AVON — The second annual WinterWonderGrass music and brew festival is coming back to Eagle County Feb. 21-23 for three nights of music, food, craft beer and more. WinterWonderGrass Festival is an outdoor winter music and beer festival highlighting bluegrass and acoustic roots music as well as Colorado’s finest craft breweries. The festival will take place at Nottingham Park in Avon this year.
This year’s WinterWonderGrass Festival lineup includes long-time bluegrass legends Leftover Salmon and Sam Bush, as well as Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters and Elephant Revival.
Sam Bush will join Greensky Bluegrass for a full set, expanding on the relationship and exciting past musical collaborations. Alternately known as the King of Telluride and the King of Newgrass, Bush has been honored by the Americana Music Association and the International Bluegrass Music Association.
“It’s overwhelming and humbling,” Bush says of his lifetime achievement award from the AMA. But honors are not what drive Sam Bush, “I didn’t get into music to win awards,” he says. “I’m just now starting to get somewhere. I love to play and the older I get the more I love it. And I love new things.”
Greensky Bluegrass is headlining two nights this year at WinterWonderGrass; one night with Sam Bush and one night on its own. If you’re familiar with bluegrass music, then you’re tuned in to some of what Greensky Bluegrass does.
Returning for another year are Colorado favorites The Infamous Stringdusters. Seven years ago the band’s first incarnation came together in one of the doorway jam sessions, which are the hallmark of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual convention. It’s debut, “Fork In The Road,” tied with J.D. Crowe’s release for International Bluegrass Music Association, Album of The Year. The Stringdusters also won awards for Song of the Year and IBMA’s Emerging Artist of the Year. Those are all heavy honors in the bluegrass genre. The band’s third album, “Things That Fly,” produced a Grammy nomination for Best Country Instrumental.
Grandfathering the Colorado bluegrass scene, Leftover Salmon was formed in Boulder in 1989. The group was one of the first bluegrass bands to add drums and tour rock and roll bars, helping Salmon become a pillar of the jam band scene and unwitting architects of the jam grass genre.
Wrapping up the stacked list of headliners is Elephant Revival. The five members of Elephant Revival recently produced its (arguably) best album to date “These Changing Skies.”
Additional artists include; Head for the Hills, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, Fruition, MilkDrive, WhiteWater Ramble, Scott Law and Tyler Grant, The Dead Winter Carpenters, Gipsy Moon, Old Town Pickers and more.
The WinterWonderGrass Festival will include two large, heated beer halls that will serve an assortment of local Colorado craft brews. Between main stage acts, the beer halls will heat up with live music. Beer enthusiasts will be invited to hear a daily talk by a presenting beer partner, while the kids can take advantage of face painting and other activities in the Kid Zone. Local foods, hot drinks, barbecue and other treats will be available in the vendor village. Along with bluegrass and acoustic music, the festival focuses on community and sustainability.
Tickets will go on sale on Monday at 10 a.m. The advanced festival ticket price of $109 (a limited number are on sale until they sell out) will include three nights of music, beer tastings and a commemorative festival beer mug. Kids who are 12 and under are free. Ticket prices increase to $119 after that, good through Dec. 24. VIP tickets will run $249. Single day tickets will be released pending availability. To buy tickets, visit www.winterwondergrass.com. For more information, you can also visit www.facebook.com/winterwondergrassfestival.