Steamboat Springs Riverside in the Colorado sunshine is just where Fort Collins jamgrass band Good Gravy feels right at home.
And on Saturday evening, that’s where they’ll be: On the lawn at Sweetwater Grill casting their funky slam grass to the skies during the first Hot Routt Music Festival.
“Our songs are based on who we are, who we’re with and what we choose to surround ourselves with,” said Good Gravy percussionist Kyle Vanbuskirk. “The Colorado landscape directly influences that.”
And he can say the same about the band they’re playing directly after: Missed the Boat.
“You can tell they’re from Steamboat just by listening to their music,” Vanbuskirk said.
The two bands have played together several times, with Vanbuskirk sitting in with Missed the Boat on some occasions.
And some more collaboration might be in the works for this weekend’s event, which was organized by three members of Missed the Boat.
The new festival features headliner Fox Street Allstars, featuring keyboardist Bill McKay, of Leftover Salmon, playing at 9:45 p.m. Eleven bands, including tweener sets and DJs, will provide nonstop music from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Tickets are $22 for general admission and $32 for VIP, which includes the two late-night shows, but prices will increase by $3 on Saturday. Tickets are available at All That Jazz, Sweetwater Grill and at www.hottrouttmusic.com.
Ryan Cox, guitarist for Missed the Boat and a festival organizer along with band mates Peter Hall and Pat Waters, said the response from Routt County residents has been a positive buzz.
“We’re looking forward to the awesome talent that we’ve got lined up,” Cox said. “We’ve got some fantastic bands, all of which are gaining a lot of momentum in Colorado.”
The event also serves as a fundraiser for a local Yampa River awareness and conservation nonprofit.
“We’re really excited to have Friends of the Yampa involved and be contributing to something that will benefit all the river users and people in Steamboat,” Cox said.
While Cox refused to discuss the weather to prevent jinxing the skies, the National Weather Service in Grand Junction is forecasting perfectly sunny skies and highs in the low 80s.
After the sun sinks and the air cools, the festivities will move indoors for two late-night shows for 21 and older VIP ticket holders.
After New York City’s JAB plays an electronic set, local late night favorite String Board Theory will play into the morning hours. The band’s bassist Jeff Barlow said he and his band are looking forward to the rowdy hometown crowd after several weekends on the road.
“I think it’s a fantastic event with tons of great bands,” Barlow said. “I feel this is just the beginning of more music festivals to come.”
The river has not been open to inner tubing because of high water, but Steamboat’s popular summer pastime could be given the green light this weekend. If tubing still is restricted, rafts are allowed on the river, and Sweetwater’s lawn has river access that sidles right up to the festival.
But remember, if you want to float to Hot Routt, be sure to keep your ticket in a plastic bag.
“I feel good about everything we’ve done,” Cox said. “I know it’s going to be a great day. I know all of the talent is going to deliver. It’s been worth it thus far, and I think we’ll be able to say that even more so when it’s all said and done.”
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com