Inaugural WinterWonderGrass at Squaw Valley is a labor of love for its founder
If you go
When: Friday through Sunday, March 20-22
Where: Squaw Valley
Tickets: Single-day tickets start at $59
The power could go out and the bands performing at this weekend’s WinterWonderGrass festival would still sound good.
And that’s by design, said Scott Stoughton, the founder and producer of the inaugural event at Squaw Valley this weekend. The festival’s lineup is filled with Americana, roots and bluegrass acts sporting full quivers of banjos, mandolins and acoustic guitars.
The authenticity found in acoustic music is just one of the cornerstones of the inaugural festival, Stoughton said. WinterWonderGrass features four stages, two beer tents and more than a dozen musical performers. Local food, natural beauty and zero waste are also important parts of the event, Stoughton said.
“The model was quality over quantity,” Stoughton said. He started the festival in Colorado in 2013 and fell in love with Squaw as a site for the festival’s westward expansion.
The festival includes many of the same artists from this year’s Colorado event, which took place last month, as well as some local favorites.
Performing at the festival this weekend are Trampled by Turtles, Greensky Bluegrass, Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers, The Infamous Stringdusters, Elephant Revival, The California Honeydrops, Dead Winter Carpenters, Brothers Comatose, Sam Bush, Fruition, Head for the Hills, The Dustbowl Revival, Scott Law, Front Country, Tyler Grant, T Sisters and Paige Anderson & the Fearless Kin.
Although Stoughton is a fan of a wide variety of music, the festival bill is filled with personal favorites from the roots music world.
“I booked the bands because I love them,” Stoughton said.
Scott Law and Tyler Grant are among the lesser-known performers Stoughton said he is excited for people to see.
“They rip,” Stoughton said. “Those guys are going to tear it up.”
The Dustbowl Revival also “blew the roof off” last month’s WinterWonderGrass in Colorado, Stoughton said.
Legendary picker Sam Bush will also sit in with all kinds of acts through the weekend, according to the producer. Bush is also a master of the audience engagement Stoughton sought when creating the lineup.
“I booked people that are going to be out in the crowd,” Stoughton said.
Moe’s BBQ in Tahoe City and Olympic Valley Lodge will host late-night parties featuring acts form the festival. Moe’s kicks off the party Thursday night with a performance by the Infamous Stringdusters. The late-night parties were opened up to the general public this week following community input, Stoughton said.
He equated the festival to sitting around a campfire, listening to great music and connecting with friends. He said he hopes to make it a staple of the Lake Tahoe music calendar.
“I really fell in love with the mountain, the people and the location to do the event,” Stoughton said.
For a full schedule of events, as well as ticket information, visit http://www.winterwondergrasstahoe.com.