograss: Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas and Edgar Meyer) to classic (JD Crowe & The New South, The Dan Tyminski Band, Peter Rowan) to old-time fusion (Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet featuring Béla Fleck with Casey Driessen and Ben Sollee) to younger bands (Infamous Stringdusters, Chatham County Line, Bearfoot, The Steeldrivers) to the only-at-RockyGrass (Sam Bush Bluegrass Band).
Entering its 18th year, the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival features singer-songwriter Greg Brown making his 11th appearance at the festival. The “summit of the song” welcomes a stylistically and geographically diverse set of songwriters to perform along the banks of the St. Vrain River each August. The week prior, songwriters focus on the art, craft, and business of songwriting at The Song School.
Both RockyGrass and Folks Fest present approximately 22 performances over the course of three days.
All three festivals have been produced by Planet Bluegrass since 1990.