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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Folks Fest 2019

August 17, 2019

Violent Femme

Laura Cortese

Folks Fest 2019

Kathy and I attend a lot of music festivals all over the country, they each have their charms, but for my money the best and my most favorite to attend is the annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival held each year at the beautiful Planet Bluegrass property along the banks of the St. Vrain River in Lyons, Colorado. We have been attending off and on for more than fifteen years, though it has been a couple of years since we were there and it was awesome to be back.

Chuck, Kathy and Bruce


What makes this my favorite festival?, certainly others are much larger, draw much bigger names, may be in fancy big city locations with all sorts of cool VIP amenities, but this small festival consistently draws talented, though often lesser known acts and feature a vibe that is truly unlike any I have experienced. This is more a three day community with great music thrown in.

Mary Gauthier

The family friendly casual vibe is unlike anyplace or any event that we attend and the location is beautiful, the festival is clean well-organized, relaxed and full of some of the nicest and most easy going folks you will ever encounter. It is never too crowded, there is always plenty of room for everyone and they go to great lengths to keep things equitable and organized.


Patty Larkin

Michael, Andy and Chuck

The daily scramble for tarp spots is a perfect example. Each night around midnight, the organizers hand out random numbers to campers and others waiting for spots in the next morning’s tarp line. The next morning those with numbers line-up in very organized fashion according to the random draw for the very orderly admission scrum as people rush in to throw down 10X10 tarps to grab their preferred spots.

Bruce, Michael and Chuck

Dakota and Kathy

We were fortunate to have friends camping on site and managed to get decent numbers in the tarp line each day and Kathy ran in and grabbed us a good spot along the river each day where we could set-up our pop-up that provided us cover and a home base each day. It all worked to perfection. Dakota, Sloane and I followed with the non-numbered masses loading in chairs, coolers and such to complete our home base. I was psyched to have Dakota on hand to experience the festival, she normally is teaching at this point in May, but is taking some time off and was able to come along.

Michael and Sloane

Lizzie and Sloane

We have a number of local friends who joined us for some or all of our weekend at the festival, including our friends Bruce and Chuck, Andy, Kate and her daughter Lizzie and our friend Jill. It is always like old home week at Folks Fest and we just love the people there.

Andy, Chuck and Bruce


We also love the incredible food, the folks at Planet Bluegrass host some of the yummiest food vendors of any festival anyplace and I am never at a loss for delightful food options. Beer is also plentiful with nearby Avery Brewing acting as the beer sponsor this year.

Sloane and Michael

Of course the main attraction is the musical line-up and this year was another outstanding bunch of mostly folk-type artists who played at the two stages, the main stage and the smaller, lovely wildflower pavilion. Friday’s main stage line-up included Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards, Daniel Rodriquez (Formerly of Elephant Revivial), Patty Larkin, the Oh Hellos, Mandolin Orange and Ani DiFranco.

They were all various levels of awesome, but my favorite of the day was Mary Gauthier’s set in the Wildflower Pavilion where she focused on songs from her Grammy winning CD, “Rifles and Rosaries”. It was a magnetic, beautiful set, probably my personal highlight of the weekend.

Saturday saw Kira Small, the Small Glories, The Steel Wheels, Haley Heynderickx, the East Pointers, the Violent Femmes and Ben Folds on the main stage. I was probably most excited about seeing the Violent Femmes as I never saw them during their 80s heyday, but Ben Folds was also on point and a beautiful way to cap off a truly wonderful and amazing weekend.

Violent Femmes

Ben Folds

We opted to skip Sunday, and enjoy a little of Estes Park and the surrounding area instead, a tough but ultimately correct decision. As much as I love Folks Fest, I also love checking out the place where we were visiting and allowing Dakota and Sloane a chance to see something other than the festival site, I sure hope we get back to Folks Fest next year, I know I will be buying the early-bird tickets as soon as they go on-sale in December.


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