NORTH ADAMS — Blues-rock singer and guitarist Gary Clark Jr., best known for his fusion of blues, rock and soul, will join the likes of Old Crow Medicine Show, Trampled by Turtles, Yola, The Jerry Douglas Band, Aoife O’Donovan and the Berkshire’s own Misty Blues at FreshGrass 2022.
The FreshGrass Foundation announced the first wave of its lineup for the three-day bluegrass and roots festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on Thursday. The lineup also includes Sierra Ferrell, Alison Brown, The Lil Smokies, Sierra Hull, Willie Watson, Luca Ciarla, Never Come Down, California Bluegrass Reunion featuring Darol Anger, John Reischman, Bill Evans, Jim Nunally, Sharon Gilchrist & Chad Manning, and many more. Additional artists will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We are thrilled with this year’s lineup,” said Chris Wadsworth, producer and FreshGrass Foundation director, in a news release. “It includes major artists who’ve never been here before, some old favorites, and plenty of FreshGrass surprises. This year’s commissions are sure to break boundaries for us as well.”
FreshGrass returns to Mass MoCA fromSept. 23-25. Tickets are now on sale at freshgrass.com/tickets. Three-day general admission passes are $149, adults; $99, students; $49, ages 7 to 16; free for 6 and under. All festival tickets include admission to Mass MoCA’s galleries.
Three-day VIP FreshPass tickets are also available for $500. VIP tickets include preferred seating or standing sections at the main stages, access to the FreshPass Lounge (free beer and snacks, phone charging, and a selection of festival merchandise), meet-and-greet opportunities with FreshGrass artists, and an exclusive curator-led tour of the Mass MoCA galleries.
“FreshGrass is a beloved tradition at Mass MoCA, with more than a decade of music and memories,” Mass MoCA Director Kristy Edmunds said in the release. “The joy and care that go into creating this festival — from the world-premiere performances to the developmental workshops and awards — keep artists and audiences coming back year after year.”
FreshGrass features bluegrass traditionalists and innovators on four stages and platforms throughout the museum’s 16-acre campus. Festival programming also includes FreshScores, a silent film with original live music; FreshGrass commissions and world premieres; instrument and industry workshops; pop-up performances and retail; and local Berkshire food and spirits vendors.
Workshops led by bluegrass veterans on the subjects of songwriting, producing, and music marketing will be offered. FreshGrass-owned No Depression — the quarterly journal for roots music and online roots music authority — sets up an eponymous stage in the festival’s inner courtyard and Compass Records brings its pop-up record store back to the center of the festival.
In addition, FreshGrass nurtures emerging talent in the bluegrass field with its FreshGrass Awards, which grant up to $20,000 in cash prizes and recording time at Compass Records studio in Nashville to unsigned talent. The annual award categories include band, banjo, guitar and fiddle. Twelve finalists — three in each category — travel to the festival to perform for a panel of No Depression editors and artists.
Finalists will perform throughout the weekend on pop-up stages and award winners in each of the four categories will earn a mainstage slot at the 2023 FreshGrass Festival. The FreshGrass Award prizes are funded by the FreshGrass Foundation, whose mission is to promote, produce, and create innovative grassroots music and support emerging artists.
For more information, visit freshgrass.com.