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Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival

With about a dozen music festivals to choose from over the next few weekends, it’s hard to decide where to spend your concertgoing dollar. Where will you get the most bang for your buck? Which festival has the best combination of quality musical entertainment, family-friendly atmosphere, and convenient location? If it weren’t for that middle item, we’d consider pointing you toward Camp Bisco (and we do, a few pages from now), but how about something with less hard drugs?

Voila: The Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival is all those things and more. The biggest bluegrass festival in the Northeast boasts a lineup that puts other like-minded fests to shame. Legends like the Del McCoury Band (pictured), David Grisman, Bela Fleck, and Sam Bush will all be on hand, and the much-loved Hot Rize will make a special 30th-anniversary reunion appearance. And of course a who’s who of up-and-coming bluegrass greats fill out the remainder of the schedule.

Besides the main performance stage, Grey Fox attendees can shake loose at the dance pavilion, or enjoy arts and crafts and kid-oriented performances at the family stage; you can even set the kids loose at the four-day Bluegrass Academy for Kids, where the tots will learn how to pick and sing for themselves.

And the location? This year, Grey Fox has relocated from their former Columbia County home to the Walsh Farm in Oak Hill—within an hour’s drive from Albany.

The Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival runs today (Thursday, July 17) through Sunday (July 20) at Walsh Farm (1 Poultney Road, Oak Hill). Gates open at 8 AM daily, with music running 2 PM to midnight today, 11 AM to 1 AM Friday and Saturday, and 10:30 AM to 4 PM Sunday. For a full schedule of events, plus information on camping and other such concerns, visit grey foxbluegrass.com. To order tickets by phone, call (888) 946-8495.


Festival of Contemporary Music

Nelson Rockefeller isn’t the only epochal 20th-century figure who is the subject of a centennial celebration this summer. The Tanglewood Music Festival’s annual Festival of Contemporary Music will celebrate the centennial of avant-garde musical giant Elliott Carter beginning Sunday.

Carter started out a neoclassicist and ended up writing challenging—but dramatic and fascinating—serial music. (You know, atonal.) This program will feature 11 concerts showcasing 47 works by Carter (15 of which are orchestral compositions). Most concerts will showcase the Tanglewood Music Center Fellows and gusts soloists, but the Boston Symphony Orchestra will headline the July 24 (8 PM) concert.

Sadly, BSO conductor and new-music lion James Levine had to leave Tanglewood for the rest of the season owing to a medical problem, and various guest conductors will be filling in.

The Festival of Contemporary Music will be held at Tanglewood (Lenox, Mass.) beginning Sunday (July 20), and continues through July 24. There are concerts every night at 8 PM in Ozawa Hall; tickets are $11, except for the July 24 BSO performance, which is $16-$50. There are additional concerts at various times each day, visit bso.org for complete details.


Berkshire Fringe Festival

For the fourth year in a row, Bazaar Productions brings the Berkshire Fringe Festival to the halls of Simon’s Rock. Bazaar Productions three co-artistic directors (Sara Katzoff, Timothy Ryan Olson and Peter Wise) come from diverse artistic backgrounds, and the festival reflects that variety with a potpourri of theater, dance, music, film and workshop offerings that consistently buck convention.

The festival has declared its mission to cultivate the work of emerging artists, make live performance affordable for the general public, and explore traditions “underrepresented in the mainstream.” This year the three-week festival features dozens of performances by six theater and dance artists and seven “sonic innovators,” along with a showcase of new plays by local playwrigts, and a late-night series of film premiers.

This week’s festival will include live performances of Alexandra Beller’s Us (today, Thursday, July 17 at 8 PM; tomorrow, Friday, July 18 at 7 PM; Saturday, July 19 at 9 PM; and Monday, July 21 at 8 PM), Jessica Cerullo’s Miracle Tomato (Friday at 9 PM; Saturday at 7 PM; and Sunday at 8 PM) and a screening of the film The Chosen One (pictured, Friday at 10:30 PM).

The Berkshire Fringe Festival continues every Wednesday to Monday through Aug. 4 in the Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock College/Bard (84 Alford St., Great Barrington). Tickets are $8 to $15. Admission to festival workshops, the new-play showcase and music series are free. For more information, including a full schedule, visit berkshire fringe.org or call (413) 320-4175.


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