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WinterWonderGrass Steamboat: Soundtrack to a Perfect Ski Weekend

4th March 2019 | Heather B. Fried

News Regions: Colorado, Rocky Mountains

Resorts in this article: Steamboat

WinterWonderGrass Steamboat: Soundtrack to a Perfect Ski Weekend- ©Eric Schmidt

WinterWonderGrass doors open at 1:45 p.m., so you can get after the slopes of Steamboat, Stratton and Squaw before relaxing into an afternoon/evening of boot stomping, fingerpicking action at the base.

Copyright: Eric Schmidt

Transforming Steamboat’s Upper Knoll parking lot into a tent-tastic concert venue, WinterWonderGrass recently wrapped up three days of bumping bluegrass against a snowy, picturesque mountain backdrop. Good music in the mountains is made even better with an array of accompanying beer halls, each of which is heated and hosts a number of mini performances in-between sets on the main stage outside. 

We checked out the second day of WinterWonderGrass Colorado (the annual festival also heads to Vermont’s Stratton Mountain and Squaw | Alpine in California) and took in The Lil Smokies, The California Honeydrops and Trampled By Turtles, along with enjoying a number of the intimate, in-tent performances. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., local breweries pour free tasters to kick off the festivities, during which time and beyond there are also full pours of beer and cocktails for sale. 

Good music in the mountains is made even better with an array of accompanying beer halls, each of which is heated and hosts a number of mini performances in-between sets on the main stage outside.  - © Eric Schmidt

Good music in the mountains is made even better with an array of accompanying beer halls, each of which is heated and hosts a number of mini performances in-between sets on the main stage outside.

Copyright: Eric Schmidt

Flexible Festival Fun

In addition to enjoying live music and local beer, food trucks and even a coffee bar in a beautiful setting, a couple aspects of the WinterWonderGrass experience struck us as especially unique and cool: 

  • Doors open at 1:45 p.m., so you can get after the slopes of Steamboat, Stratton and Squaw before relaxing into an afternoon/evening of boot stomping, fingerpicking action at the base. Best of both worlds = no FOMO.
  • Follow the festival’s Facebook to find free music around the mountain throughout the weekend. Keeping with the harmonious vibe, we even encountered musicians in the lift line or playing a cat track soundtrack on our way back to the base.
  • The WinterWonderGrass lineup keeps a steady stream of jams flowing amid the four stages with no breaks in the bluegrass to give you idle time to think about how cold you are.
  • The variety of ticket offerings and attendance options—from a three-day general admission to VIP access, a ski/ride add-on, a musical dinner atop the gondola, and limited single-day tickets that become available closer to the event—allow music fans to sample the scene or go all in.
  • Grass After Dark keeps the party going into the night at even more venues on the mountain and throughout town for a chance to catch some of the headliners late night.
  • Not if, but when the show sells out, mountain-goers aren’t completely out of luck thanks to Lyte, a scalper-free, fan-to-fan exchange. This also means that those who can no longer make the show have an easy way to ensure those tickets don’t go to waste. This is not to say that it pays to procrastinate—no guarantees when you’re at the mercy of other people’s plans. 
 

Where to Stay in Steamboat

Transforming Steamboat’s Upper Knoll parking lot into a tent-tastic concert venue, WinterWonderGrass recently wrapped up three days of bumping bluegrass against a snowy, picturesque mountain backdrop.  - © Eric Schmidt

Transforming Steamboat’s Upper Knoll parking lot into a tent-tastic concert venue, WinterWonderGrass recently wrapped up three days of bumping bluegrass against a snowy, picturesque mountain backdrop.

Copyright: Eric Schmidt

WWG Good to Know if You Go

  • Considering we’re talking about mountain weather, kill two birds and plan to wear to the fest what you did on the slopes with a beanie in place of a helmet and shoes with solid tread in exchange for ski boots. Bonus points for rocking a costume overtop.
  • Still cold? Take temporary shelter in a tent or post up near a heat lamp and watch the snowfall through beams of green and blue light.
  • With the parking situation going from slim pickings to virtually non-existent, try to stay at or near the base for the most seamless possible WinterWonderGrass weekend

Bonus points for rocking a costume during WinterWonderGrass.   - © Eric Schmidt

Bonus points for rocking a costume during WinterWonderGrass.

Copyright: Eric Schmidt

Gallery

WinterWonderGrass Festival in Steamboat Spring, Colorado February 2019 - © Eric Schmidt
WinterWonderGrass Festival, Steamboat 2019 - © Eric Schmidt
WinterWonderGrass beer hall, Steamboat 2019 - © Eric Schmidt
WinterWonderGrass Steamboat costumes - © Eric Schmidt

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