Skip to main content

Steamboat Magazine

WinterWonderGrass Festival Sells Out First Year in Steamboat and Gives Back to the Local Community

03/15/2017 12:26PM ● By Dan Greeson

(Steamboat Springs, Colorado) -  The 5th annual WinterWonderGrass Festival attracted thousands of fans to Steamboat Springs, Colorado last weekend, February 24-26, for the sold out three day music and brews festival.

With bluebird powder days giving way to snowy winter nights, fans gathered to watch their favorite bluegrass bands play into the Colorado sky. WinterWonderGrass is not for the faint of heart. Fans dress in warm layers, prepared for the winter mountain weather. But with greater effort comes greater reward, and the WinterWonderGrass festival go-ers leave the weekend feeling more energized, satiated and inspired than when they arrived. 

The festival has created a sense of community with fans returning each year traveling from over 40 states to see more than 30 world-renowned bluegrass acts. The City of Steamboat Springs and Steamboat Ski Resort welcomed the festival with open arms, creating the perfect partnership. The weekend began with a free show at Gondola Square on Thursday and that evening WWG hosted an intimate dinner at Thunderhead Lodge on the top of the mountain with bluegrass legends, Leftover Salmon. 

WinterWonderGrass had an incredibly positive impact on the community. With a 97% average lodging capacity in the overall Steamboat area and 100% sold out capacity in downtown Steamboat. With late night shows spread around downtown Steamboat bringing revenue to local restaurants, bars and stores, supporting the business community.

Each night after festival fans enjoyed the beautiful lights of Steamboat 9,131 feet below as they rode the gondola to dance with headlining artists performing at the intimate Thunderhead Lodge. Impromptu ski in/ ski out on mountain pop up shows satiated the adventure seekers, while fans could bump into their favorite artists on the chair lifts all weekend enjoying the champagne powder. Steamboat Ski Resort offered WinterWonderGrass fans a discounted three-day festival ticket, fully incorporating the festival and the mountain experience.

“The WinterWonderGrass Festival was more than we could have hoped,” said Katie Brown, vice president of sales and marketing for Steamboat Ski Resort & Corporation. “To be able to share our playground with bluegrass enthusiasts was a perfect match. We are thrilled with how the event went off and that we were able to introduce Steamboat to a great new audience. We look forward to hosting WinterWonderGrass again.”

The festival had a powerful impact on the non-profit community, having supported nine different NPO’s and influencing over $20,000 of donations.  Several direct charitable partners were, United Way of Routt County, Yampatika, and Educational Foundation of Eagle County as well as Partners of Routt County and the Snowboard Outreach Society. WinterWonderGrass also hosted a food drive on Saturday during the festival and donated over 385 pounds of food to LiftUp of Routt County. WinterWonderGrass artists also performed at Casey’s Pond Assisted Living Community the week before the festival, engaging a new demographic and creating new fans.

As usual, the festival puts a focus on sustainability. There were no single-use plastic bottles on site, and nearly all products were compostable. Each fan received a stainless steel Klean Kanteen commemorative mug to offset to use of plastic cups and contribute to the zero waste efforts. WinterWonderGrass diverted over 13,321 pounds away from landfills and into composting, recycling and donation initiatives.  

“We've cultivated an incredibly grateful, high-intentioned community of festival goers which I think is leading the charge beyond any other event I know of, and that's because of the people. We see this as more than a music festival, it’s a gathering of high-spirited, humble and dedicated artists, attendees, staff and crew. Collectively, we have once again raised the bar of what an inspired and thoughtful community gathering can deliver.” says founder Scotty Stoughton 

WinterWonderGrass returns to Steamboat Springs, February 22nd-25th, 2018 and looks forward to calling Steamboat Springs home for many years to come. For more information on the festival visit 


Music, brews and mountains is the foundation for the WinterWonderGrass Festival featuring more than 30 bands and 22 Colorado breweries over four days.  WinterWonderGrass Festival is the perfect storm of world-class bluegrass, roots and acoustic artists, craft beer and libations under star filled Rocky Mountain nights encapsulating all things Colorado. WinterWonderGrass packs an incredible amount of fun into its three day event, offering attendees the spirit of an intimate gathering combined with a contagious high energy. With the unbroken sound of acoustic rooted jams coming from four different stages throughout the weekend, and the 'Grass after Dark' late night shows around the community, the music never stops. For more information on the festival, lodging and ski passes visit