Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Overview:
Rocky Mountain Folks Festival is one of several festivals that take place on the Planet Bluegrass ranch in Lyons, Colorado. This mid-August weekend festival draws artists and attendees from all over the U.S., and tends to focus on singer-songwriters and contemporary folk-pop and -rock music. The setting couldn't be lovelier, as the St. Vrain river runs through the grounds. Food is varied and plentiful, and the two stages keep the crowd entertained.
Music at Rocky Mountain Folks Festival:
As mentioned above, this is primarily a singer-songwriter festival. Artists have ranged from story-singers like Guy Clark and Kris Kristofferson to contemporary folksingers like Gillian Welch and Amos Lee. This is not a festival for strict traditionalists.
Dancing at Rocky Mountain Folks Festival:
There is no dance tent at Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, but that doesn't mean you can't dance. Generally dancers keep to the sides of the mainstage, out of the way of folks who just want to kick back under the sun and watch the music.
Camping and Lodging at Rocky Mountain Folks Festival:
There are two campgrounds available for onsite camping: one directly onsite and another a couple blocks away in a public park. My experience has been that the all-night song circles take place onsite, so folks who wish to get a good night's sleep should stay in the campsite down the street. It's not a long walk to and from the ranch (maybe three to five minutes), and you'll still be camping on the banks of the river. Other camping and lodging is available nearby.
Food at Rocky Mountain Folks Festival:
There's plenty of food onsite at this festival, though it's not as varied as some of the larger festivals. They do have some vegetarian options, as well as plenty for the carnivores. However, downtown Lyons is a very short walk from the ranch, and there's everything there from local mom and pop joints to larger chain (Denny's-style) restaurants. Beer and wine are available onsite.
What to Bring to Rocky Mountain Folks Festival:
I couldn't stress enough the need for sunblock. There's not a lot of cover on the ranch, unless you're running back and forth to your tent (doable, but not really recommended). Also, you'll want a chair or blanket to sit on, a bathing suit and river shoes if you plan on taking a dip, an innertube if you want to do some floating. It's also not a bad idea to pack a light parka or umbrella and a sweatshirt just in case.
What to Expect at Rocky Mountain Folks Festival:
Last time I was at this festival, everyone (even the performers) were noting that they forgot about the sheer altitude of Colorado. Be careful when you drink alcohol or exert yourself. You don't want to get altitude sickness. You're in the mountains, so temperatures vary a lot throughout the day. Showers are available, but with long waits. Finally, since most of the activity is focused around the mainstage, this is a great festival for people who just want to lie in a field, under the summer sun, and be entertained.
Lineup for the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival:
Each year's lineup, and other important information, can be found at the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival Web site.