NORTH ADAMS -- The FreshGrass festival, MASS MoCA’s annual celebration of bluegrass and roots music, launched a new website, featuring updates that include opportunities for visitors to hear and purchase music, follow FreshGrass performers as they criss-cross the country on tour, and to shape the future of the festival by offering feedback and suggestions with the festival organizers via the site’s "Front Porch" feature.
"FreshGrass is becoming more than a festival," says Chris Wadsworth, whose Manitou Media co-produces FreshGrass with MASS MoCA. "The bluegrass community is small but engaged, and we look forward to freshgrass.com becoming a gathering point for the music’s vibrant fan base."
The FreshGrass festival will grow substantially this year. In addition to a dynamic new website, the festival is adding a second large-format outdoor venue on a grassy field in the middle of the MASS MoCA campus. The FreshGrass festival roster will include over 20 bands, almost doubling its performance slate from last year.
Scheduled performers include Del McCoury, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, The Wood Brothers, Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Sam Bush, Bill Evans, Alison Brown, Edgar Meyer and Mike Marshall, Sarah Jarosz, Dan Zanes, Elizabeth Mitchell, Jerry Douglas, and many others.
"This is a fun, beautifully designed site which will grow over the next few years as Freshgrass fans and performers gather there," says MASS MoCA director Joseph Thompson. "In a few weeks, you’ll see a really cool new app that tracks our performers as they slowly converge on North Adams next September. It’s also useful for our visitors who come from all over the United States, allowing them to know when their favorite FreshGrass performers happen to be playing nearby."
New to the festival is the FreshGrass Award -- $10,000 in cash prizes awarded for fresh takes on bluegrass music. The FreshGrass Award is an opportunity for rising talent to gain experience in front of seasoned performers, professional presenters, and other industry veterans. The Award’s top prize will include recording studio time at Compass Records in Nashville and a chance to perform at FreshGrass in 2014. Of course, details are available at freshgrass.com.