August 4-6, 2016
Loveland, Colorado: Just an hour drive north of Denver, Loveland is the perfect location for a quick weekend getaway! With breathtaking views of the Devil’s Backbone, Loveland is just remote enough to make you feel like you are in a utopian escape.
Squaw Valley Ski Resort: The festival is situated right at the base of Squaw Valley Ski Resort in one of the parking lots. I actually love that the festival in on pavement as you don’t get any mud like you do in the WWG Colorado version of the fest. There is a main stage, as well as two beer tents full of incredible local beer, the Soapbox stage, a VIP section, a kids section, and lots of incredible food. Behind the venue you are surrounded by the incredible Squaw mountains, and right behind the main stage you have a gorgeous view of the tram which is also utilized during the Tram Jams!
WinterWonderGrass is super affordable and worth every penny for an epic weekend of bluegrass and beer tasting! You really can’t get a better deal, especially if you plan ahead and buy early:
- Limited Release (3-day) Pass: $119 + $16.07 in fees
- Early “Snowbird” (3-day) Pass: $129 + $18.37 in fees
- Tier 2 (3-day) “Fresh Tracks” Pass: $149 + 18.97 in fees
- Early “Snowbird” VIP (3-day) Pass: $249 + $21.97 in fees
- Tier 2 VIP (3-day) “Fresh Tracks” Pass: $299 + $23.47 in fees
- Limited Release “Gold Miner” Colorado & California Pass: $199 + $25.47 in fees
- “Snow King” Lodging & VIP Package (Westin Hotel + 2 VIP Passes): $1699 + $74.47 in fees
There is no camping as the festival is in April when it is still a bit chilly for camping. You need to get a hotel, a VRBO, or crash with fellow ski bums!
To get to the festival the most logical/least expensive airport would be Reno, with another airport in Truckee as well as San Francisco. Once you are in town, there is free local transit as well as a WWG late bus! I rented a house pretty close to the festival and just walked everyday, which was possible if you only went to the Olympic Lodge late nights. If you wanted to go to Moe’s, it was a bit further and you needed other transportation.
On your way into the festival there was a quick bag check, but other than that security was super relaxed!
From the organizers and musicians, to the volunteers and fans, the WWG community was out in full force in California – there were so many friends and familiar faces from the Colorado events! Lots of amazing California people came out to boogie as well. WWG also brings out the best people 🙂
The weather was absolutely PERFECT! April in California was not nearly as cold as February in Colorado, the sun was always shining during the days, and the nights cooled off just enough to be warmed by friends with good hugs and a nice sip of whiskey! Add in some gorgeous sunsets, and what more could you want!?
HANDLING OF THE WEATHER:
The pavement is a HUGE plus over WWG in Colorado – no muddy mess to dance in! The tents were also very nice and warm if you needed some time out of the cold or nice and shady if you needed to escape the sun.
Bluegrass, bluegrass, and more bluegrass! What more could I ask more?!
Friday – Greensky Bluegrass
These guys always amaze me. Featuring Anders Beck on dobro, Michael Arlen Bont on banjo, guitar player Dave Bruzza, Mike Devol strumming the upright bass and last but never least, Paul Hoffman on the mandolin, Greensky Bluegrass play acoustic instruments while putting on a full on rock show. Their lightshow is incredible, and they continue to impress me with their improvisational jams!
Saturday – Railroad Earth
Sunday – Leftover Salmon
Hailing from Boulder, CO, Leftover stars Vince Herman (vocals, acoustic guitar, washboard), Drew Emmitt (vocals, acoustic and electric mandolin, electric guitar, fiddle), Andy Thorn (vocals, acoustic and electric banjo), Greg Garrison (vocals, acoustic and electric bass), and Alwyn Robinson (drums). A jam band at heart, they blend bluegrass, rock, country, and Cajun/Zydeco into their self-proclaimed “Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass”.
LATE NIGHT SHOWS:
The late nights cost a bit extra, but they are worth every penny! I went to all of the Olympic Valley Lodge shows, and they were unbelievable! The late nights provide you with a much more intimate show than the actual festival, plus they are indoors which is great for dropping some layers and letting loose in the late night hours.
The Main Stage is gorgeous and features amazing sound, incredible lighting, and a beautiful view of Squaw mountain and the tram. There were two beer tents, Pickin’ Perch and Jamboree Tent, which had all of the booze, both for tastings and for purchase, as well as smaller stages for between main stage sets. They were filled to the brim, especially on Saturday night, but they gave you a much more intimate viewing if you were able to get close up. Finally, new this year, was the SoapBox Lounge, featuring coffees, teas, hot chocolate, soups, WinterWonderJuice and tasty treats with even more incredible music! WWG California has the added bonus of Tram Jams and Tram to Table, where you and a few other lucky fans get to ride the Squaw Tram up and down with some of your favorite artists!
WWG supports local businesses, breweries, and non-profits while bringing together the whole family!
Acro yoga dancers, firethrowers and more highlighted the beautiful mountains and sunsets surrounding WWG!
Moe’s BBQ and so much more!
There were no outside vendors, but the merch tent was loaded with amazing WWG merchandise!
HELP THE ENVIRONMENT:
The three day pass includes a FREE Klean Kanteen stainless steel WWG mug to help eliminate waste and emphasize Leave No Trace. They also work with lots of non-profits to raise money. I have always applauded WWG on their environmental efforts. As their website says:
WE TAKE PRIDE IN OUR SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS AT WINTERWONDERGRASS AND WE WORK VERY HARD TO WALK OUR WALK AND TALK OUR TALK. WE ADHERE TO THE LEAVE NO TRACE PRINCIPLE, ” SUSTAIN HEALTHY, VIBRANT NATURAL LANDS FOR ALL PEOPLE TO ENJOY, NOW AND INTO THE FUTURE”. WE ASK ALL OF OUR FANS, EACH OF YOU TO DO THE SAME. RESPECT THE BEAUTIFUL LAND, RECYCLE, MINIMIZE YOUR SINGLE USE PLASTICS, DISPOSE OF CIGARETTES IN THE PROPER PLACES AND LOVE MOTHER EARTH.
- FREE beer from 2:30pm-5:30pm everyday from 18 local breweries!