Coral Creek Music rolled out the magic of Norse God Ullr in style with an exciting bill of events! The music and fun covered multiple venues and went on for days!
(Photos are below)
Opening night was a frenzy of activity as three simultaneous shows began! Only then perhaps, did Festival goers understand that this Ullr dude meant business! The pre-events had started weeks earlier and each was bigger than the last with a huge night at Cervantes Other Side on Thursday to launch us into the weekend.
The Mountain Toad Brewery was standing room only with The Sweet Lillies, Josh Thompson & Plaid tt Bone and Ragged Union playing until the neighborhood had it’s fill! The Golden Hotel was intimate and cozy with the fine stylings of Luke Bulla, Tyler Grant and Bill McKay. The Buffalo Rose Bar was packed with Psychodilla & Burn It Blue.
The “paparazzi” were out en force and everyone was aglow when the first wave of Artists and VIP passholders made it back to the cozy green room. Massage staff from Golden’s new Symmetry were at the ready, Stem Ciders rolled in with a generous bounty, and Abrusci’s Italian in Applewood displayed a delectable fair! The goody bags were fantastic with an eclectic mix of Golden’s finest local businesses and plenty of Ullr-Gear! It felt like some “alternate dimension” of our hometown, with our favorite friends and the whole new cast of characters from “the city” and beyond!
Rapidgrass (Mark Morris, Coleman Smith, Kyle James Hauser, Paul Watinas, & Alex Johnstone) assembled and played a few songs to warm up before heading over to the Buffalo Rose Nightgrass venue. Peter Rowan settled in and the Ullrgrass Allstars serenaded a private set for the VIP crowd! Andy Thorne (Banjo, Leftover Salmon), Tyler Grant (Guitar, The Grant Farm), Luke Bulla (Fiddle, Lyle Lovett Band) & Andy Hall (Dobro, The Infamous Stringdusters) were a beautiful combination of harmonies and fast flyin licks!
I even sang and played Jambalaya when Tyler Grant insisted and passed me the guitar (whaaaaaat? Seriously?!! Wow. Thank you! ) Peter Rowan complimented me afterward! (Do you see what I mean by the feeling that it was some awesome “alternate dimension”?) That moment is absolutely the highlight of my 2015 so far! It’s an expanding and growing year for a lot of folks, time to soar!
We escorted Mr. Rowan to the venue and the night moved faster and faster into an absolute bluegrass frenzy! The Ullrgass Allstars created a beautiful synergy around the bluegrass legend and the crowd went wild, spinning like whirling dervishes! I love seeing the crowd dance and pulse from the upper deck in The Buffalo Rose venue, it’s an amazing room with a very cool history. It’s a wonderful feeling to dive right into that mix of dancers and feel the energy exchange. I am so sure that music is the most powerful transmitter that we have! I love to see and feel it in action. The Buffalo Rose’s Kenny Lee is sure packing them in for exciting shows this year and it was awesome fun to see all of our Vikings friends havin’ such a hoedown!
The famous banner over our Washington Avenue reads “Howdy Folks! Welcome to Golden!”
Golden’s world-class hospitality was evident. The town hosts large events each year from Pro-Cycling to Film and Art Festivals and our dedicated community loves to engage with new friends and spread the Joy! It reminds me of my new favorite vendors, Be Hippy – It’s a Colorado Thing!
Ullrgrass took over the Parfet Park on Saturday and the day was a wonderful success! It was literally impossible to see all of the events happening in town at once. Workshops, Performances, Beer, Helmets, it was all a whirl. We hosted the Artist Hospitality Bus and it was great fun to see some of my favorite musicians and friends braving it in the clear winter afternoon!
The Kitchen Dwellers opened us up in fantastic style, The Troubador winner, Josh Vogeler, The Good Time Travelers, Drunken Hearts and The Grant Farm were fantastic lineup on Saturday and the action continued to the Buffalo Rose Saloon, the Mountain Toad Brewery and The Golden Hotel. We had to lose track of all of the wild fun as we raced back to meet the massage folks from Golden’s newest pampering spot, Symmetry and setup the cozy green room for round two with Coral Creek and Head for The Hills.
The snowfall, sent by Ullr and predicted by Thompson weeks ago, fell in a hushed beauty as the Ullrgrass Anthem was led by Susannah and the Boys! We couldn’t believe that the park was now covered in six inches of snow! The security guard was vigilant in his patrols and it seemed like a dream to see it all white and fluffy! We rescued supplies and an intrument from the white tundra covered camper lounge and headed back to the nightgrass crowd.
The second Nightgrass show was SOLD OUT (!!! Yes!!!) and Head for The Hills was in full swing when we returned and the energy of the crowd had reached a fever pitch for the weekend! It definitely felt like a shift! It is the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, Imbolc, Groundhogs Day, with Mercury in Full Retrograde and all that Astrological jazz! It was a learning experience and a wild celebration for all involved and by this point Saturday everything had truly gelled. It was almost too much to be in the thick of it because everyone in town seemed to be here, there and everywhere all at once! Whooooosh!
The Ullrgrass Festival was a beautiful, electric and full weekend.
It was truly impossible to take it all in at once, I would say that the VIP pass is the way to go because of the amazing behind the scenes look that was offered to passholders! I am partial to green rooms and watching the magic that happens before the beauty of a powerful performance. Cascade Booking & Promotion’s mission is to support the arts and it was great fun and truly an honor to help coordinate the hospitality and provide help where needed!
Chris and Susannah Thompson had shared their great vision to create a World Class Music Festival to our hometown friends over a beer at GCB and it was positively stunning to watch it unfold! From Golden Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals and The Colorado School of Mines students to Mountain Toad Brewery, Golden Hotel and The Buffalo Rose, the community was out in full force with a fresh take on a winter festival!
The crowd came Sunday morning in the Snow and was “furry” and “horny” with their beautiful warm costumes. The children played in the snow, the hardworking volunteers just glowed from the weekend’s success. The Steel Pennies opened the stage and things quickly picked up. The food trucks were buzzing with yummy breakfast burritos and fantastic coffee! Stem ciders was still hanging out and the air felt warm and magic with the slushy snow underfoot.
The Caribou Mountain Collective boys were so charming in their set with their beautiful harmonies and special pickin’. I loved that very moment, when things were just washed in the afterglow of the Ullr-Magic and it indeed felt like a celebration the “balance of now” and the “leaning toward” Spring! It was warmish and slushy to dance in the snow!
The Golden Pickers showed up in their usual “local” style. Warren Kennison, longtime picker and contributor to Earl Scruggs original Banjo books, was looking sharp in his red shirt and cowboy hat! Chris & Susannah Thompson (Guitar, Coral Creek) Geoff & ChristinaUnion (Guitar, Ragged Union), John Bush (Mandolin, Burn it Blue), Erin Lukes-Peet (Thunder & Rain) and Francisco Prado (Bass, Burn it Blue, Dorado). There were more beautiful and talented players hopping in and out of the fun and it felt like a special afternoon. Mr. Ullr (Lark) even stripped down in the sunshine for a photo reenactment of the fantastic original painting created by Susannah Thompson!
We sang gospel songs and welcomed the children to participate! Cassidy Thompson & Teagan Engesser (the cutest little co-narrators in Virtuosity Dance’s Winter Rock Opera, Scrooged) sang a lovely original tune about “going down to the river” with your “best friends” and this new song pretty much said it all. The scene was surreal with Clear Creek running in the background a beautiful view of the Castlerock on South Table Mountain, and a tear in more than one mother’s eye. Dancing in the crowd with all of our favorite babies and seeing the happy faces of families having fun was wonderful!
Golden is “Fresh”
In that moment it was clear that this melding of our community was strong and positive! Something powerful and hard to describe happened in Golden this weekend. Peter Rowan said to Susannah, “there is a Freshness in Golden” and that he loved it very much! It certainly was special.
It was definitely a Happy Sunday and yes maybe a little “hokey pokey” here at the end of the weekend. This is where the fun begins! Fun and Imaginative is the approach for 2015 ~ let’s laugh our way back to a peaceful world, one community, one family, one child, one heart at a time! After all, you know how it goes! You put your “whole self in” and you “shake it all about”! You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself about…. It turns out that this really is all that it is about.
Many many kudos, congratulations, thanks and gratitude for the opportunity to watch the town of Golden throw their “whole selves” into music event, certainly for “shakin it all about” and to the Thompson’s for having such a gloriously large vision! I think I have said it hundreds of times now…. Golden Rocks! And when you see something that “someone” should do, just consider for a moment the possibility that this “someone” might just be you!
Don’t miss the Ullr next time! Get on board my friends, this event is going to springboard off of this success! Volunteer activities for a Festival of this size can continue throughout the year! Heather Klenske and her awesome team of volunteers really pulled off a huge feat! Gretchen, Tom, Jason, Talle, Jen, Ann, Brittney, Jason, Maura, Rhonda and so many more in action was an impressive sight! There are so many more faces, I’m sure I couldn’t name them all! Volunteer for next year now at www.UllrGrass.com
Now it feels like 2015 has been officially “launched” right! I mean, we have been blessed by a Norse God and all! The moon comes full in Leo on Tuesday, it’s going to be a wild month! Align yourself with your own highest good, whatever that may be. Don’t wait to take action! Now is the time, always! Thank you to all of the sponsors and people who took action this weekend! It was so unbelievably amazing!
Chris & Susannah Thompson, Coral Creek Music
Alyssa Graves, Art on the Brix
Nancy and Jeff Progar, Abrusci’s
Kevin Nauslar, Nauslar Consulting
I could post hundreds of pictures. Here is a link to one of the official photogs site.
UllrDude dancin in the slippery snow to Caribou Mountain Collective!
Click here for the FB Video Post by Cascade Booking & Promotions.