NORTH ADAMS -- Get ready for Mass MoCA’s fall festival of bluegrass and roots music, FreshGrass, held Sept. 20 to 22, filling every nook and cranny of the museum’s renovated factory campus in North Adams.
FreshGrass grows substantially this year, debuting Joe’s Field, the large outdoor venue on a grassy lawn in the center of the Mass MoCA campus, to showcase its expanding lineup. The 2013 FreshGrass festival roster includes 25 bands scheduled pick-to-pick on three stages throughout the weekend-long festival.
Friday night is a perfect introduction to the festival with the rising talent Sarah Jarosz opening for the bluegrass troubadour Dr. Ralph Stanley with his band The Clinch Mountain Boys. A late-night hoedown with The Deadly Gentlemen caps off the festival’s first evening.
6:30 p.m.: The Wandering Rocks (Courtyard D)
7:30 p.m.: Sarah Jarosz (Courtyard D)
8:35 p.m.: Dr. Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys (Courtyard D)
10 p.m.: The Deadly Gentlemen (Hunter Center).
Saturday is chock full of pop-up concerts throughout the museum, instrument and industry workshops, and our main stage, the museum’s grassy urban concert meadow, opens. Mandolin Orange, Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell, Darol Anger, Edgar Meyer and Mike Marshall, Bill Evans, The Lone Bellow, Leftover Salmon, The Gibson Brothers, Alison Brown, Noam Pikelny Friends, The Wood Brothers and John Reischman and The Jaybirds play throughout the day and long into the night.
11 a.m.: Berklee Bands (Courtyard D)
11:45 a.m.: Dan Zanes Elizabeth Mitchell (Joe’s Field)
12:45 p.m.: Bill Evans’ Banjo in America (Courtyard D)
1:30 p.m.: Mandolin Orange (Joe’s Field)
2:15 p.m.: Darol Anger (Courtyard D)
3 p.m.: Edgar Meyer Mike Marshall (Joe’s Field)
3:45 p.m.: John Reischman The Jaybirds (Courtyard D)
4:30 p.m.: The Gibson Brothers (Joe’s Field)
5:30 p.m.: The Lone Bellow (Courtyard D)
6:30 p.m.: Alison Brown (Joe’s Field)
7:50 p.m.: Noam Pikelny Friends (Joe’s Field)
9:10 p.m.: Leftover Salmon (Joe’s Field)
10:30 p.m.: The Wood Brothers (Hunter Center).
Sunday will feature more pop-up performances, additional workshops, FreshGrass Award finalists’ performances, and another day of non-stop music with Lake Street Dive, Elephant Revival, Sam Bush, Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters, Jerry Douglas, and The Del McCoury Band closing out the festival. 11 a.m.: FreshGrass Award Finalists (Hunter Center)
11 a.m.: Berklee Bands (Courtyard D)
11:45 a.m.: Jerry Douglas (Joe’s Field)
12:45 p.m.: Lake Street Dive (Courtyard D)
1:15 p.m.: Greensky Bluegrass (Joe’s Field)
2:15 p.m.: Elephant Revival (Courtyard D)
2:45 p.m.: Sam Bush (Joe’s Field)
3:45 p.m.: The Infamous Stringdusters (Courtyard D)
4:45 p.m.: The Devil Makes Three (Joe’s Field)
6:05 p.m.: The Del McCoury Band (Joe’s Field).
"This year’s FreshGrass lineup is more than double last year’s, which was already spectacular" MASS MoCA Director Joe Thompson said. "Great music will be bouncing off every brick of this factory campus.
"This year, just to be atypically on the nose, we’ll actually have a grassy venue for FreshGrass, opening our major concert field for all three days."
FreshGrass is a wonderland of bluegrass and roots music, rich in both traditional and cutting-edge bluegrass, and presented in a wide array of venues tucked appropriately into a 19th-century-factory-turned-21st-century-museum in the Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts. FreshGrass is one of the best values in the festival world. Festival passes are available for $78 for adults, $68 for students, $38 for kids 7-16, and free for children 6 and under. Friday tickets are available for $28 for adults, $18 for students, $8 for children 7-16. Saturday and Sunday tickets are $38 for adults, $28 for students, $18 for children 7 to 16. Children 6 and under are admitted for free. Museum members receive a 10-percent discount on the regular prices, but membership discounts do not apply to the early-bird prices. Tickets are available through freshgrass.com.
The Box Office is located on Marshall Street in North Adams, and is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Tuesdays. Festival-goers are welcome to bring chairs, blankets, and cushions to sit on in most venues, but should leave coolers, picnic baskets, and long camera lenses at home.
The festival will be held rain or shine.
For info: freshgrass.com