Planet Bluegrass is a place that holds special significance, not just to fans -- who line up days ahead of time for the ranch's annual RockyGrass festival -- but to the artists who play there. Partly that's because of its setting: Tucked beside a cliff wall and the St. Vrain river in Lyons. But of course, that put the grounds several feet underwater last fall when historic flooding overtook much of the town. You can see what it looked like on September 12 in a number of YouTube videos -- we've embedded one below.
But now, eight months after the flood, the venue is midway through a massive reconstruction. It will host its regular schedule of music festivals and private events this year. We went up to see the progress earlier this week and took some photos to show you. There is still a long way to go, but Planet Bluegrass does seem like it will be ready for the thousands who already have tickets for RockyGrass in late July.
When the floods came last year, major channels of water flowed through the entire facility, destroying several buildings and severely damaging others. The water rose so unexpectedly that Planet Bluegrass, an organization that runs the Telluride Bluegrass festival in addition to the events on its own property, lost most of its equipment, from computers to memorabilia to elaborate audio setups.
Still, because ticket sales for the festivals are as strong or stronger than they ever have been, the place will survive. There are still plenty of other businesses and residents of Lyons who need more help, financially and logistically; Planet Bluegrass asks that anyone interested in contributing to those efforts head to the web site Lyons Fights Back, where you can find several donation and volunteer opportunities. You can also contribute to the Lyons Community Foundation.
The rebuilt area in front of the stage has fewer trees and now also features a slight grade to improve sight lines.
The Wildflower Pavilion had to be completely rebuilt. It has moved a few feet away from the river.
The massive concrete silo survived, as did the two trees growing inside it.
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