Patty Griffin, Shakey Graves headline Red Ants Pants

Festival fills a cow pasture in White Sulphur Springs with a slew of good music July 25-28

New & Notable

The ninth annual Red Ants Pants Music Festival – named Montana Event of the Year by the Montana Office of Tourism – recently released its 2019 line-up during a block party on Main Street in White Sulphur Springs.

Grammy Award-winning folk/country artist Patti Griffin, Shakey Graves, Bobby Bare, Colter Wall, Valerie June, Suzy Bogguss, The White Buffalo, and many more take the stage in a sweet-clover cow pasture on the Jackson Ranch just outside of White Sulphur Springs July 25-28.

Griffin, known for her emotionally charged voice and vivid storytelling, is on the road this year, promoting her new self-titled album. Her first LP since 2015’s Grammy-nominated Servant of Love was lauded as “personal and intimate yet wholly universal” by Rolling Stone. She was also named Artist of the Year and received the Album of the Year award from the Americana Music Association

Shakey Graves, born Alejandro Rose-Garcia, was named 2015 Americana Music Awards’ Best Emerging Artist. His most recent album, Can’t Wake Up, has been called his most ambitious and audacious work yet.

Country Music Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Award-winning Bobby Bare is also on the eclectic roster.

Red Ants Pants Poster
The 2019 poster competition winner is Erin Rankin of Whitefish with her piece titled, “The Road Best Traveled.”

The festival kicks off with a free street dance on Thursday, July 25, with music by Tris Munsick and The Innocents. Action moves to the Jackson Ranch Friday-Sunday for 16 main stage and 14 side-stage performances. With a reputation for paring Grammy award-winning superstars with hand-picked rising stars, the festival has grown from 6,000 attendees in its first year to 18,000 last year.

The Red Ants Pants Music Festival is locally-produced and supported by hundreds of Montana volunteers. Festival attendees take pride in knowing a portion of the proceeds from the four-day event support the Red Ants Pants Foundation’s mission of increasing women’s leadership, promoting rural communities, and bolstering working family farms and ranches.

“As our festival has grown, we’ve been honored to have strong homegrown support from the Meagher County community and folks from across the state who see great value in connecting with good folks and celebrating rural Montana,” said festival producer and founder Sarah Calhoun. “This year’s lineup includes incredible depth and diversity including Grammy-award winning stars and up-and-coming artists with new sounds that might help you find your next new favorite musician.”

In addition to headliners Patty Griffin, Shakey Graves and Bobby Bare, performers include Colter Wall, Valerie June, Suzy Bogguss, The White Buffalo, Darrell Scott, Mipso, The Steel Wheels, The Waifs, Dustbowl Revival, The East Pointers, William Prince, Lilly Hiatt, Bo DePeña, and many more.

In addition to loads of music, the festival features agriculture and skill demonstrations, local food, beer, wine, art and crafts, a yodeling contest, and the ever-popular beard and moustache and cross-cut sawing competitions.

Tickets are $55 per day or $60 at the gate; $145-$160 for a weekend pass; and free for kids 12 and under (a limited number of early-bird and VIP passes are also available). Camping is $30 per person, and for the first time campers can rent gear on site or in advance from Nyx Camping. Camping packages include tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads and chairs.