The 17th annual Four Corners Folk Festival will take place Aug. 31-Sept. 2 this year on Reservoir Hill in Pagosa Springs.
Nationally renowned for its superb musical lineups, this year’s festival will not disappoint, with headliners Railroad Earth, Sam Bush and The Wood Brothers.
And beyond that is a host of extremely talented musicians, many of whom are seasoned veterans like Jerry Douglas, Sara Watkins (formerly of Nickel Creek), Loudon Wainwright III and Darrell Scott.
And then there are the rising stars in the folk, bluegrass, newgrass and Americana genres: Caravan of Thieves, Elephant Revival, Sarah Siskind, Anne and Pete Sibley, Milk Carton Kids, Mike + Ruthy, Rose’s Pawn Shop and You Me and Apollo. It’s a lineup that festival organizers are particularly proud to offer and one that is sure to please any music lover.
Festival-goers will experience music on the Main Stage all day long for all three days before the action moves to the late night stage on Reservoir Hill on Friday and Saturday nights. Music workshops will be taught by festival musicians at the Workshop Tent on all three days and are open to all ticket-holders, regardless of whether one plays an instrument or not. These workshops offer an intimate look at how the artists perfect their craft; what motivates them to play and oftentimes provides a deeper insight into their music.
The Four Corners Kids program is a very popular component of the festival. Not only are children 12 and under admitted free to the festival (when accompanied by an adult), they get to experience a variety of free performances including magic, music and juggling shows throughout the weekend. Creativity is encouraged with ongoing free arts & crafts projects using recycled items and, perhaps the most-anticipated activity of the weekend, the free T-shirt giveaway. The first 200 children at the kids tent on Saturday morning will receive a free white festival T-shirt to color and keep as a memento of their festival experience.
Many festival-goers enjoy strolling through the festival vending area to peruse lots of unique items — from clothing and jewelry to handmade soaps and musical instruments. The food court has some of the tastiest and most varied fare this side of the Rio Grande, offered up by vendors from all over the region. There’s even a shady beer garden where people can socialize while enjoying the music.
The hundreds of campers at the festival come from all over the Four Corners area and beyond, forming a very clean and very friendly temporary city atop Reservoir Hill. Many of those campers are themselves musicians and there is always excellent music being played somewhere in the campground.
A convenient free shuttle runs all weekend long to take festival-goers from the parking areas below Reservoir Hill up to the box office. Shuttles begin running two hours before the start of the show each day and end 30 minutes after the Main Stage sets are over. There’s plenty of room on the shuttles to bring your festival gear with you, which can include chairs, tarps, coolers (no alcohol or glass may be brought into the venue), strollers, etc. The Main Stage is under a large tent with general admission seating for 1,300 people. In addition there’s plenty of room to spread out a tarp in the meadow outside the tent. Higher lawn chairs (as opposed to low “festival chairs”) and shade canopies are permitted along the back perimeter of the venue.
FolkWest is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation dedicated to making live music accessible to residents of southwest Colorado, as well as expanding cultural tourism in the area.
To learn more about this year’s festival performers, and to see a full festival schedule, visit www.folkwest.com. Festival tickets are available for purchase on that website or may be obtained by calling (877) 472-4672.