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Greetings Festivarians,

We slogged through the dark, snowy days of winter together. Sure, some of us slogged gracefully on a pair of skis or a board, but summer has remained a distant dream, nonetheless. RockyGrass Festivarians

And then a couple weeks ago it happened: the Ranch started to turn green, rainbow trout started reappearing in the St. Vrain River, and the words "sold-out" made their first appearance of 2008...

If you've been harboring a secret vision for a perfect day of bluegrass with Natalie MacMaster, Punch Brothers, Infamous Stringdusters, and many others - only one option remains: purchase a 3-day festival pass. Yes, Saturday single-day tickets to RockyGrass (July 25-27) are now sold-out and three-day passes will be gone in just a few more days. Order your 3-day pass or single-day tickets for Friday or Sunday right now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. Camping is still available; all RockyGrass tickets are fully refundable thru June 27; and, as always, Planet Bluegrass charges absolutely no handling fees of any kind.

Nanci GriffithAnother of this year's RockyGrass artists, Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet, gave a series of mesmerizing concerts in Colorado last week, brilliantly mixing solo virtuosity and sophisticated group interplay in the context of an East-West acoustic musical fusion. We loved them at Telluride last year, but, thanks to months of touring and recording, this stunning group has taken their music to further heights and depths. To think that they'll share the stage with fellow forward-thinkers the Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile and PsychoGrass justifies a RockyGrass three-day pass unto itself.

Tender, lilting, and poetic is the voice of Nanci Griffith. It's been three years since Nanci has graced a Planet Bluegrass stage. And that's three years too long for us. We're thrilled to welcome Nanci back for the 18th Annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival (Aug. 15-17) along the St. Vrain River in Lyons. Nanci joins a lineup that already includes KT Tunstall, Amos Lee, Greg Brown, Jakob Dylan, and many more.

Josh RitterAdd to that stirling list extended stays from two of America's most admired songwriters - Josh Ritter and Melissa Ferrick - both of whom will be teaching at The Song School (Aug. 10-14) and performing during the Folks Festival. The passionate, energetic music of Melissa Ferrick creates performances that are fierce, outspoken, funny, and unforgettable. Meanwhile, Performing Songwriter shares our admiration for Josh Ritter, writing: "If Josh Ritter isn't the greatest songwriter of his generation, I don't know who is."

Tickets and camping for the Folks Festival as well as the week-long Song School that precedes it are available now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. As was the case last year, we expect The Song School to sell-out well before August.

Telluride FestivariansHang up the lights, prepare the bonfire ring, install the sound system, open the bar... the Wildflower Pavilion at our ranch in Lyons, CO opens this Friday night for the 2008 season. Join us for a historic gathering of the many creative Colorado Women in Bluegrass on May 2. In cooperation with High Street Concerts, this special "More Pretty Girls Than One...II" show features Mollie O'Brien, KC Groves, Helen Forster, Joan Wernick, Jessie Burns, and many many others - in unique collaborations of duos, trios, and full bands. All proceeds from the evening benefit the Lyons Community Foundation. Tickets are almost gone, so get yours right away at shop.bluegrass.com.

Whether you measure time in BPM, the rising of the rivers, or joyously crossing off days on a calendar - today is a milestone: 50 days 'til Telluride Bluegrass! That's fifty days 'til the bagpipes announce the opening tarp run; fifty days 'til Darrell Scott awakens the Telluride valley to the magic of the summer solstice; fifty days 'til the beginning of our 35th annual Festivarian family reunion under the full moon in Telluride (June 19-22).

RockyGrass BeachHaving trouble passing the time? Check out the Festi-Motivators thread at the Festivarian Forum. Or haven't finalized your plans for the 35th Anniversary celebration? Stimulate America's bluegrass economy and get your passes, camping, and maybe even a NightGrass ticket or two right now - visit shop.bluegrass.com or call us at 800-624-2422.

The main stage lineup is now complete - Ryan Adams, Arlo Guthrie, Sam Bush, The Swell Season, Paolo Nutini, Ani DiFranco, etc. - save one heralded spot: the Telluride Troubadour. All the entries are now in for our prestigious songwriting contest. With the help of our distinctive panel of festivarian musicologists (and industry professionals), we'll be narrowing the already impressive field to ten lucky finalists by May 9. If you missed our submission deadline, consider entering our Folks Songwriting Showcase - submissions are accepted thru June 13.

The DuhksFinally, if you live in Colorado, your plans for this evening might have just changed - The Duhks are performing a special benefit in Nederland. Planet Bluegrass friends and volunteers Greg and Debbie Ching are producing this special show to support their successful legal defense of house concerts. Thanks to their tireless (and not inexpensive) legal battle, private house concerts are now legal in Boulder County. To help cover their enormous legal bill, veterans of Aspen Meadows House Concerts (along with Telluride Bluegrass, Folks Fest, and Mabon), The Duhks, will be playing the Nederland Community Center tonight, Tuesday, April 29 - including a sustainability exhibition and a silent auction. Get your tickets now. Or if you can't make it to the show, contribute to the cause by pre-ordering a live recording of the evening's music. Community, sustainability, and music converging in a single evening - that's hard to resist.

The Folks on Planet Bluegrass

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