2024 Midwinter Bluegrass Festival report

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen at the 2024 Midwinter Bluegrass Festival – photo © Kevin Slick

This report is a contribution from Kevin Slick, a bluegrass artist, photographer, and writer in Colorado. He is also a former President of the Colorado Bluegrass Society.

The Midwinter Bluegrass Festival, a Colorado tradition since 1986, took place inside the Marriott in North Denver this past weekend. This year organizers Dianne Stober and Ben Slocumb, aka Ryegrass Productions, expanded the festival to run through Sunday night taking advantage of the Presidents Day weekend with many folks having Monday off from work. The line up included Missy Raines & Allegheny, Becky Buller Band, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, The Fretliners, Stillhouse Junkies, Slocan Ramblers, Bonnie and Taylor Sims, Martin Gilmore Trio, Orchard Creek Band, The Cody Sisters, and Tenderfoot Bluegrass Band.

Pete Wernick lead a bluegrass jamming class, there was a “beginner jam” each evening hosted by Kevin Slick where folks could join in with easy tempo, not-too-many chord songs. The annual Band Scramble featured prizes from Artist Works, and this year the festival took over the hotel bar for a Bluegrass Karaoke event.

As always there was jamming in every corner of the hotel with the area right outside the elevators on each floor being a favorite spot. At one point there was even a jam happening in the exercise room with a banjo player walking backwards on a treadmill. 

All in all it was a perfect getaway from the winter time blahs to remind us of the wonderful music we love that brings us together.