4th Annual Avograss – Bigger, Better, Bluegrassier

by Dawn Duncan

July 13-15 marks the 4th Annual AvoGrass festival hosted by Avogadro’s Number and featuring a stellar lineup of bluegrass players on the live stage. We are fortunate in Northern Colorado to experience an array of music festivals each year and this one in particular is special in that it brings local, regional, and nationally touring acts together during a five day celebration of a genre that goes with the vibe of Colorado like Rocky Mountain sunsets, riding a bike, and sipping on a cold craft beer. Bluegrass is in our blood here and AvoGrass has grown this year, expanding from a previous three day lineup to five and providing more activities throughout.

Avogadro’s Number, known simply as “Avo’s” in the local realm, was founded in September of 1971. In January of 1980, the present day owner, Rob Osborn, purchased the business and it has expanded over the past nearly 40 years to include an indoor listening room, a full bar, a café that operates morning through evening with a full breakfast/lunch/dinner menu, and an outdoor stage and patio dining/show area that has expanded to include a treehouse and sandbox area for children, a gazebo, grilling area, and additional decorative and shade features. The outdoor patio and stage are favorites of local music goers and bands, as the atmosphere is Colorado casual, inviting, and offering an exceptional sound system.

Steve Cobb, Production Manager and Talent Buyer for Avo’s, has a long history in music as well as working with the Avo’s team. He started playing guitar and singing around age 10, learned keys/piano, flatpicking, banjo, sang backup in bands and honed his love of bluegrass music over the years while also playing rock, funk, and really anything that peaked his interest and kept him growing musically. Currently, Cobb is a member of the all-star group,

Colony Funk. He previously toured with The Subdudes as their Touring and Road Manager, worked at the Mish and GoWest,  and shelved pursuing an engineering degree at Purdue to work in music and production full time. He has been the Sound Technician at Avo’s for 15 years and is the cornerstone of the talent buying for AvoGrass.

Cobb’s fascination with bluegrass blossomed when he attended his first Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 1999. “I took my guitar with me and since I had very little money at the time, I volunteered for the festival and worked at the campgrounds. I was so awestruck by the talent I heard there that I didn’t even take out my guitar! I just listened and absorbed what was happening. I was humbled,” Cobb stated.

Part of Avo’s mission is to provide a stage for bands to play on while the establishment also gives back to the community. “Our goal is to see young performers like Grace Kuch, for instance, play our stage and get experience so that she and others like her will one day headline here and beyond. This is a huge component of why we do events like this,” Cobb commented. He added, “In the end, Avo’s isn’t just a restaurant, a bar, a music venue. It’s a family.”

Don’t miss the exceptional lineup of this year’s AvoGrass festival and the myriad activities that are planned for the five day event. This is truly one of the unique and special festivals in this area and one that is designed to be enjoyed by music lovers of all ages.

HIGHLIGHTS:

July 13: Night one of AvoGrass includes a kickoff party with Mason Street starting at 7pm, followed by a free open jam

July 14: 6 pm Wood Belly, 7:45 pm The Honey Gitters, 9:30-11 pm Grant Farm

July 15: 5pm, The Laramie River Band, 6:30 pm Whiskey Shivers, 8:00 pm Tallgrass, 9:30 pm Mustard Licks, 11 pm to 1 am (2 sets) The Holler!

July 16: 2 pm Ran Off The Rooster, 3:45 Tooth Tail and Wing, 5:45 Von Stomper, 7:30 Cosmic Mesa, 9:30-11 pm Whitewater Ramble

July 17: 12-2 pm Open Jam, 2 pm Lineage Music Program students with Chad Fisher, Instructor, 2:45 pm Nice Hat Mister,  3:45 pm Grace Kuch and Friends, 4:30 pm Cooley Brothers, 5:00 pm Docherty Family Band, 5:30 pm Sammy Davison Band

Those with the three-day $30 pass to AvoGrass may attend Sunday for free and the date is open to the public; a suggested $5 donation is requested and proceeds from this go to school music programs at Poudre High School and Rocky Mountain High School.

2016 Lineup: Cosmic Mesa, Mason Street, Tooth Tail & Wig, Ran Off The Rooster, Mustard Licks, Wood Belly, The Laramie River Band, Tallgrass, Von Stomper, Whiskey Shivers, The Honey Gitters, The Holler!, Whitewater Ramble, Grant Farm, Lineage Music Project students

Plus: Open jams throughout the festival!

Tickets: WEEKEND PASSES: (Thursday, Friday, Saturday): $30 (available online or at the front counter at Avo’s)

SINGLE DAY TICKETS: $15, childern under 12 attend free

Activities and Information:

Live painting for kids: Craft activities, ice cream, face painting, and the beloved treehouse and sandbox areas open for playtime.

Food: There will be full menu service available, food specials, and there will be outdoor grilling of hamburgers and hotdogs for purchase.

For musicians: Tuner, picks, and strings available during the festival.

Merchandise for sale: Festival t-shirts, various band merch items.

Schedule, tickets information: avogadros.com

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