By Katherine Weadley
Redstone Review News Editor
LYONS – Music and festival fans flock to Planet Bluegrass events in Lyons every summer. The two biggest festivals hosted on the Planet Bluegrass Ranch are the bluegrass festival RockyGrass in July and the Folks Festival in August. This year, the tickets for all Planet Bluegrass events are selling out at a record pace, before the complete musical line-ups have been announced.
RockyGrass celebrates its 39th annual anniversary as Colorado’s oldest running bluegrass festival and Folks Festival is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year. These festivals and theirsisterproduction Telluride Bluegrass Festival, also put on by Planet Bluegrass, are selling out faster than any year in their history, according to Brian Eyster, Marketing Director of Planet Bluegrass.
Four-day passes and camping for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in June are now completely sold out, as well as single-day tickets for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Single-day tickets are only available for Thursday while they last. “This is one of the strongest years ever for the festival with four-day passes, selling out over a month earlier than any year since the early 90s,” said Eyster.
Three-day passes for RockyGrass sold out the last week of March, a month earlier than usual. A few single-day tickets for Friday and Sunday are still available, but Saturday tickets are now completely gone. Planet Bluegrass, sensitive to their locals in Lyons, always offers a local discount and sells tickets at the Stone Cup Café in Lyons as well as the Planet Bluegrass web site and never charges service fees for purchasing tickets online.
Eyster has announced several big names already such as Sarah McLachlan, the Decemberists, and Robert Plant and the Band of Joy at Telluride Bluegrass Festival. RockyGrass has announced Steve Martin (the banjo player, movie star and comedian), and a special Open Road reunion. However, people start buying tickets in December as soon as they go on sale before names are even announced.
Big news for the Folks Festival is the new trio of Bob Weir (from the Grateful Dead), Chris Robinson (from the Black Crowes) and Jackie Greene. “This will be their debut show as a trio, so there’s a lot of excitement surrounding this set,” said Eyster. While fans of the Grateful Dead and the Black Crowes will be drawn to this festival Planet Bluegrass just announced another famous singer songwriter – Jackson Browne.
Jackson Brown was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2007. While he has been performing since 1972 Jackson’s top-selling album is 1977′s life-on-the-road concept Running on Empty. His latest release was 2010’s two-CD live album called Love is Strange, highlights from a tour of 2006 Spain where he played in grand concert halls, rock venues, and intimate clubs.
More announcements for Folks Festival include the band Red Horse, which brings together three longtime Folks Festival favorites including Eliza Gilkyson (last played in 2002), John Gorka (last played in 2005), and Lucy Kaplansky (last played in 2001).
Three of the new additions to the Folks Festival, Anais Mitchell, Livingston Taylor, and Vance Gilbert, round out the songwriting faculty at the Song School. This weeklong study of the art, craft, and inspiration of song sold-out in January.
Martin Sexton, another Folks Festival lineup musician, possesses one of the most remarkable voices in popular music according to Eyster. “Power and soul delivered with perfect control. This will be his fifth performance at the Folks Festival,” Eyster said.
Planet Bluegrass often offers big names at its festivals, and some musicians get their starts at the festivals. Danielle “Ate the Sandwich” is a songwriter/singer from Loveland who has toured nationally. She will play at this year’s Folks Festival. “She is a wonderful singer-songwriter-ukulele player who is attracting international attention from her song videos on youtube,” said Eyster.
A locals’ discount for Folks Festival may be announced soon. However, Eyster said that based on this year’s speed-breaking sales of the festivals he suggests that locals and their out-of-town friends and guests get a head start on any Planet Bluegrass event.
Tickets for Planet Bluegrass events can be found on www.planetbluegrass.com or can be purchased locally at the Stone Cup Café, 442 High St., Lyons.
Katherine Weadley is a freelance writer and a librarian. She worked as a reporter for the Daily Camera in Boulder. She lives in Lyons with her family and two dogs Wolfie and Winter.Back to Top