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Rothbury is now on sale


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The Rothbury Festival is now on sale.

I just picked up my tickets for it. I would have liked to have gone to the first one, alas I already had plans that I could not get out of so I'm glad to be going this year, especially with Bob Dylan, the Dead and the Black Crowes on the bill not to mention Willie Nelson, Gov't Mule, Guster, Ralph Stanley and Zappa Plays Zappa.



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I just saw the lineup for Gratefulfest. I would guess that Rothbury's line up will hurt Gratefulfest #10's ticket sales. Far more people around the Great Lakes and beyond will likely go and pay to see the Dead for a night along with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, the Black Crowes, Gov't Mule and many more than see the Dark Star Orchestra for three nights.

It's the choice between 4 original (I count Mickey Hart) members of the Grateful Dead and seeing a Grateful Dead cover band. I enjoyed seeing DSO last year on Thursday night at bonnaroo but I would never pick them over the actual Dead.

And looking at the cost Rothbury is an extra $150 to see Dylan, Nelson, Crowes, etc, etc. I travel to Michigan on occasion just to see Dylan for well sometimes close to $100 USD. Plus all I know who went to Rothbury said it's one of the best festivals they ever attended last year.


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Well there is a big difference between Rothbury and Grateful Fest... and it's not the acts.

It's the venue... and it's the people

Grateful fest is a giant forest... with a clearing for a stage and some merch... with a giant quarry to swim in 50 feet from the stage.

As well we are talking numbers. Last years rothbury brought 35k people (estimate), whereas grateful fest is most likely closer to 4 - 5 k.

I did both last summer... and I can tell you Rothbury was something else. Extremely well organized, some amazing acts, and great vibes.

There are a few problems I could see happening though.

Last summer the location (Tripple JJ Ranch) went out of business right after the event, going to power of sale. The event managed to get some court clearance to throw the event again. So this summers event might just be a last ditch effort to secure the property for future festivals... this could mean super pumped up prices on vending... maybe not.

The other problem is that 35k kids went last year and had a rip roaring good time. Word of mouth is an infectious disease, and due to this swarms on people too lazy to drive to Bonnaroo might be showing up.

For myself I was on the fence until reading the line up. I know it may sound strange, as a large number of individuals were going banana's over said line up. I will admit the line up to be fairly kick ass, but not too many people I haven't seen before. Perhaps if the line up had come out before the dead robbed me blind it would be a different story, but alas the fates did not have that in the card.

Finally, price. Grateful fest is in and around 90 bucks... I'll be able to get to grateful fest pay for gas, and buy some food, for the price of the rothbury ticket alone.

So if you want a weekend to see some great acts, and be wowed by some amazing art... go Rothbury. If you want a weekend of some great music (notice the difference), and feel like you are camping... go Grateful Fest.

As a last note... Kimock and Boom Box are both playing Grateful Fest... that's some good act!

If anyone has questions about last summers rothbury give me a shout and I'll totally answer anything.

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Plus all I know who went to Rothbury said it's one of the best festivals they ever attended last year.

You can add me to that list. I've done my share of festivals, and as far as the comparable ones go, Rothbury was hands-down the best.

If I was going again I would be a little concerned about an increase in numbers taking away from the vibe and adding a little more sketch to things, as Alpha Nerd talked about. That said, I think the resurgence of Phish and the draw of Bonnaroo will dominate a lot of people's summer concert plans, so numbers may not increase all that much.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm still going back and forth on this. Sadly it's the price difference that keeps me going around in circles. I LOVE gratefulfest and am sure to go again, but I seem to have a longing to get to Rothbury this year. But still waiting to see which direction my arm will be twisted in.

While no lineup has been released for Rothbury yet, by doing some sleuthing on artists' websites I was able to find out a few things.

So far it looks like:

Thur. Aug. 2nd: Keller Williams

Fri Aug. 3rd includes: Martin Sexton

Sat. 4th includes: Black Crowes, Railroad Earth, John Butler

Sun. 5th inclues: Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Rowan/Rice, YMSB, Zappa Plays Zappa, Gov. Mule, Grace Potter...(sweet)

Anyone know which night The Dead are playing? My guess based on the above is the Friday?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well livingstoned and I have taken the plunge! Due to finances (and me being uncomfortable with being without my son) we opted for the two day pass. Unfortunately this means missing out on some great acts on the Thur/fri (e.g. keller, g.love, STI, Damian Marley, Martin Sexton, Femi Kuti, Soulive, etc)

But nevertheless, Saturday and Sunday are sure to be a blast! Looking forward to (in no particular order) the crowes, rowan/rice, railroad earth, john butler, ralph stanley, the dead, UM, willie, dylan, zappa plays zappa, gov mule, grace potter, les claypool, YMSB, etc.

Couple of scheduling overlaps so will have to make a couple of tough choices once we get there, but with those options i don't see how you can go wrong.


Anyone know how far away (walking time) the stages are from each other? With a cellphone, ow easy do you think it would be to find a friend's campsite if you've never been there before and you're rolling in on the saturday?

Anyone else going? (other than TimmyB...i'll be calling you shortly...)

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If it's the same set up as last year, it shouldn't be hard to find your friends, but I would suggest communicating thru text message, i remember a lot of calls not going thru last year. The stages are very close together, I think the longest walk was maybe 10 or 15 minutes thru the forest, but can't quite remember as mushrooms tend to bend space and time for me ;)

have a great time!

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