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By Crista Munro
Special to The PREVIEW
The Fourth of July holiday traditionally marks the true beginning of summer for some, and the end of summer is traditionally marked by the Four Corners Folk Festival. This year is our 19th annual celebration of folk, bluegrass, Celtic and Americana music. Festivities run Friday, Aug. 29, through Sunday, Aug. 31.
The family friendly outdoor festival will bring 16 of today’s most talented touring musicians from Austin, Nashville and even as far away as Prince Edward Island, Canada. The 2014 lineup includes headliners The Sam Bush Band, Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott and Elephant Revival; plus artists Sarah Jarosz, The Oh Hellos, Baskery, Caravan of Thieves, Heather Maloney/Darlingside, Sunliner featuring Sarah Siskind and Travis Book, Paper Bird, Shook Twins, Marley’s Ghost, Beth Wood, Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys, Steep Ravine and the trio of Brittany Haas, Paul Kowert and Jordan Tice.
The festival takes place on Reservoir Hill — a beautiful, 130-acre forested oasis rising up from the middle of downtown Pagosa Springs, just behind the post office and close to Pagosa’s world-famous hot springs resorts.
The first thing you’ll notice upon arriving at the festival, if you ride the free festival shuttle, is the hundreds of folks who have set up camp, choosing to call Reservoir Hill home for a few days. The atmosphere is very festive and friendly, with many pickin’ circles happening at any given time and the occasional shouts of “festival” echoing through the pines. Strangers become friends over the course of the weekend and kids (and adults, if they so choose) get the opportunity to unplug and reconnect with the world around them.
Just beyond the box office, you can follow the wood-chip trail to the festival meadow, which contains the main stage and is abutted on two sides by the food court and festival vendors. Between the box office and the meadow is the Ponderosa Pavilion tent, which serves as the central location for free children’s entertainment and activities during the day and the Late Night Stage at night.
Head a bit further toward the summit of the hill and you’ll find the workshop tent, where many of the performing artists teach workshops throughout the weekend. Workshop subjects often include techniques for various instruments (guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo), songwriting, vocals and other interesting subjects. These workshops are open to all festival-goers, regardless of whether or not you play an instrument (yet).
The music gets underway on Friday, Aug. 29, in the late afternoon and wraps up on the late night stage around midnight. On Saturday, the performances run from 11 a.m. to midnight and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The festival campground is open from 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, until noon on Monday, Sept. 1.
If you are interested in camping at the festival, you should purchase your vehicle pass soon, as they always sell out before the festival. Be sure to check out all of the camping information on our website, www.folkwest.com, before you purchase tickets, and feel free to call the number below when ordering, especially if this will be your first time attending the festival.
You can find a wealth of other information there as well, including ticket information, festival policies, links to artist websites, area accommodations and tons of photos from festivals past. Tickets and information are also available by phone at (877) 472-4672.