Crown Guitar Fest announces headliners

August fest and workshop features Edgar Winter, Jim Messina, Rusty Young, Pat Martino and more

New & Notable
Crown Guitar Festival & Workshop
“Why do you Play” is the theme for the ninth annual Crown Guitar Workshop and Festival, Aug. 26-Sept 1 in Bigfork.

“Why do you Play” is the theme for the ninth annual Crown Guitar Workshop and Festival held Aug. 26-Sept 1 in Bigfork.  The annual gathering, held at Flathead Lake Lodge, brings together a stellar lineup of world-class Artists in Residence (AIR) professional instructors, multi-instrumentalists and guitar students from beginner to pro, to celebrate their love of guitar.

Produced by the nonprofit Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation, organizers hope the week will help musicians find their answers at the “Crown” workshop and festival then share their thoughts on social media at #WhyIPlay.

“Until I experienced this firsthand, I had no idea how absolutely incredible it is … I am a full believer and supporter of the Crown,” said Dobro master Jerry Douglas, a 2017 Artist in Residence. He joins an ever-expanding list of Grammy winners and nominees who have taught for the workshop and performed in the festival.

Students attend daily classes with professional instructors in six genres, many who have been with the Crown since its beginning. The core classes are enriched by AIR master classes, elective classes, and nightly musical jams, with seven nights of musical performances topping off the experience.

The 2018 line-up of AIRs includes: Edgar Winter, a prolific music, film, TV composer and performer; Jim Messina, rock/songwriter of the iconic American groups Buffalo Springfield, Poco, and Loggins and Messina; Rusty Young, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and the heart and soul of Poco; Cory Henry, Grammy-winning B3 organist; Nathan East, bassist extraordinaire and a founding member of Fourplay; Lee Ritenour, multi-winning Grammy jazz master returning for his eighth year; The Pat Martino Trio led by the legendary jazz guitarist; SoloDuo, the world-renowned Italian classical guitar duo; Justin Townes Earle, rootsy Americana singer/songwriter; and Liz Longley, award-winning singer/songwriter.

The festival also consists of five public concerts featuring these artists in collaboration with the faculty musicians and a Crown all-star band. To view dates and artist lineup and purchase tickets, visit

An elite faculty of professional instructors will teach the classes, which offer a non-competitive, supportive environment. To learn more about each of the artists and the classes visit, call 855-855-5900 for details or email [email protected]. A scholarship program for Western Montana residents is available.