An opportunity for enthusiasts to both appreciate and participate, FreshGrass is a family-friendly festival, brimming with bright talent on four stages, and also in our galleries, brick-lined courtyards, and grassy field, produced in partnership by MASS MoCA, the FreshGrass Foundation, and No Depression.
Music starts early in the museum courtyards, moves to our spacious (and grassy!) urban concert meadow, and then continues until past your bedtime with wild and woolly late-night barn dances in the Hunter Center on Friday and Saturday nights. The lineup is jam-packed with guitar gods and banjo gurus, traditionalists and trailblazers—artists you already know and love interspersed with FreshGrass discoveries. Taken together, it’s an expansive group of performers who both draw on the past and look to the future. We like to think of it as “great music uprooted.”
The FreshGrass Award celebrates new talent, with cast prizes to the contest winners. Finalists in the band, banjo, fiddle, and — new this year — the No Depression singer-songwriter categories perform for a panel of industry professionals on Saturday and Sunday of the festival, with winners announced on Sunday afternoon. Open to all festival-goers, the contest showcases the future of bluegrass and roots music when the bands play original and traditional tunes. With prizes totaling $25,000, grand prize winners receive a performance spot at next year’s festival, recording sessions at Compass Records, and hand-crafted instruments from festival sponsors. Submissions are open from March 1 to May 31.
FreshGround is a tent-camping field within easy walking distance (.7 miles; 12 minutes) of the festival, convenient to downtown merchants, bars, and restaurants. A shuttle bus runs continuously to the festival from the campsite.
Camp Aggie for RV and tent camping is located 4 miles down the road from the festival. Shuttle buses run to the festival every 20-30 minutes.
Stay tuned to freshgrass.com for the latest news—the music never stops at FreshGrass!
Please note: On June 23-25, MASS MoCA hosts the Solid Sound Festival, and we expect about 8,000 people per day at the museum.
We hope you’ll join us for the festival or in the galleries. But if you are craving an intimate, crowd-free art experience, please consider visiting on another weekend.
Download the MASS MoCA app: James Turrell timed reservations; museum maps; suggested routes; history, events, art.