These days, grassroots festivals often take a back seat to larger festival outputs with more stages, big-name mainstream acts and what seems to be a general disregard for anything besides extreme fun. While this is all well and good, these monolith festival experiences leave out one key element that you’ll find at your local homegrown music festival: community. And when you stroll through the entrances of WinterWonderGrass at Nottingham Park this weekend 2/19-2/21, that component embraces everything you encounter from that moment on.
“Our goal as grassroots festival is to enhance the beauty of the natural surroundings and the already existing positive mountain community vibe. Hosting the festival nestled in the mountains with the Rockies as a backdrop behind the stage just organically highlights all the things that we love about living in the mountain communities. To tastefully deliver a vibe that only a mountain town could support,” Jennifer Brazill, co-creator of the event, explains.
WinterWonderGrass isn’t just a bluegrass music festival in the mountains; it’s a celebration of soul, community, sustainability and, of course, music. Winter festivals have come and gone in the mountains, with sleepy resort towns becoming sour after attendees turn their beautiful home into a ravaged pile of beer cans and wrappers. But not here. The town of Avon welcomes WWG each year with open arms, simply because they know that everyone from the promoters to the fans to the musicians care—and that’s a big thing.
“We are holding true to our mission statement of bringing in bands that sound great around the campfire, raw and acoustic. Bands that can strip down, unplug and sound amazing. Our goal is to deliver artists that can integrate into the community, get up on the hill and jam,” Scott Stoughton, Founder of WinterWonderGrass, states.
I look forward to bundling up every year for this magical festival, donning my favorite jackets, beanies and scarves in hopes of a light dust of snow during one of the nighttime sets, the stage lights catching the flakes and transforming them into a million tiny shimmering diamonds in the sky. This gathering of hearty souls, outdoors enthusiasts and bluegrass aficionados momentarily changes the entire attitude of the town, from a resort to a close-knit community balanced on music and memories of the good ole days. Beer tastings, food trucks and warm huts with smiling faces only add to the appeal.
In addition to their popular side stages—known for busting out a great concealed party just feet from the main stage, this year WWG added the “SoapBox Stage,” a heated and cozy stage area that will transport fans to a different time and place, with dim lighting to create the old-time coffee lounge vibe.
“We modeled it after a time when people’s voices could be heard by standing on a soapbox to tell a story. A rustic stage and backdrop, hand built from recycled materials, creates a warm ambiance for fans and artists to connect on a very intimate level.”
Bands on the ticket include: Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, The Wood Brothers, Fruition, Dustbowl Revival, Drunken Hearts, The Travelin’ McCourys, Mandolin Orange and many more!
So toss on your favorite snowsuit and be ready for a head-bobbing, toe-tapping good time. You don’t want to miss it! You can still purchase tickets here.