All registrations for the 2020 Academy which were not refunded, will be automatically rolled-over for the 2021 Academy. Due to refunds, a few Academy spaces may still be available in the bass and dobro classes.
Note: Due to COVID-19 concerns, we have cancelled the instrument building classes for 2021 — but expect it to return in 2022!
- All adult students, guests and staff must have a completed COVID-19 vaccination prior to July 18.
- Kids Camp students who are not able to be vaccinated must take a COVID-19 test prior to the first class on Monday. Planet Bluegrass will provide free rapid COVID-19 tests to all Kids Camp students at registration.
- Based on current health regulations, we will require masks to be work indoors and in high density locations, e.g. Wildflower Pavilion, workshop classroom (location of the vocal class), and registration lines.
- No pets are allowed anywhere in the Festival grounds, campgrounds, or parking lots and cars. It would be cruel to bring your pet to this Festival. Dogs do not like crowds, heat or traffic. If you need to kennel your dog call:
- Whispering Pines Kennels: 303-776-3907
- Cottonwood Kennels: 303-442-2602
- Bowhaus: 303-802-7790
- Gunbarrel Veterinary: 303-530-2500
- Audio taping the classes at the Academy is permitted (and often encouraged!). Recording devices must be self-contained (we do not provide AC outlets in the class tents).
- Kids and Families. Everyone at the Academy must be registered as a student or paid guest, including all children of all ages.
2021 General Info
Watch for specific details about the 2021 campground lineup early this summer. Below are the regulations from last year…
Due to high demand for Academy camping spots, Planet Bluegrass will be utilizing a random lottery process to determine the order of access to the Academy Campground. The goal of this process is to maintain a fair, orderly load in that minimizes stress for everyone!
- The 2021 RockyGrass Academy campground opens at 1pm on Sunday, July 18, 2021.
- Planet Bluegrass staff will facilitate a vehicle lineup from 9:30am to 11am at the Planet Bluegrass Farm property (located 0.3 miles northwest of the Academy campground on Highway 36 - view map).
- Vehicles may not arrive at the Planet Bluegrass Farm earlier than 9:30am on Sunday, July 18 (the day the Academy campground opens).
- To avoid a line prior to 9:30am on Sunday, vehicles arriving anytime between 9:30am-11am will receive a lottery number assigning them a random spot in the Academy campground vehicle lineup (see below). Please try to arrive between 9:30am and 10:30am to help prevent long lines caused by numerous vehicles arriving close to 11am.
- NOTES FOR ACADEMY STUDENTS WITH RV’s IN LAVERN JOHNSON PARK - If you are attending the Academy and camping in an RV in Lavern Johnson Park, please note that Planet Bluegrass will be taking over Lavern Johnson Park on Wednesday, July 21 at 9am. If you DO NOT have a Lavern Johnson Park RV Pass for the Festival, you will need to vacate your space by 9am on Wednesday, July 21. Planet Bluegrass will not allow RV’s over 18ft onsite, and Farm RV camping does not open until Thursday, July 22. Check out the links below for other camping options in the area.
- If you plan to arrive in Lyons a day or more before the Academy campground opens, you will need to find your own camping/lodging. No overnight camping is allowed at Bohn Park, at the Planet Bluegrass Farm, or on public streets in Lyons.
Interested in scouting a good camping spot ahead of time? Check out our Academy Campground Map.
Initial Line-Up Procedure (Lottery!)
To discourage any arrivals to the Planet Bluegrass Farm prior to 9:30am and to make this initial lineup process as stress-free and fair as possible, we will be using a “random lottery” procedure for the initial lineup from 9:30-11:00am on Sunday morning, July 18, 2021. (If you arrive after 11am on Sunday, you will simply proceed to the end of the line.)
- Vehicles arriving at the Planet Bluegrass Farm between 9:30am and 11:00am on Sunday, July 18 will be given a random lineup number, similar to our nightly tarp line numbers at the festivals.
- These numbers will truly be random, so someone arriving at 10:30am will have the same chance of receiving a low lineup number as someone arriving right at 9:30am.
- Only ONE lottery number will be given to each vehicle.
- Once you receive a lottery number, your vehicle MUST remain in line until the load in at 1pm. You are welcome to walk off the farm property to grab food or coffee, play music by the river, or say hello to our many farm animals, but your vehicle must remain.
- Vehicles that leave the line-up after receiving a number will forfeit their spot in line and will not be given a new number if they return to the lottery.
- Planet Bluegrass staff will assist vehicles in proceeding to the marked parking space corresponding to their lottery number.
- At 11:00am, the random lottery will end. All vehicles that were on the PBG Farm property by 11:00am will be allowed to receive a lottery number.
- After lottery numbers have been given to all eligible vehicles (Probably around 11:30am), Planet Bluegrass Staff will consolidate the randomized lines.
- We ask that everyone be back at their cars by 11:30am for the consolidation.
- ALL cars will be moved forward to fill in any gaps for lottery numbers that did not get drawn.
- IF YOU ARE NOT AT YOUR CAR WHEN WE MOVE THE LINES FORWARD, WE WILL TAKE THE ENTIRE LINE AROUND YOU AND YOU WILL END UP WITH A WORSE SPOT IN LINE THAN YOU DREW IN THE LOTTERY!
- After vehicles are consolidated to form lines ready for campground load in, your lottery number will be exchanged for your actual number in line. Your line number may be lower than your lottery number, if numbers in front of you don’t get pulled in the lottery.
- All vehicles arriving after 11:00am will receive the next available space at the end of the line.
- These vehicles will be given a line number upon arrival
- After the lineup lottery and consolidation are complete, you may leave your vehicle again until the Academy Load In at 1pm. (See procedure below)
Please remember: Vehicles MAY NOT ARRIVE EARLIER THAN 9:30AM at the Planet Bluegrass Farm on Sunday, July 18, 2021 (and with this lottery procedure there is absolutely no benefit to arriving any earlier!). YOUR VEHICLE WILL BE TICKETED & TOWED IF YOU PARK ALONG HIGHWAY 36.
If you arrive before 9:30am, we highly recommend you relax and grab breakfast at one of Lyons’ coffee shops or restaurants and casually drive over to the Planet Bluegrass Farm after 9:30am.
Academy Load-In Procedure
- Due to concerns from the Sheriff’s Department, each vehicle may only contain as many occupants as available seat belts. Vehicles with more people than the vehicle can safely transport, will be pulled from the line until each passenger is removed from the vehicle (or wearing a seatbelt).
- At 1pm on Sunday, vehicles will be escorted from the Planet Bluegrass Farm to the Academy campground on the Planet Bluegrass Ranch. Vehicles must remain in order. Vehicles that arrive at the Ranch out of order will not be allowed entry into the campground.
- Vehicles will be admitted to the Ranch in order according to their line number. Don’t lose your number or you will have to go to the end of the line! All cars will be cleared from the Planet Bluegrass Farm lineup area at this time.
- Due to safety concerns, NO pedestrian walk-ins to the on-site campground will be allowed until all vehicles in the lineup have entered the on-site campground.
- Academy students are only allowed to camp on the North side of the green tape within the campground.
- We keep this camping area limited because we have to fit another 800 campers on Thursday for the festival!
- Once you have entered the Academy campground on the Planet Bluegrass Ranch, please remember that ALL vehicles and campers must be parked adjacent to a roadway in the campground.
- This rule is strictly enforced because vehicles and RV’s can become “camped-in” by tents if they are not adjacent to a roadway, making it very difficult to leave until all tents around them have left.
- Please DO NOT stop in the middle of any roadways to unload or let people out of your vehicle. If you need to stop, please pull off the road before doing so.
- We MUST keep all roads clear to prevent the lines from backing up onto the highway and disrupting traffic!
- Please unload necessary items and move your car to the Academy parking area (about 50 yards away) BEFORE setting up your camp in order to allow others the opportunity to find a site as well.
- There is limited space in the Academy campground, and we rely on people moving their vehicles to the parking lot in order to have space for everyone!
- Only vehicles with a RockyGrass Festival on-site vehicle pass will be allowed to park within the Academy camping area. If you plan to camp in your vehicle but you do not have a RockyGrass Festival on-site vehicle pass, our staff will direct you to a spot near the Academy parking area.
- If you have any trouble finding a camping spot, please talk to Planet Bluegrass Staff within the campground, and they will assist you!
- All roads are one-way and the speed limit is strictly 5 MPH. For the safety of everyone PLEASE DRIVE SLOWLY
Instrument instruction is $625; Kids Camp is $400; mandolin and mandola instrument building classes are $850; guitar building classes are $1100. A $150 deposit is required to hold your space. The balance is due by April 15, 2020.
Each day at the Academy is divided into four sessions that run from 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM. Each morning, you’ll be treated to instructor jams. Elective sessions follow, including instrument instruction, mentoring sessions, and song session groups to work on ensemble material, with coaching by instructor teams. After a lunch break, you will have an instrument instruction session followed by an elective session (10-12 electives) to end your day. Some examples of elective topics are: songwriting, harmony vocals, music theory, and specific instrument styles and topics. After a dinner break, there will be evening activities offered including a band scramble, open stage time and campfire jamming.
Your deposit and remainder payments are nonrefundable. Your non-refundable payment of $150 reserves your space in The Academy. If you rolled-over your registration from 2020, you may request a full refund from May 20 thru June 1. After June 1, your deposit will be non-refundable.
The Academy offers different levels of instruction for various bluegrass instruments. Please note that there are no beginner classes. Do not sign up for a class if you have never played the instrument! To be considered a novice you must at least be able to strum, pick or bow, as well as change basic chords in time and play simple melodies. Intermediate level participants should be able to play lead and rhythm parts and be comfortable with slow jamming. Advanced level participants are expected to play well with others, be competent at faster rhythms and complex lead parts, and cover material quickly. Classes with only two levels will divide the intermediate students into upper and lower levels. It is usually not a problem to switch levels within your instrument class once the Academy has started. However, you will not be permitted to switch to a different instrument.
During the Academy, we offer two evening BBQs on Monday and Thursday evenings; included in the tuition. Friends and family of participants may attend only if they have purchased a guest pass (see below). Every morning we offer complimentary coffee, tea and muffins to start your day. Additionally, we plan to again have a local vendor on site for those wishing to purchase lunch and snacks.
Because we have limited space and aim to provide an intimate learning environment for all Academy students, we have to put limits on the number of non-students who are on our property during the RockyGrass Academy.
Guest passes are required for anyone on the property — ages 13 and over — who is not enrolled in the Academy. We only sell guest passes to immediate family members of students. Since we limit the total number of guest passes available, each student can purchase a maximum of one guest pass until we are sold out. Guest passes are not available until after registration.
Children 12 and under not attending the Academy do not have to purchase a guest pass, but they must be supervised during class hours. Children may attend the evening BBQs, but they must pay for their meal.Guests and Children must observe the following rules during the Academy:
- Guests/Children must share a tent with their student host.
- Guests may not bring any additional vehicles on-site.
- Guests/Children must avoid the classroom areas during class time.
The Lavern Johnson (Meadow) Park Campground is an excellent alternative for groups or families who are not all attending the Academy. Your Festival camping pass will be valid the entire Academy week through the Festival. Lavern Johnsin (Meadow) Park is easy walking distance the Festival grounds.To purchase a guest pass (once you have confirmed your Academy registration), please contact our Academy Administrator - email@example.com
If you are planning to fly into Denver International Airport, you have several options to get from Denver to Lyons. The Denver metro bus system, RTD, stops about 1/2 mile from the Planet Bluegrass Ranch gate. Another private service, the Estes Park Shuttle, makes four daily runs from DIA to Estes Park, dropping you off at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch on the way. The North Denver Airport Shuttle and Superior Shuttle both serve Lyons. For more details, contact these services directly:
- RTD: 800-366-7433
- Estes Park Shuttle: 970-586-5151
- North Denver Airport Shuttle: 303-457-4646
- Superior Shuttle: 303-399-2812
Yes. Because Planet Bluegrass is located on a highway and the line has grown in the past few years beyond what can safely be accommodated by the shoulder, vehicles must line-up off-site. As with last year (2019), we expect this lineup will be held at the new Planet Bluegrass Farm. Vehicles may not begin lining up until Sunday, July 21 (opening day of the Academy campground). To give you an idea of the process, check out last year’s 2019 vehicle line-up procedure (above).
If you’ve been thinking about introducing your children to bluegrass, or bringing the family to the Academy this program will provide excellent instruction for ages 7-14. Classes will run at the same time as the Academy. Additional information is available at the Kids Camp page.
Check out our interactive map.
Planet Bluegrass offers convenient on-site camping during the RockyGrass Academy and during RockyGrass. Our Ranch is situated on 14 beautiful acres of private property. It’s nestled along the St. Vrain River; tucked beneath a rim of 75 foot high red sandstone cliffs. We also have a bathhouse, which offers indoor toilets, sinks and showers.
Yes, you may bring an RV with you to Academy and the Festival, but vehicles over 18 feet may not park in the on-site campground. In order to protect the natural environment of the Planet Bluegrass Ranch, we will not be allowing any large RVs on-site during any of our events. If you purchase a Lavern Johnson (Meadow) Park RV pass for the festival, you may stay there during the Academy. You will need to purchase a separate RV pass at Lavern Johnson (Meadow) Park or the Planet Bluegrass Farm to park your RV during the Festival.
We also offer camping at Lavern Johnson (Meadow) Park across the street from our Ranch. This campground is operated by the town of Lyons and there is a fee per night until Sunday at 11am when Planet Bluegrass takes over. If you display a Lavern Johnson (Meadow) Park camping and vehicle pass for the festival, you may stay for the Academy for no additional charge.
You may camp in a tent OR vehicle (up to 18 feet) free of charge while attending the Academy in the designated Academy camping area. To stay on-site during the festival, you will need to purchase a three-day festival pass with on-site camping privileges. Vehicles require additional passes during the festival, separate from the per-person camping pass. If you are not staying for the festival, you may have your vehicle with you in the camping area or a tent - NOT BOTH. If you choose to have your tent in the camping area, you will be able to park your vehicle on-site in a designated area as space permits. Overflow vehicles must be parked off site.
Academy campers who have festival and on-site camping passes can set up and stay in the same campsite once the Academy has ended. Buy your festival, camping, and vehicle passes ASAP before they sell out. Camping during the Academy occurs in a designated area on the Festival grounds. If you don’t have a vehicle pass for the Festival, you may have either a vehicle or a tent in the camping area - but not both. If you chose to have your tent in the camping area, you may park your car in the designated Academy parking area on the grounds as space permits. You will be required to move your vehicle and campsite on Friday morning by 9:00 am if you do not have festival camping passes. If you are not camping with your vehicle for the festival, you may park it in a secured lot for the weekend.
Lyons is a small town where you can get the basics. Within a mile or less from the Ranch gate, you can get to the post office, a health food store, a small grocery, a half dozen restaurants, several liquor stores, and several coffee shops. Within a two-mile radius you can find a dozen restaurants, several gas stations, a bank, and several antique dealers.
The classrooms are outdoors under shade tents, so bring rain gear and warm clothing as well as shorts, a swimming suit and sunscreen. Also bring picks, rosin, extra strings, watch, audio recorder and plenty of extra batteries, a flashlight, tarp, folding chairs, camera, and snack food.
We do not have a pay phone on the Planet Bluegrass Ranch. Pay phones may be found nearby in the town of Lyons. Cell phones users have experienced trouble with reception on the Ranch, though Verizon users tend to have the most success. Service improves once you are a mile or so away or closer to Boulder and Longmont.
The Academy campground opens at 1pm on Sunday, July 18, 2021. You may check in and pick up Academy materials from 3:00pm - 6:00pm on Sunday and on Monday morning starting at 8:00am.
Usually Colorado is sunny and warm with an occasional afternoon thunderstorm - but not always. The phrase “if you don’t like the weather just wait fifteen minutes” is truly appropriate in Colorado. It’s good to be prepared for a little rain, wind, and cool evenings. Daytime temperatures usually are in the 80s and 90s and at night you can expect 60s and 70s.
NOTE: Due to COVID-19 concerns, the instrument building classes have been cancelled for 2021 (but we expect them to return again in 2022).
The initial class for the Mandolin and Mandola building classes will run from 3:00-5:30pm on Sunday, July 21. The first item of business is to select your instrument kits and receive an overview of the entire building process. Everything will be provided for you, so come on time ready to start! You can set up your camp after class if necessary.
Service animals are permitted at RockyGrass Academy. Each service animal must remain with its owner and be restrained. Emotional support animals, comfort animals and therapy dogs are NOT service animals as defined by the ADA Guidelines, and therefore are NOT allowed.
Sorry, no pets are allowed on site. Call us for a list of local kennels if necessary. Here is a list of some local kennels:
- Camp Bow Wow Boulder (3631 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80301-2423) - 303-442-2261
- Arapahoe Animal Hospital & Boarding Kennels (5585 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303-1334) -
- Cottonwood Kennels (7275 Valmont, Boulder, CO 80301-4715) - 303-442-2602
- Whispering Pines Pet Resort (14360 N 83rd St, Longmont, CO 80503-9215) - 303-776-3907
- Windstar Kennels (14077 Weld County Road 5, Longmont, CO 80504-9642) - 303-485-2176
- Longs Peak Animal Hospital - 303-776-6666
- Canine Campovers LLC (Boulder County) - 303-998-1111
There are a number of lodges and motels in the surrounding area, which offer a wide range of accommodations. Visit our lodging page for more information.