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Pickin' in the Rockies


According to Garret Dupper, there's real value in bringing southern bluegrass to the rugged peaks and valleys of his state of Colorado. While a thriving folk music scene exists across the state, Dupper threw his hat into the ring and produced a new event that showcases the music he loves. The inaugural year of Pickin' in the Rockies is coming to Loma, Colorado – located near Grand Junction in the western Rockies – on May 26, 2024.


"We are bringing bands out west that are rooted in the heart of bluegrass music," Dupper said. The Main Stage lineup currently includes artists such as Caroline Owens, Carson Peters & Iron Mountain, Williamson Branch, and more. Additional well-known headliners will potentially be added closer to the event. The fest will also include local and regional performers such as Keaton Brown and Peggy Malone.


Dupper said the goal is to satisfy local music interests while having notable acts to draw tourists to the region.


"We're combining the locals with the tourists and making them one," he summarized.


A big feature of Pickin' in the Rockies will be the workshops offered. One workshop topic – family dynamics in the music business – is particularly suited to Williamson Branch, who will participate in that event. Family bands have always been a big part of old time, bluegrass and gospel; exploring that relationship between family and the performing arts adds additional depth and context to what the performers present while onstage.


"Workshops will be on the history of bluegrass, and there will be a workshop on the family dynamics of bluegrass and how that brings people together," Dupper explained.


Part of the event's goal is to support a new organization associated with Pickin' in the Rockies.


"It is a non-profit," Dupper said. "I founded it and put together the board."


He decided to do the hard work of putting together a new festival from scratch because his heart lies in both the music and the community. He believes in the role of bluegrass festivals.


"For me, it's kind of always been something the whole family can enjoy," he said. "It brings people together in a community sense."


One aspect of the bluegrass circle that Dupper said stands out to him is that performers are often on a personal level with fans.


"Everybody's always traveling to see the groups because they became such good friends with them," he explained, adding that he's dealt with "country crossover" acts before and found that their demands were greater and their "demeanor onstage is so different." He described bluegrass performers as being more laid-back and of-the-people.


Dupper said a lot is going on in the area in the days surrounding the festival, which will be held on Loma's Absolute Prestige Ranch. Traveling to Colorado for Pickin' in the Rockies will allow visitors to take in other fun events.


"The area is very unique… there's hiking, mountain biking…several big events that same weekend, like a rodeo and a baseball game," Dupper said.


Pickin' in the Rockies will also have craft and food vendors on the festival grounds, including "vendors coming from all across Colorado" that will dish out a variety of delish options, including things such as "BBQ, churros, and funnel-cake sundaes."


Tickets for Pickin' in the Rockies are now on sale. For more information, visit


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