Guest Author - Chris Curtis
Everyone loves to celebrate anniversaries and the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival is set to celebrate it's 30th year on the "hill" at Rossvoss Farm in Ancramdale, NY. Expect a party! Expect surprises! because Grey Fox is never dull. Grey Fox 2005 was the ONLY USA and ONLY American (North or South) festival selected to be featured in the BBCs expose on music festivals around the world.
Do you love Bluegrass? If the answer is YES then this is the year to experiencing one of the longest running music festivals in the USA. Those of you who have been before and those of you who are entrenched in the tradition, know what I am talking about. On July 13th through the 16th of 2006, the Rothvoss Farm in Anacramdale, NY will once again be host to thousands of bluegrass nuts. The beautiful hillside overlooking the Hudson Valley and the Berkshire Mountains will be painted with a colorful spectrum of festivities. As you come over the top of the ridge approaching the Rothvoss Farm, it is quite a spectacle to see the entire hill awash with activity. For the past 30 years, people from all over the world and from all walks of life, cast aside their normal routines for the ultimate bluegrass experience.
The show will go on despite the June 10th, 2006 loss of Grey Fox's benefactor, Henry Rothvoss, Sr., 86 whose has generously offered his farm lands to the thousands of Bluegrass fans who have descended on his property for 29 years of his life. Our hearts and sympathies go out to the Rothvoss family for their loss. We gratefully thank the family to allow us the continued use of the farm.
Since 1976, Bluegrass on the Hill has been known by a few different names.
1976 Berkshire Mountain Festival
1980 Sharon Mountain Bluegrass Festival
1983 Winterhawk Bluegrass Festival
2000 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival
No matter the moniker it is pure fun and people come to honor the Bluegrass tradition and experience the magic.
Since 1983, the festival has been produced by Mary Tyler Doub and Ron Thomason, who year after year have tirelessly delivered an amazing line up of talent steeped in Bluegrass tradition. This year is no exception, 33 bands will delight festival fans over four days of nearly non-stop music. The line up reads like an register of musical virtuoso's including the most prominent performers on the Bluegrass scene, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Tim O'Brien, John Cowan, Jerry Douglas Band, Ricky Skaggs, Danny Paisley and Southern Grass, King Wilkie, and Del McCoury. Also look for those up and coming acts, Grascals, Uncle Earl, Louvell Sisters, and Stringdusters and many more. These performers can be enjoyed at the main state which is set at the bottom of a grassy slope that serves as a natural amphitheater with terrific acoustics. The dance pavilion also has an outstanding line up with Red Stick Ramblers, Magnolia, and Lil' Anne and Hot Cayenne, Girl Howdy, and Fiddlystyx. In addition to the main stage and the dance tent, be sure to visit the Masters stage to see collaborative sessions of the top artists in a intimate setting.
If that isn't enough, you can browse the vendors, offering a wide range of merchandise including the typical instruments of Bluegrass of the finest quality. A family stage provides activities for the young 'uns and throughout the weekend kids can participate in the Grey Fox Bluegrass Academy for Kids, a program for learning how to pick Bluegrass. A special stage is setup for those who would like to jam but you will find pickup sessions all throughout the entire camping area and don't be surprised at the impromptu jams that may spring up among the top performers. Festivals often spur spontaneous corroborations that are once in a life time experiences.
Camping on site is part of the magic of Grey Fox. People come days early to find their perfect camping spot. Lifetime friendships have grown out of the Grey Fox experience because everyone has a common bond in the love of the music. If camping is not for you, there are nearby lodgings to be had, but it is VERY wise to book early.
Hope to see you there!