FreshGrass, Friday, September 20 to Sunday, September 22, is three days of live bluegrass and roots music on MASS MoCA’s renovated factory campus in downtown North Adams, Mass., but don’t leave the kids behind when you make tracks to the festival. In addition to kid-centric pop-up concerts with FreshGrass festival musicians, Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell will play a mainstage show geared to children. Zanes’ live show is renowned as a ‘Woodstock for Kids,’ playing songs from across American musical genres that inevitably invoke an all-ages dance party. Mitchell mesmerizes her audiences with homespun renditions of familiar favorites by Woodie Guthrie, Bob Marley and The Velvet Underground. Among the multiple outdoor stages at FreshGrass, FreshKids will set up camp on the grounds to offer opportunities for music-making, family art projects, shade and snacks.
Inside the museum, Kidspace at MASS MoCA is the museum’s child-centered art gallery, currently exhibiting Freedom, a visual exploration of how words and art can have multiple meanings. Explore the work of six artists, which include two interactive exhibitions, and find a quiet place to reflect in the gallery’s meditation area.
Access to world class art galleries is included with all festival admissions. Children love to connect with art in MASS MoCA’s unusually spacious galleries. Public tours of the museum will be available each day of the festival. Urban camping at FreshGround, the festival’s downtown tent site, includes quiet hours that are extremely well-respected by fellow campers. Two hotels are within three blocks of the venue, convenient for nap breaks. When children tire of the festival but aren’t yet ready for a nap, there is a public playground one block away. The festival venue is stroller-friendly.
FreshGrass is rich in both traditional and cutting-edge bluegrass, presented in a wide array of venues tucked into a 19th-century-factory-turned-21st-century-museum in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Three-day festival passes are $78 for adults, $68 for students, $38 for kids 7 to 16, and free for children 6 and under. Museum members receive a 10% discount on the regular prices. Day passes will be available closer to the event. Tickets are available through freshgrass.com or by calling the MASS MoCA box office at 413-662-2111 x1.