3rd annual Ditchfest returns to Oak Creek with more music, art and fun | SteamboatToday.com

3rd annual Ditchfest returns to Oak Creek with more music, art and fun

Local artist Jeff Erickson's "Modern Scarecrow" is shown at 2014's inaugural DitchFest in Oak Creek. This year's festival, set for Saturday, Aug. 13 in Oak Creek's Decker Park, is set to feature more Colorado bands and local artists.
Courtesy Photo

If you go

What: Third annual DitchFest

Where: Decker Park in Oak Creek, 519 Moffat Ave., Oak Creek

When: Noon to 10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13

Cost: Advance tickets are $20 and are available at ditchfestoc.com/tickets, All That, Circle R and Spyros. Tickets are $25 at the door

More information: ditchfestoc.com.

— As the days shorten and thoughts begin to shift from hiking and biking to skiing and snowboarding, there’s still one more chance for residents and visitors to celebrate summer in the Yampa Valley.

DitchFest, South Routt County’s annual arts and music festival, returns to Oak Creek’s Decker Park on Saturday, Aug. 13, and this year’s event promises even more events and activities as it enters its third year. But festival director Callie Anderson stressed the roots of the celebration remain embedded in the idea from which it was born.

“We basically just wanted to celebrate the wealth of artistic and musical talent our area has to offer, and we’re continuing that this year,” she said.

With five main acts featuring Colorado bands, an art show spotlighting amateur artists from the area and beyond and an assortment of DitchDigger Games, designed for both children and adults, DitchFest offers something for everyone, Anderson said.

Gates open at noon Aug. 13, with the first band, Grant Farm, taking the stage at 1 p.m.

Following are the featured bands.

Grant Farm is a Boulder-based band on a mission. Led by National Flatpicking Guitar Champion Tyler Grant, of Emmitt/Nershi Band, this four-piece group is built on the foundation of love, family and the joy of music and is not afraid to unleash blistering bluegrass jams. In addition to recently releasing its latest album, “Plowin’ Time,” Grant Farm collaborated with Fruition to release the EP album, “Meeting on the Mountain.”

Interstate Stash Express hails from Lyons and is known for its unique brand of psychedelic Americana. With eclectic influences, from Jimi Hendrix to Django Reinhardt, this tight trio boasts deep grooves and incendiary improvisations.

Robin Davis Duo may be small in numbers but brings a large sound. The frontman of the duo, Robin Davis, is known for having bluegrass on the brain, having taken part in earlier projects with musicians who are current members of The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon and Greensky Bluegrass. The band’s other half, Jimi Giles, who plays stand-up bass, learned guitar from her Deadhead father, but it wasn’t until she met Davis that she picked up the bass.

Yer State Birds is a four-piece group based in Steamboat Springs that just released a new album, “Build a Fire,” in April. Band members JR Adams, Ryan Fanders, John Miller and Jeff Goodhand pride themselves on performing “dirty blues rock in the Rocky Mountains,” as they have since 2014.

80 Grit is another Routt County-based trio that features Russ Duplessis on drums; Randy Kelley on guitar, bass and vocals; and Callie Anderson on mandolin, cello, vocals and “whatever else.” The band performs original work featuring multi-instrumentalism, tight harmony and funky rhythms in a genre-defying, soulful style in an amalgam of alternative, gypsy jazz and retro R&B.

Anderson added that other local bands will provide music between the main acts.

In addition to the music, which is scheduled to continue until 9:30 or 10 p.m., DitchFest also will include an art show featuring painting, sculpture, photography and other visual art forms. Though the show is open to all, Anderson said the focus will be on amateur artists.

And, for the first time, the art show will feature live painting.

Between musical and artistic offerings, the festival also will offer the traditional DitchDigger Games, which are designed for both children and adults, and kickball equipment will be available for use.

The festival will again offer its DitchFest Innovative Scholars program, which annually awards a $500 scholarship to a local graduating senior who plans to pursue some form of higher education and a career path in music or the arts.

According to Anderson, festival organizers hope to expand this important piece of the annual event.

“We want to do at least one scholarship per year,” she said, “but as the festival grows, we hope to either give out more scholarships or increase the amount.”

DitchFest 2015’s scholarship winner was Lucy Carlson.

Tickets are $20 in advance and available at ditchfestoc.com/tickets, as well as at All That, Circle R and Spyros through the end of the day Aug. 12.

Tickets will also be sold at the door for $25.

To reach Jim Patterson, call 970-871-4208, email jpatterson@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JimPatterson15

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