PINEDALE, Wyo. — It’s almost time for two full nights of music at the American Legion Park in Pinedale.
The 5th Annual Wind River Mountain Festival kicks off Friday, July 16 at 5 p.m. The music is free and goes ’till sundown on Friday and Saturday. Here’s the all-star lineup:
Friday, July 16
Jackie Venson will headline Friday night starting at 7:15 p.m. Venson is a multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter known far and wide for her beautifully complex music and blazing guitar skills. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Venson has traveled the world playing to massive crowds both as a headliner and as support for major acts such as Gary Clark Jr, Aloe Blacc, and Citizen Cope, to name a few.
Before Venson takes the stage, A.J. Fullerton will fill the park with roots, rock, and blues at 6 p.m.. Fullerton is originally from Montrose, CO and grew up listening to artists like Mississippi John Hurt, Taj Mahal, T Model Ford, The Black Keys, and Albert Collins… to name a few. Since picking up the guitar as a teenager, Fullerton has become known for his signature style of fingerpicking and bottleneck slide guitar.
Kicking the night off at 5 p.m. is local duo The Boom and Bust, a pair of alt-country storytellers who delve deep into the roots of the dirty south and untamed west.
Saturday, July 17
Saturday night’s headliner is none other than Goodnight, Texas. Despite the name, Goodnight, Texas is a transcontinental garage Appalachian collaboration of San Francisco’s Avi Vinocur (formerly of The Stone Foxes) and North Carolina’s Patrick Dyer Wolf. The music is the product of their travels, their whispers and roars, their sounds made with steel and wood, and the echo of our country’s past.
Pixie and the Partygrass Boys are the middle bill at 6 p.m. Saturday. They aren’t exactly bluegrass, or newgrass, or punk, or rock and roll. They fall somewhere in between it all, and that’s exactly how they like it. Drawing influence from the bluegrass roots of Appalachia and transporting it straight to the western edge of the Rockies, Pixie and the Partygrass Boys create a uniquely American sound. Inspired by landscapes from coast to coast, the group combines classical training with jazz, Broadway, pop-punk, and an unabashed love for having a damn good time.
Imagine if Simon & Garfunkel were combined with Phoebe Bridgers and transformed into identical twin sisters. That’s Companion, Saturday’s opening act. The twins take the stage at 5 p.m.
Again boasting over 50 event sponsors including a who’s-who’s of outdoor product companies (Patagonia, North Face, et al.), The Wind River Mountain Festival will feature everything from live music and gear demos to kids events and a craft beer festival. Fun vendor booths, outdoor contests are also part of the festival with many activities taking place at American Legion Park.
Wind River Mountain Festival also means it’s time for The Surly Pika Adventure Race. It is not a triathlon or relay. It is a team-based adventure race in the front-country of the largest mountain range in the state, the Wind River Range. Team members (Pikas) must navigate with map and compass to track down checkpoints via bike, foot, and boat. There are two race divisions: a six and a twelve-hour option. The Surly Pika will be held Sunday July 18 and online sign-ups are available at WindRiverMtFest.com
Home to over 140 miles of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), the Wind River Range is one of Wyoming’s most sought-after destinations.
In February of 2016, Pinedale was officially accepted as Wyoming’s first CDT Community – a designation reserved for communities in close proximity to the Trail that apply through the CDT Coalition and promise to promote good stewardship and, among other things, plan a corresponding event, which has blossomed into the 3-day festival.
For a full schedule of WRMF events visit www.windrivermtfest.com