WinterWonderGrass in Steamboat expected to bring 5,500 bluegrass lovers to town | SteamboatToday.com

WinterWonderGrass in Steamboat expected to bring 5,500 bluegrass lovers to town

Trout Steak Revival performing during the 2018 WinterWonderGrass Festival in Steamboat Springs. (Photo courtesy Dylan Langille)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — WinterWonderGrass is coming.

Bluegrass musicians from across the country will soon be in town for the festival’s return to Steamboat Springs, and they are expected to attract 5,500 festival-goers.

At a glance

Getting to Steamboat Resort during WinterWonderGrass
Due to the volume of people at the mountain, Steamboat Resort and festival organizers recommend visitors carpool or use public transportation to get to the mountain.
• For information about Steamboat’s free bus system, including routes and schedules, visit steamboatsprings.net/transit.
• Free parking and a free shuttle to the mountain are available at the Meadows Lot, which will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. over the festival weekend.
• When the Meadows Lot is full, follow the signs to overflow parking at the Strings Pavillion and UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center. Free shuttles are available to take you to the mountain.
• Paid parking will be available all weekend at Gondola Square, The Steamboat Grand, Ski Time Square and Base Club parking garages.

For those planning to attend the festival or head up to the mountain at Steamboat Resort in the coming days, there are some things to keep in mind.

The Knoll Lot and Upper Knoll Lot are currently closed and will remain closed until Tuesday, Feb. 26, for set up and breakdown of the festival, according to Steamboat Resort’s Digital Communications Manager Maren Franciosi.

For this reason, those parking in the Meadows Lot can expect space to be tight. Franciosi said overflow parking will be available in parking lots at the Strings Pavilion and at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center. The Meadows Lot will have extended hours from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. with shuttle service during the weekend’s concerts.

“We’re encouraging everybody — always — to carpool and use the free bus system, but specifically this week, we’re going to feel a little pressure,” she said.

Carpooling and public transit also decrease the environmental impact of the festival, said WinterWonderGrass Marketing Director Ariel Rosemberg.

Rosemberg said festival tents are being set up, starting with the flagship tents. Everything is meticulously laid out first in computer-aided design software. Now, festival crews are working to bring it to life.

“We bring in a huge element of production that doesn’t exist in Steamboat,” he said. “It’s all temporary, so we bring in a super-pro production team, that is called Symbiotic Event (Services). They come in, and they dial in all of our sound. They dial in all of our lights, and they come in with the stages.”

Once stages and tents are in place, organizers fill in the gaps with décor, signage and the box office build.

It’s a lot to get done, but Rosemberg said it’s going smoothly.

“It feels like we’ve done it before, let’s just say that,” he said.

You might start seeing visiting musicians around town Wednesday, but Rosemberg said they’ll really start arriving in Steamboat on Thursday.

For those in the area of the mountain, concerts will kick off in the Knoll Lot on Friday.

“The concerts will be playing from the Knoll Lot, so be aware that there might be some extra noise, but it should be a pretty enjoyable and fun time,” Franciosi said. “This is a pretty family-friendly festival, so a lot of our local families come and enjoy, and we love that.”

If you’re planning to attend the festival, be sure to bring a water bottle to refill or plan to use the reusable canteen provided to WinterWonderGrass pass-holders, as the festival aims to minimize impacts from waste.

“You will not find one single-use piece of plastic on the event grounds, and so, we really encourage people to stand by that mantra and bring their Nalgenes and their Kleen Kanteens and things like that,” Rosemberg said.

If you don’t have WinterWonderGrass tickets, stay on the lookout for satellite shows around town and free concerts at the base area and the Bashor Pavilion on the mountain.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.


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