Celebrating it’s first year in Tahoe, the WinterWonderGrass Festival parked itself strategically under Squaw’s majestic peaks for three days of epic performances, craft beer, and lasting memories. Running from March 20th through the 22nd, the festival sold out Saturday night to the tune of the nationally revered headliners, Trampled By Turtles, who represented just a portion of the talent the festival brought to Tahoe.
More than twenty 20 other artists came out, including local favorites Dead Winter Carpenters, The Infamous Stringdusters, The California Honeydrops, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, and Greensky Bluegrass, who closed out the weekend under a flash of rain. On top of nightly music from 2:30 to 10 p.m., WinterWonderGrass organized late-night performances featuring bands on the lineup, held at the Olympic Valley Lodge and Moe’s Original BBQ in Tahoe City.
The intimate venue included three stages — the main WonderGrass stage, and the Haystack, and Jubilee tents—, which meant there was always live music to enjoy. The tents also provided refuge for the soaking wet crowd on Sunday to warm up before heading back outside to groove up another storm (it sleet-rained not once, but several times on Sunday).
The WinterWonderGrass Festival, which is based in Avon, Colo. and has organized a similar event in Avon for the past two winters, also teamed up with local non profits and the Rex Foundation to minimize the environmental impact of the event. The festival reported that 84 percent of the generated waste was diverted from landfills by either composting or recycling, a number that was helped by the fact that all three-day passholders received Kleen Kanteen pint cups to use for beverages.
Between world-class talent, beautiful scenery, fun for all ages, and the event’s low impact, WinterWonderGrass had a solid inaugural year in Tahoe. Fingers crossed the festival returns next year… some of us are already counting the days!
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