The Folks Festival-Great Expectations of what it will and won’t be!
It is with genuine excitement that I look forward to the Folks Fest in Lyons, CO, Aug. 13-15, 2010. The wonderful festivals presented by the crew at Planet Bluegrass were some of my earliest festival experiences, pre-dating many of the mega festivals that exist now. I do not spend the summer following the festival circuit, but spend hard earned funds and vacation time from work attending several events that are held a reasonable distance from home. Some of these are held by promoters other than Planet Bluegrass, and experiences I have had are the reason I am looking forward to returning to what I consider the original Festivarian fold.
The venue will be one of the best Mother Nature can provide, trees and hillsides, a stream and great campsites on acreage acquired by Planet Bluegrass, to be preserved year-round, for all time. As sites go, it is small, providing space for a few thousand festivarians, with their children having great, safe experiences of their own. The event will not be held in an empty pasture or property strategically located in proximity to major interstate highways to provide access for the tens of thousands of people they are hoping to lure in with ridiculously diverse artist lists, and attractions/activities that have little to do with music, or even entertaining the children who are present.
The single stage and listening area will provide a place of relaxation, where I will have an opportunity to make myself comfortable. I will have the chance to enjoy all of the artists that are scheduled to appear there before me. I will not be forced to choose between artists appearing on multiple stages, missing artists I thought were included in the cost of my ticket. I won’t spend time and energy racing the clock between stages, trying to get my money’s worth.
The artists chosen by Planet Bluegrass will share a commonality of musicianship and artistry, and I expect to find all of the scheduled artists, even those unfamiliar, to be of interest and value to me. I will be surrounded by fellow festivarians, who will, for the most part, pay courteous attention to all artists. The bill will not be a shotgun approach to modern culture, attracting every possible person wanting to see their favorite act. The audience will not feel like a spring break party of people who are loudly distracting, because the hip-hop act or heavy metal reunion they came to see isn’t on yet. I will not strain to hear Richard Thompson over the din of semi-truck sized generators that power the carnival rides. The artistry of Greg Brown and Tift Merritt will not be shattered by the DJ’s throbbing sound system in an arcade tent 100 feet away. In the evening, Swell Season will not compete with the motorcycle Globe of Death, roaring all too nearby.
The late night hours will be for recovery, and resting for the next day’s wonderful agenda. Only acoustic jams perhaps wafting through the night air, consideration for fellow attendees being one of few guidelines or requests made by the organizers. The night will not be a constant throb of hard rock basslines coming from one ot multiple stages providing music until 5 or 6 a.m., or someone’s car stereo thumping out Free Bird at 2 in the morning.
You could say I have faith in the good people that present this gathering, as well as Telluride Bluegrass and RockyGrass at the site shared with Folks Fest. They really exist to provide dedicated audiences for quality performers and tunesmiths. And they do so in some of the most beautiful places, with partners that are as dedicated to the welfare of the planet and festival site as they are. The crowd size is limited, and the festival is a string of special moments and memories, provided by musical masters and Mother Nature herself, shared by many who have become close friends through the days.
The wonderful experiences await you, great tunes and stories, always good, earth-friendly venders and sponsors, the beautiful Rockies, and even the curveballs that nature can toss our way, (prepare for anything, it keeps things fun in any weather!). All will be treasured memories, as I fondly recall past festivals now.
If you want to witness some magical musical moments, with some friendly fellow music enthusiasts, in a true natural paradise, please join me in Lyons by August 13th, because you won’t want to miss a moment of what will happen.