Through the wide hills of Oak Hill, NY, into the vast plains of Walsh Farm, the annual Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival will make a grand appearance next weekend, July 14 through 17. It features every fundamental component of a great music festival, like a carefully developed lineup, camping spaces for every species of festival-goer, top food vendors and ongoing activities to be a part of, if one of the seven venues in the festival doesn’t already tickle your fancy. In honor of their recently released weekend schedule, here’s a breakdown of what we’re looking forward to at Grey Fox.
Potentially dabbling in and out of the ongoing jam lessons in the Grass Roots and Slow Jam Tents, this first day at the festival is about getting your bearings. Touring around through the various stages, it’s easy to submerge in the dozens of opening day bands, with some groups like the Wood Brothers playing two different stages. For some fresher sounds, the Emerging Artist Showcase is certainly worth a visit. The music stops after Scythian goes on at 11 p.m. Thursday night, but this won’t stop the music in Picker’s Paradise — the premier camping destination. For those who turn in early, there are plenty of morning activities to get the day started right, including morning yoga and meditation. The morning seems to be a high-traffic hour for vendors as well, with multiple coffee and breakfast stations for your early morning cravings. The music will pick back up around 11 a.m., and continue into Friday night, featuring Trout Steak Revival on the Catskill and High Meadow stage, and some late jammers like Lonely Heartstring Band, the SteelDrivers and Matuto.
If you don’t make seeing Béla Fleck and Chris Thile the highlight of your Saturday, don’t bother leaving your campsite. This show starts at 9:45 p.m. sharp at the High Meadow Stage, but we recommend getting there early before flocks of people gather in front to witness this dynamic duo take on the Grey Fox Festival Stage. Luckily, there are many reasons to be there early anyway, with some killer bands playing beforehand, like Elephant Revival at 6 p.m. and the Gibson Brothers at 7:15 p.m. As Sunday brings Grey Fox to a close, there are still incentives to stay for the day, with the raffle winner drawings at 1:30 p.m. and sets from the Stray Birds and an encore performance of Della Mae at the High Meadow Stage.
With back-to-back shows, more food than you can stomach, ongoing daily activities and the overall sensory overload, it doesn’t look like they’ll be much sleeping at Grey Fox this year. Luckily for campers, gates open as early as 7 a.m. on Wednesday, so there’s plenty of time to get settled and take a weekend’s worth of shuteye. Make sure you don’t sleep too long, because once Thursday kicks off the live performances, it’ll be hard to walk away from. If you see the NYS Music banner, make sure you give us a shout out. We’ll see you there.