North Adams, MA -- FreshGrass, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art's (MASS MoCA) presents three days of music across all spheres of the bluegrass and roots world when more than 50 musicians take the stage in North Adams on September 16-18, 2016. MASS MoCA’s annual festival releases its day-by-day schedule, and single-day tickets for the three-day event go on sale on Thursday, August 4, at 10am.
FreshGrass gates open at 5pm on Friday, September 16, with 2015 FreshGrass Band Award winner Old Salt Union, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, and headliner Glen Hansard; and the show rocks into the late night with The Devil Makes Three in the first of the festival’s now-infamous barn-dance style shows in the Hunter Center following main-stage acts. Friday passes are $39 in advance, $44 day of, $29 for students, and $19 for children 7 to 16.
On Saturday, September 17, gates open at 10:30am, and the day features bands from Berklee College of Music’s American Roots Music Program, 2015 FreshGrass Award winners Zoe & Cloyd and Mile Twelve, Rana Santacruz, Sierra Hull, Mr. Sun, Ruthie Foster, Aoife O’Donovan, Lau, The Grass’d Waltz: Alison Brown & Friends Play the Music of The Band, headliner Old Crow Medicine Show, and a late-night barn burner inside with The Infamous Stringdusters. Saturday passes are $60 in advance, $65 day of, $50 for students, and $29 for children 7 to 16.
It’s another full day of music when gates open at 10:30am on Sunday, September 18, with Parsonsfield, John Reischman and the Jaybirds, Stephane Wrembel, Alison Brown, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Rosanne Cash, and Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder. Sunday passes are $60 in advance, $65 day of, $50 for students, and $29 for children 7 to 16.
In addition to the music happening across three stages, two courtyards, throughout the galleries, and spontaneously across MASS MoCA’s 28-building, 16-acre campus, FreshGrass offers a hearty lineup of instrument workshops, luthiers, family programming, legendary jam sessions (festival-goers are encouraged to bring their own instruments), and the FreshGrass Award — celebrating fresh talent through competitions in band, duo, banjo, and fiddle categories with more than $25,000 in cash and prizes. Twenty award finalists perform on Saturday and Sunday for a panel of industry professionals led by Grammy Award-winner and FreshGrass partner Alison Brown. Award winners are crowned on Sunday, and all contest performances are open to the festival audience.
FreshGrass 2017 marks the second year of FreshScores, a program in which the FreshGrass Foundation commissions a handful of our favorite artists to compose new scores to silent films, which are then performed live at the festival. This year, Aoife O'Donovan, Darol Anger, and Stephane Wrembel — a film music veteran who contributed music to the Woody Allen films Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Midnight in Paris — premiere their newly commissioned live scores to silent classics.
Pop-up concerts across the campus and in the museum’s world-class art galleries feature local and emerging artists Cold Chocolate, musicians from North Adams’ own Common Folk, Izzy Heltai and Secret Creature, Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints, Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra, Long Journey, M Shanghai, Mamma’s Marmalade, Pinedrop, and Ramblin Jug Stompers. Admission to MASS MoCA's galleries — where festival-goers find concerts set amidst dramatically scaled exhibitions of contemporary art such as Alex Da Corte’s Free Roses — is included in the price of festival admission.
Festival amenities include 135,000 sq. ft. of contemporary art exhibitions, downtown camping (which includes late-night and breakfast concessions), local food vendors, a brewery on site at the festival, and family activities inside and outside the museum — all in one of the most beatific festival locations on the scene, at the base of Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts’ highest peak.
FreshGrass, to be held on September 16–18, 2016, at MASS MoCA, continues to be one of the best values on the festival circuit. Three-day festival passes are available for $99 for adults, $115 day of, $89 for students, and $46 for children 7 to 16. Friday passes are $39 in advance, $44 day of, $29 for students, and $19 for children 7 to 16. Saturday passes are $60 in advance, $65 day of, $50 for students, and $29 for children 7 to 16. Sunday passes are $60 in advance, $65 day of, $50 for students, and $29 for children 7 to 16. Available for $300, FreshPass is a deluxe festival experience offering preferred seating at all stages, meet-and-greet opportunities with FreshGrass artists, access to the FreshPass lounge, and locally sourced snacks and beer. Children 6 and under are admitted for free. Museum members receive a 10% discount on the regular ticket prices. Museum admission is included in the price of the festival pass. The festival will be held rain or shine.