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FreshGrass Kicks Off at Mass MoCA

By John Durkan
iBerkshires Staff
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Karl Mullen of The Wandering Rocks performs at FreshGrass.
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Ralph Standley performed with The Clinch Mountain Boys on Friday night.
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Sarah Jarosz returned to FreshGrass.
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Spice Root, among other local vendors, will be serving food at the festival.
Cassandra Cleghorn of The Wandering Rocks, a Williamstown-based band, performs at FreshGrass on Friday evening.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — FreshGrass — it's the bluegrass music festival at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art that just keeps growing.
 
At its third year, Mass MoCA Director Joseph Thompson expects around 3,500 festivalgoers on Saturday, which will double last year's figure of around 1,600.
 
"There's an interest in bluegrass," Thompson said. "The lineup, I think, is super."
 
Thompson credits the festival's growth with the word-of-mouth circulation, the reasonable price ($78 for the entire festival), the family-friendly atmosphere and the entire museum open for view.
 
Friday night kicked off with the Williamstown-based group The Wandering Rocks at the Courtyard D stage and will continue all the way into Sunday evening, featuring the Wood Brothers, Leftover Salmon, the Del McCoury Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, and many more.
 
"We know their songs, it's fantastic," Thompson said Friday night during The Wandering Rocks set.
 
Single-day tickets, regular admission for Saturday and Sunday is $38 dollars for adults, $28 for students and $18 for children from ages 7 to 16. Children under 7 can enter for free.
 
There's also a handful of local vendors, including Desperados, How We Roll, Village Pizza and Spice Root.
 
"We're hoping for a good, good response," said Vijay Narula, who operates Spice Root with his family. Narula said they'll be offering a wide variety of food, including vegetarian options all weekend.
 
Residents also took the opportunity to volunteer and work at the festival, including City Councilor Nancy Bullett, who was introduced to FreshGrass previously by her friend Richard Taskin.
 
"I couldn't go to a better one," Bullett said. "People are laid back, it's great, it's a good night."
 
For more information on the festival, visit FreshGrass.com.
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