Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival this weekend

Carolina Chocolate Drops

Carolina Chocolate Drops

It’s time again for one of the finest bluegrass festivals in the nation (USA Today ranked it second in the country): Grey Fox, up in Oak Hill in Greene County, is four days of blissful picking, Thursday, July 17 through Sunday, July 20, that features a lineup of top acts in the field. These include the return of Nickel Creek, featuring mandolinist Chris Thile; the great Del McCoury’s 75th birthday celebration; upstate New Yorkers the Gibson Brothers; Claire Lynch, who’s originally from Kingston; the Carolina Chocolate Drops; the Steep Canyon Rangers, who recorded with Steve Martin, the Dry Branch Fire Squad; the Hillbenders and on and on.

In 2008, the festival moved from Columbia County over the river to Greene, to Walsh Farm in Oak Hill, up off Route 145. There are multiple stages, including a main stage and smaller venues with continuous music; a family tent, which will feature favorites such as the Brooklyn band Astrograss and the venerable artist Steve Charney and his dummy Harry. There’s a Bluegrass Academy for Kids, a Slow Jam Tent and a Grass Roots learning tent. Woodstock’s banjo legend Bill Keith will be there, as always, dispensing the immeasurable pearls of musical intellect that only he is capable of bestowing. In all, more than 40 bands, dozens of Grammy, IBMA and Americana Music Award-winners will be performing, and most are generally available for a tip or two or a jam at some point.

Three-quarters of the attendees are camping on-site, and those spots provide most of the jamming that goes on until late at night, as most have brought instruments. Full-festival camping tickets cost $195 per person; a camping vehicle pass costs $20 more. Children 12 and under get in free with a ticketed adult. Day tickets cost $65 per person Thursday, Friday and Saturday and $30 on Sunday.

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GPS coordinates are N42° 24.3883’, W074° 9.4297’ according to www.gpsvisualizer.com. Or just punch in 1 Poultney Road, Oak Hill, NY 12460.For tickets or for more information, see https://greyfoxbluegrass.com.

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