North Adams, MA -- The FreshGrass festival, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MASS MoCA) annual celebration of bluegrass and roots music, launches a new website this week. The updated FreshGrass.com now includes opportunities for visitors to hear and purchase music, follow FreshGrass performers as they criss-cross the country on tour, and to shape the future of the festival by offering feedback and suggestions with the festival organizers via the site's "Front Porch" feature.
"FreshGrass is becoming more than a festival," says Chris Wadsworth, whose Manitou Media co-produces FreshGrass with MASS MoCA. "The bluegrass community is small but engaged, and we look forward to FreshGrass.com becoming a gathering point for the music's vibrant fan base."
The FreshGrass festival will grow substantially this year. In addition to a dynamic new website, the festival is adding a second large-format outdoor venue on a grassy field in the middle of the MASS MoCA campus. The FreshGrass festival roster will include over 20 bands, almost doubling its performance slate from last year. Scheduled performers include Del McCoury, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, The Wood Brothers, The Lone Bellow, and Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. Sam Bush, Bill Evans, Alison Brown, Edgar Meyer and Mike Marshall, Sarah Jarosz, Dan Zanes, Elizabeth Mitchell, Jerry Douglas, Lake Street Dive, The Gibson Brothers, Noam Pikelny and Friends, John Reischman and the Jaybirds, Elephant Revival, Darol Anger, Greensky Bluegrass, and Mandolin Orange will also grace the stage at FreshGrass. More lineup announcements are expected and will be announced on FreshGrass.com.
"This is a fun, beautifully designed site which will grow over the next few years as Freshgrass fans and performers gather there," says MASS MoCA director Joseph Thompson. "In a few weeks, you'll see a really cool new app that tracks our performers as they slowly converge on North Adams next September. It's also useful for our visitors who come from all over the United States, allowing them to know when their favorite FreshGrass performers happen to be playing nearby."
New to the festival is the FreshGrass Award -- $10,000 in cash prizes awarded for fresh takes on bluegrass music. The FreshGrass Award is an opportunity for rising talent to gain experience in front of seasoned performers, professional presenters, and other industry veterans. The Award's top prize will include recording studio time at Compass Records in Nashville and a chance to perform at FreshGrass in 2014. Of course, details are available at FreshGrass.com.
The website will have details about lively workshops produced by FreshGrass with its festival partner, The Berklee School of Music's American Roots program. Workshops will focus on instrument-specific playing techniques and industry trends in the bluegrass scene.
Lodging and helpful information for visitors can be found on the "Get Here" feature of the website. Visitors will find information about area lodging including FreshGround, the downtown tent site organized in conjunction with the City of North Adams and located just a ten-minute walk from the festival venue.
FreshGrass is a wonderland of bluegrass and roots music, rich in both traditional and cutting-edge bluegrass, and presented in a wide array of venues tucked appropriately into a 19th-century-factory-turned-21st-century-museum in the Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts.
FreshGrass is one of the best values in the festival world. Early-bird festival passes are available for $68 for adults, $58 for students. After the early-bird tickets are gone, general admission pricing will be $78 for adults, $68 for students, $38 for kids 6-16, and free for children 5 and under. Museum members receive a 10% discount on the regular prices, but membership discounts do not apply on the early-bird prices. Day passes will be available closer to the event. Tickets are available through FreshGrass.com and MassMoCA.org or by calling the MASS MoCA box office at 413 662 2111 x1. The Box Office is located off Marshall Street in North Adams, and is open from 11am to 5pm, closed Tuesdays. In July and August, the box office is open from 10am to 6pm every day. Festival-goers are welcome to bring chairs, blankets, and cushions to sit on but should leave coolers and picnic baskets at home. The festival will be held rain or shine.
Exhibitions on view during FreshGrass include, among others, Xu Bing: Phoenix, a monumental display of sculptural phoenixes, each stretching nearly 100 feet in length and weighing over 20 tons in all; One Minute Film Festival, featuring over 600 micro-films; Life's Work, focusing on two artists, Tom Phillips and Johnny Carrera, who have spent their entire careers making art from - and about - single books; Love to Love You, a show of artists who explore the essence of being a fan in today's popular culture; and two solo exhibitions, one of New York-based painter Joseph Montgomery and the other of Paris-based sculptor Guillaume Leblon.
MASS Moca is one of the world's liveliest (and largest!) centers for making and enjoying the best new art of our time across all media: music, art, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on the museum's renovated 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA perhaps the most fertile site in the country for new art. MASS MoCA is an open platform that thrives on presenting art and learning experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative.
MASS MoCA's galleries are open from 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. In July and August, MASS MoCA's galleries will be open from 10am to 6pm every day. Gallery hours are often extended on evenings featuring performing arts events. Gallery admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students, $5 for children 6-16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. For additional information, call 413-662-2111 or visit www.MassMoCA.org.
MASS MoCA is an independent 501(c)(3) whose operations and programming are funded primarily through admissions and commercial lease revenue, corporate and foundation grants, and individual philanthropy. Except for a construction grant from the Commonwealth, and competitive program and operations grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MASS MoCA is privately funded: 90% of MASS MoCA's annual operating revenues come from earned revenues, membership support, and private gifts and grants. align=
New to the festival is the FreshGrass Award -- $10,000 in cash prizes awarded for fresh takes on bluegrass music. The FreshGrass Award is an opportunity for rising talent to gain experience in front of seasoned performers, professional presenters, and other industry veterans. The Award