The Moonlight MusicFest returns to Big Sky Aug. 16-17 for its second year of delivering stellar music by national and regional talent (Trampled by Turtles, The Record Company, Blackberry Smoke, Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band, The War & Treaty, St. Paul and the Broken Bones) in a breathtaking setting. And we just gave away free tickets to Amanda Davis in Butte, Rob Conover in Bonner and Stacey Giffin in Missoula.
Rob, at Beer Scientist for Kettlehouse Brewery (yes, that’s an actual job title!) told us he’s new to Montana, and excited about heading to Big Sky this weekend. Amanda from Butte tells us she “loves Blackberry Smoke” and is stoked about the whole line-up. “What a great festival!,” she wrote. Stacey posted the most intriguing comment: “I should win the tickets because I like turtles, wood, and handstands.”
In addition to great music, Moonlight MusicFest offers discounted hotel rates, camping, extended bus service to and from Bozeman. Soak in the mountain air and kick back with friends. Fuel up on Vendor Alley with lots of different food, drink and merchandise options. A Fun & Games area offers activities for kids big and small, plus art projects and more.
Gates open at 2 p.m. Friday, and music starts at 4 p.m. with performances by Satsung, Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band (whose new single, “Old Black Magic,” is rapidly climbing the radio charts), St. Paul and the Broken Bones and Trampled by Turtles.
Saturday’s festivities kick off with a Zydeco party. Arrive early for a free helping of gumbo for the first 300 people who show up at noon, plus Mardi Gras beads and dancing to the sounds of Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers. The opener includes a raffle of a signed washboard by Dwayne.
The Dusty Pockets open, followed by Dwayne Dopsie and The Zydeco Hellraisers, The War & Treaty, The Wood Brothers, The Record Company and Blackberry Smoke.
The bands perform in Moonlight Basin’s Madison Base Area, on the north side of Lone Peak with spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains. “I felt like we were in a living room listening to the best entertainment in the best, natural environment ever. What a great festival,” said an attendee at last year’s inaugural event.” And the Wood Brothers were so smitten, they signed up again: “We liked performing at this festival so much that we are coming back!”
Of course, if you don’t win, tickets are still available: general admission is $149 for a full festival pass, with Friday and Saturday prices at $78 and $88 respectively. Discounted student tickets are available and kids under 12 are free. A portion of each ticket sold will be donated to the Moonlight Community Foundation and the Big Sky Arts Council.
For details, including daily schedules, tickets, discounted hotel rates and information about the artists, head to moonlightmusicfest.com.