FreshGrass 2024

MAY 17-18, 2024


From mountain bike collaborations to a roots rendition of The Nutcrackers, FreshGrass brings new flavors to classic bluegrass.

A bluegrass and roots festival through and through, FreshGrass brings a balance of tradition and experimentation to the genre. A two-city, two-day offering that goes to North Adams, Mass. in the fall and Bentonville, Ark. in the spring, there’s bound to be five-string banjo or steel guitar at any of their three stages. Plenty of artists, like Aoife O’Donovan — lead vocalist of the bluegrass band Crooked Still — and Alison Brown — the award-winning banjo player from Alison Krauss & Union Station — have been a staple on the FreshGrass lineups for years. In 2024, they’ll be joined by headliners Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Trampled by Turtles and Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway. 

A particularly unique aspect of FreshGrass festivals are the ‘commissions’ — new, often collaborative, work whose creation was sponsored by the festival or the hosting venue. These aren’t just your familiar on-the-stage improv sessions (though we do love those too): they’re big productions that premiere at the festival. You might have no idea what to expect, but you can trust the artists — all with extensive accolades and experience — to take you somewhere original and wild. Four-piece American string band Mr. Sun brings fiddle and mandolin twangs to Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker for their FreshGrass Commission work. In conversation with Duke Ellington’s 1960 jazz rendering of the original, Mr. Sun brings colors of classical and jazz to the roots festival.  

Collaboration is always big at FreshGrass, and The House of Songs, a short musicians’ residency program, is another standing feature at the festival. This particular cohort’s project, SongRider, is a collection of songs and short films by Arkansas musicians and outdoor culture leaders, created during mountain and gravel biking trips.

Since the festival takes place at the Momentary, a massive decommissioned cheese factory that’s been repurposed as an arts venue, there are also a number of exhibitions you can view while you’re there, and the festival considers the whole place — from the galleries to the courtyards to the fields — a space for you to explore and engage with. As part of a Momentary commission, multi-disciplinary performance artist Jefferson Pinder stages a gospel choir against a bluegrass group, letting a narrative of segregation and separation emerge from the choral discord. You can view any other exhibitions at Momentary, while activities for kids include marker printing and shaker making. There will also be local food and craft markets. 

The Specs

  • The venue capacity is 4000–5000 people
  • Adult General Admission Tickets are $160, or $128 with a Momentary Membership. VIP tickets are $375 (or $300 as a member) and include lounge access and a dedicated viewing area.
  • Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to Arizona here.


Where is FreshGrass 2024 located?

The Momentary Green is in Bentonville, Arkansas.

What is the closest airport to FreshGrass 2024?

The closest airport is Northwest Arkansas National Airport in Fayetteville, which is about 12 miles (20-25 minutes) away from Bentonville. 

Is FreshGrass 2024 family-friendly?

Yes. Kids under 6 attend for free, while tickets for kids ages 7–16 are $45 (or $36 if you’re a Momentary Member). There are also a lot of activities for kids, and since there’s no seating, you can bring camping chairs and/or blankets to set up in a spot that is comfortable for your family.

Is there parking at FreshGrass 2024? 

Information hasn’t been released yet, but there’ll be ride-share locations along 8th Street, as well as a bike valet outside the entrance gates.

Which artists are on the FreshGrass 2024 lineup?

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Trampled by Turtles, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, Valerie June, Aoife O’Donovan with the FreshGrass Chamber Orchestra, Alison Brown, Ruthie Foster, S.G. Goodman, Arkansauce, Meridian Brothers, The Harlem Gospel Travelers, The Po’ Ramblin; Boys, Mr. Sun, JD Clayton, Peter One, Aurelio Martinez (AURELIO), Eric Mingus, Jefferson Pinder, The House of Songs





BY Suchita Chadha