The voices of not one, but two Sierras — Ferrell and Hull — will echo through the Sierra Nevada mountains when the eighth annual WinterWonderGrass Tahoe festival takes place April 5-7 at Palisades Tahoe ski resort. Ferrell is one of four featured headliners; the Devil Makes Three, The Infamous Stringdusters and Paul Cauthen also top the list of bluegrass, jamgrass, Americana and roots-music performers appearing at the family-friendly festival, for which VIP and general-admission tickets go on sale today.
Like its sister festival, WinterWonderGrass Steamboat — where Ferrell, The Stringdusters and Cauthen are also headlining — the Palisades Tahoe gathering celebrates music, brews and mountains. It’s also designed to build a community that inspires — and draws inspiration from — artistic creativity, the beautiful setting on Washoe tribe ancestral lands and each participant. According to founder Scotty Stoughton, the intent is not just to provide a joyous, mindful, mutually supportive experience, but to create unity and infuse attendees with a desire to sustain that spirit (and the planet) year-round.
“We cultivate and nurture the relationship between nature, music and family,” says Stoughton, who launched the original WinterWonderGrass festival in 2013 and added Tahoe in 2015.
That’s why the packed list of 2024 Tahoe performers includes so many returning artists. In addition to Ferrell, Cauthen and The Stringdusters, the Kitchen Dwellers, Andy Frasco & the U.N., Lindsay Lou, Sam Grisman Project, WinterWonderWomen, Pickin' on the Dead, Clay Street Unit, Shadowgrass and RiverWonderGrass All-Stars are coming back. They’ll be joined by Lil Smokies, the supergroup Mighty Poplar, featuring Andrew Marlin, Noam Pikelny, Chris Eldridge and Greg Garrison (of Watchhouse, the Punch Brothers and Leftover Salmon, respectively) Diggin’ Dirt, Tejon Street Corner Thieves, Two Runner, Caltucky, Boot Juice, Cast Iron and Broken Compass Bluegrass.
In addition to afternoon sets on the outdoor stages (all in heated tents), several performers will appear at separately ticketed Grass After Dark events, to be announced in January.
Three-day festival passes include:
Complimentary beer, spirits, wine and spiked-seltzer tastings from independent local brewers, daily from 2 to 5 p.m. for those 21 and older.
A complimentary commemorative WinterWonderGrass mug.
Free Pickin’ in the Plaza shows Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Palisades Tahoe Village Plaza. (Gates open daily at 2 p.m. for mainstage shows.)
A free show on Thursday, April 4, from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Palisades Tahoe Village Plaza.
Those with valid lift tickets, sightseeing tickets or season passes also may attend on-mountain jams Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the top of Palisades Tahoe’s Gold Coast funitel (ride the tram to the Gold Coast).
Children are welcome and encouraged to enjoy activities at the bustling Kids Zone. (All festival goers under age 18 must be accompanied by their legal guardian at all times.)
The festival kicks off with Thursday’s separately ticketed Tram to Table dinner, an intimate feast shared by performers and WinterWonderGrass friends for which participants ride the Palisades Tahoe tram to High Camp for unmatched views of Lake Tahoe and the Olympic Valley. This year’s dinner will feature a performance by Lil Smokies.
WinterWonderGrass maintains a careful focus on sustainability, including partnering with Minimal Impact, a sustainable lifestyle company, and taking all possible steps to reduce its environmental impact. In addition to recycling, the festival supplies reusable cups, asks festivalgoers to bring reusable food-service items and bans single-use plastics. WinterWonderGrass also works closely with and supports local nonprofits in each location.
WinterWonderGrass festivals include Steamboat, March 1-3 in Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Tahoe, April 5-7 in Olympic Valley, Calif.; BajaWonderGrass, April 24-26 at La Tuna, El Sargento, Baja California Sur, Mexico; and May-through-September RiverWonderGrass trips, to be announced on Nov. 7. The unique character, family-friendly, communal spirit and outstanding performers at each event have earned WinterWonderGrass a spot on Outside magazine’s list of nine can’t-miss winter festivals worldwide.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit winterwondergrass.com.