Words by Timo Mitchel
Winter Wondergrass has cemented itself as a staple for Colorado music and beer lovers. What started in a parking lot of Crazy Mountain Brewery in Edwards, CO back in 2013, has evolved into a sold-out multi-ski-town festival that sees skiing, craft beer, and today’s best bluegrass collide.
The move from Avon, Colorado’s Nottingham Park to Knoll Lot in Steamboat Springs was a controversial but ultimately crafty move by the festival organizers. This is the only festival in the country that will now offer skiing and live music as joint experiences. Vail Resorts was not interested in music on the ski mountain, and their loss is our — the artists, patrons, and organizers traveling to Steamboat — massive gain.
The festival is now more exclusive than ever, and it taps into a new market without losing the loyalty of its Eagle County fan base. I remember daydreaming with friends, years ago, about a festival that takes place in a bowl on a large ski mountain and offers skiers and riders a chance to ski in to a live music performance at the bottom of the hill. Those dreams are now reality thanks to Bonfire Entertainment and company. Attendees are sure to be treated to pop up performances on the ski hill each day, and the main event will be virtually a ski in ski out apres party!
The extravagance of the venue warrants considerable mention, but I also must applaud the talent. Fruition, Railroad Earth, Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, and The Infamous Stringdusters represent the heavy-hitters on the scene. But, don’t sleep on the undercard of up and coming acts like Cabinet and Brothers Comatose.
Similarly, major craft beer players like Avery, Great Divide, Oskar Blues, and Left Hand will be serving beers throughout the weekend. The undercard of brewers including Telluride, Epic, and VBC will leave enthusiast’s taste buds both curious and satisfied throughout the weekend. We’ll see you in Steamboat.