BY Conner North
Planet Bluegrass Ranch
For the past 23 years, the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival has celebrated the singer/songwriter and the bands that embody the story-telling ideals of folk music by bringing rich music to Colorado, growing exponentially, and creating its own culture and spirit. Each year, the promoters continually up the game of the already world class festival, which last year featured a stellar lineup with artists like Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, Amos Lee, and Iron and Wine. This year they may have outdone themselves, yet again.
With a diverse lineup for 2013 topped off by the John Butler Trio and Loreena McKennit, the Planet Bluegrass staff has once again tipped their hats to all of the long-time festivarians who make the pilgrimage to Lyons to bask in the mellow mood on the banks of the St. Vrain. With the addition of Ariana Gillis and Robby Hecht to the lineup, it’s also clear that the staff is serious about keeping young fans in the mix of the festival experience. Adding some Colorado sound to the mood is the indie folk rock of Nathaniel Rateliff.
During the off-season the staff of Planet Bluegrass, which could easily let artists come to them, travels to SXSW and the like to scout new talent. It’s this kind of passion and dedication to great music that keeps Folks Festival so relevant. Planet Bluegrass shows that the folk tradition is alive and well in not only Colorado, but throughout the country and world.
You’re going there to see: Loreena McKennit, Patty Griffin, and the John Butler Trio
You’re going to come home talking about: Shane Koyczan & the Short Story Long, Mary Gauthier, and Nathaniel Rateliff
Travel Time: (As calculated by Google Maps from Denver, Colo. to Lyons, Colo.)
Total Est. Time: 1 hour, 1 minute
Total Est. Distance: 45.9 miles
You need to know: To extend the spirit of sustainable “festivation” into the campgrounds, Planet Bluegrass is again running ‘How Green is your Grass?’ – the annual creative campsite challenge. Coordinated by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, this contest encourages all to raise the bar for sustainable camping by honoring campsites that excel in achieving the highest levels of the Leave No Trace philosophy — plus you can win passes to the following year’s festival.
Camping: Both on-site and off-site camping available, but very limited.