Sep 24, 2021 - Things to Do
The Momentary's first music festival is reality after pandemic delays
Alison Brown and the FreshGrass All-stars present a bluegrass tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival during the FreshGrass Music Festival 2019 at Mass MoCA on Sept. 21, 2019 in North Adams, Massachusetts. Photo: Douglas Mason/Getty Images

The Momentary will host its first-ever music festival next weekend. That's after the pandemic caused the event to be postponed twice within a year.

What's happening: FreshGrass, a two-day bluegrass festival, will feature recognizable national names, like Old Crow Medicine Show. The festival will also highlight local artists, including the Ozark Highballers. (See a full lineup.)

  • Plus: Artists from House of Songs in Bentonville will debut new music, Momentary spokesperson Angel Horne tells Axios. House of Songs is a nonprofit organization where musicians collaborate on music.
  • Local food vendors like Yeyo's (Alex approves) will also be on deck.

Background: FreshGrass has been around for a decade, just not in Northwest Arkansas. It's a Massachusetts-based event that is flying south for the fall.

  • The Momentary worked with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (where FreshGrass is typically held) to bring the festival to NWA.

The big picture: The Momentary temporarily closed because of the pandemic almost immediately after opening. It's a sister museum of Crystal Bridges.

  • The hope is that FreshGrass will help expand The Momentary's offerings. The goal is also to reach people who may otherwise not visit. Some may not even know that the museum offers a range of art experiences, like live music, Emily Neuman, senior communications manager for the museum, tells Axios.
  • She also pointed out that bluegrass, or roots music, has a long history in NWA, and organizers anticipate an enthusiastic audience.

Details: Gates open at 4pm Friday, Oct. 1, and at 10am Saturday, Oct. 2. Ticket prices for adults range from $70 to $80 for single-day passes or $120 for two-day passes. VIP passes are sold out.

1 COVID thing: You must show proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within 72 hours before entering. (Yes, kids under 12 who cannot get vaccinated must have a negative test.) Masks are also required.

1 bonus thing: Grace Potter will perform a free concert at The Momentary the Thursday night before FreshGrass. Just in case you need live music three days in a row. Reserve a spot.

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