"It feels like a small town where you know everyone," said festival planner Jason Nicholas. Indeed, the faithful pack their gear, make their plans and head for the hills of Greene County this time of year to revel in the banjos, Dobros, guitars, mandolins, fiddles and bass players and all things bluegrass. In 2008, Grey Fox, the Northeast's largest bluegrass festival, drew fans, pickers, players and music enthusiasts from 37 states and 14 countries.
The Festival is also the subject of the full-length film titled Bluegrass Journey: A Documentary of Contemporary Bluegrass Music. The award-winning film, produced by Dutchess County residents Ruth Oxenberg and Rob Schumer, chronicles the contemporary bluegrass music scene.
Aside from the Main Stage, the Festival also offers an intimate showcase series on the Masters' Stage and a larger Family Stage that this year will feature a 4 p.m. Saturday show by the Brooklyn band Astrograss. Other activities available are the daily morning yoga stretches held in the Dance Tent, along with live music and hands-on learning sessions at the Grass Roots Tent, with instructors such as six-time Bass Player of the Year Mike Bub; guitar wizard Tony Watt; and, always a highlight, the Banjo Masters workshop with Bill Keith. Catering to beginners, user-friendly Slow Jam Tent instructors slow down easy songs so that everyone can play along. There's also a Grey Fox Bluegrass Academy for Kids, a four-day music camp for kids age 8 and up, that which teaches kids to play, sing and perform bluegrass music. Preregistration is strongly recommended for the kids' academy. To register a child, visit www.greyfoxbluegrass.com.
Camping opens at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 14. Day gates open at 8 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. Main Stage music runs from 2 p.m. to midnight on Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday; 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturday; and 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets for the full festival are available at $175. Kids 12 and under are free with a ticketed adult. The senior discount (age 60+) is $5 off a day ticket only, with ID, at the gate. The day ticket prices are $45 for a Thursday pass, $55 for a Friday pass, $55 for a Saturday pass and $25 for a Sunday pass. For tickets, call (888) 946-8495 or (315) 724-4473, or see www.greyfoxbluegrass.com for more information.