Fresh Grass to Bring Fresh Faces to Mass MoCA this Weekend

NORTH ADAMS, MA–September brings flannels out of the closet, crimson leaves in the air, and the Fresh Grass Festival to Mass MoCA. One of two festivals offered by Fresh Grass this year (the other was in Bentonville, AK earlier this spring), Fresh Grass at Mass MoCA features roots music across four stages on a 16 acre art museum campus. This year’s lineup features the Dropkick Murphy’s acoustic version, Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real, as well as Rhiannon Giddens.

Starting on Friday night, the contemporary art museum becomes transformed into a music venue hosting six performances, with some of the bigger names in folk and roots music in the industry. Allison Russell, Sierra Ferrell, and The Devil Makes Three round out the first night, which is sure to please fans late into the autumn dusk.

Photo by Douglas Mason

The festival also encourages and hires local musicians who come and play sets across the campus, entertaining those who are eating the gourmet food provided by local vendors or perusing the campus. The music ticket includes admission to the galleries, so if you need a break from being outside, the world class galleries of contemporary art can offer you respite.

Mass MoCA is a destination itself. Collaborating with artists from across the globe, the venue hosts visual and performing artists in bold and unconventional ways. And while they host other concerts throughout the summer, Fresh Grass showcases musicians who are innovative in their exploration of folk and roots music that perhaps would not be heard elsewhere.

While day two of the festival’s headliners the Dropkick Murphy’s acoustic set and Mountain Grass Unit, Fresh Grass will also highlight the Black Legacy Project, Sunny War, Bombino, and highlight commissioned work as well as a full lineup of creatives performing from 11 am until way after dark.

And as if that isn’t enough, the festival continues on Sunday with Hank Wonder, Mighty Poplar, Rhiannon Giddens, and none other than Lucas Nelson and his band The Promise of the Real. Nelson’s emerging star is rising just as his father’s seems to be immortalized. His set will close out three calendar days of what promises to be not only the real, but most memorable festival hosted as Mass MoCA in recent memory.

Tickets are still available and should be purchased in advance for this rain or shine event. Plan to come early, as parking in North Adams can be tricky, and you’ll want to enjoy the beauty of the landscape between Nipper and the Berkshires.

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