Thursday at Grey Fox 2016

Balloon flying proudly over Grey Fox 2016 - photo © Tara LinhardtAnother great year at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival just concluded this past weekend. It is definitely a family reunion for many people who come from all over the country to see old friends, make new ones, learn some new ideas on their instruments, and of course see fantastic music with the festival’s always impressive line up.

The festival started with their annual open mic on Wednesday night and then officially kicked off on Thursday with its many vendors, workshops, slow jams, and multiple stages on the Walsh Farm in the lovely mountains of Oak Hill, New York.

I am always so impressed by how the folks at Grey Fox not only bring in such a good variety of music, but also how they give so much thought and effort to encouraging an environmentally friendly festival. They provide recycling throughout the campground, but they also find fun ways to encourage festival goers to get into the spirit as well. They provide an award every year for the campsite with best use of space and the most eco-friendly one. If your campsite is selected as the winner, you win a pair of full festival camping tickets the next year. It is a great way to encourage folks to keep their campsites clean and to recycle, plus it also encourage innovations in use of green technologies and space saving techniques.

The festival also encourages attendees to not drive in, out, and around the festival by having a “Car Corral” where, if one checks their car in for the whole weekend, they are entered in a raffle to win cash money, festival tickets for next year, and other prizes. I hope that more festivals might emulate some of these ideas for making a clean, safe, and environmentally friendly festival.

It really is amazing how nice the festival grounds stay throughout the weekend and what a positive camping experience it is as a result. It is true that large numbers of musicians and music lovers can come together and have a whole weekend of great concerts and partying fun for the whole family and still be kind and respectful to our planet. Grey Fox is leading the way in this regard.

Hats off to all the hardworking organizers, musicians, staff, volunteers, and attendees who make the magic that is Grey Fox such a wonderful annual event.