Music is a rich mine for trivia, and MeadowGrass is no exception. As Colorado Springs’ longest running music festival, MeadowGrass has a rich history of its own. Fans, artists and organizers have spent years making memories together in the pines of Black Forest. The good, the bad, the unexpected, unusual and transcendent are all woven together by the music that carries the melodies of the shared experience. With a passionate team behind it and large, eclectic lineups comprised of incredibly talented artists, MeadowGrass has a deep and entertaining lore of its own.
So how well do you know your MeadowGrass? Here’s your chance to find out. Our contest to win tickets is over, but you can still take the quiz below to test your knowledge.
Test time! Here’s your MeadowGrass Trivia Quiz.
1. What year did the MeadowGrass Music Festival begin?
2009. MeadowGrass began in 2009 as a two-day festival featuring 10 sets over Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. The festival expanded to include Fridays in 2010.
2. Who was the very first artist to play at MeadowGrass?
- Joe Johnson
- Edith Makes a Paperchain
- Grass It Up
Edith Makes a Paperchain. In 2009, Edith Makes a Paperchain played the first slot in the Saturday lineup to open the first ever MeadowGrass Music Festival.
3. Which of the following national artists has NOT played MeadowGrass at least twice?
- The Barr Brothers
- Elephant Revival
Dawes. The well-known indie rock band Dawes played MeadowGrass only once, as the Saturday night headliner in 2013. The Barr Brothers played in 2012 and 2016. Elephant Revival played 2010 and 2014.
4. Which of the following has not been an official MeadowGrass event at some point through the years?
- Sunday morning bloody marys and mimosas
- Sunday morning Bluegrass Mass
- Sunday morning hula hoop contest
There has never been an official Sunday morning hula hoop contest at MeadowGrass. In 2012, the Chamber Singers of the Colorado Springs Chorale joined Jake Schepps and the Expedition Quartet to play a Bluegrass Mass on Sunday morning. In 2015, the Sunday morning schedule was shifted earlier to begin at 10:30 a.m., a brunchier time to serve bloody marys and mimosas.
5. Who jumped into the crowd after their set in 2018 and played the Grateful Dead’s “Ripple” as the crowd circled around and sang along?
- Joe Pug
- Nicki Bluhm
- Steve Polz
Steve Polz. Polz completed his set, then joined the crowd for the memorable encore in 2018.
6. What year did Black Forest receive 19.5 inches of snow the Monday before MeadowGrass began?
2019. A team of volunteers ran snowblowers over the MeadowGrass field to clear and dry the concert area before the festival.
7. What Colorado artist originally owned the giant yellow and white striped tent that housed the main stage from 2010 through 2019?
- The Haunted Windchimes
- Sons and Brothers
- The River Arkansas
Sons and Brothers. The tent originally belonged to the Westcliffe band, before they sold it to a Westcliffe hardware store. MeadowGrass bought the big top for about $7,000 and introduced it in 2010. The tent was symbolic of the festival through 2019. Harris says the big tent was wonderful for a time but developed some leaks above the stage and caused organizers some worries in high winds. Without the tent, the main stage is now larger. Of course, the first year without the tent, 2021, saw the largest hailstorm in Harris’ MeadowGrass memories.
8. Which of the following MeadowGrass artists has NOT won a Grammy Award?
- Nathaniel Rateliff
- Ranky Tanky
- Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band
Nathaniel Rateliff has not won a Grammy to date. Ranky Tanky played MeadowGrass in 2022 and won a 2023 Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album, their second Grammy win in a four-year span. Ranky Tanky previously took home Best Regional Roots Music Album in 2020 for their studio album Good Time, marking the first-ever GRAMMY Award win for an album of Gullah music. The five-piece have now won Best Regional Roots Album for two consecutive releases and become the most awarded group in the history of the category.
Chubby Carrier and The Bayou Swamp Band won a 2011 Grammy award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album for their album Zydeco Junkie. They performed at MeadowGrass 2012.
9. Who was the only MeadowGrass artist to announce from stage that they were performing their set while on magic mushrooms?
- Alela Diane
- Grant-Lee Phillips
- Todd Snider
Todd Snider. In 2013, Todd Snider told the crowd that he had indeed taken ‘shrooms before taking the MeadowGrass stage for his memorable performance.
10. Main Stage performances have always ended at 10 p.m. — except once when the Saturday night headliner played a pre-scheduled set at 10 p.m. – 12 a.m. Who was that band?
- Joan Osborne
- Elephant Revival
Elephant Revival in 2014.
11. What was the cause of scheduling that later time slot for the headline act?
- a band member missed a flight
- a band member was at a family reunion
- the band had to receive an award
In 2014, Bonnie Paine, lead vocalist of Elephant Revival, couldn’t get a flight any earlier to reach MeadowGrass after attending a family reunion. Festival organizers sent a driver to transport her, and they arrived at La Foret five minutes before showtime, barefoot in pouring rain. As it was the only timely option, Bonnie used a festival port-a-potty and immediately jumped on stage where Elephant Revival played its 10 p.m. set with Chadwick Stokes of Dispatch.
12. Which MeadowGrass artist is NOT Canadian?
- Great Lake Swimmers
- Frazey Ford
- Son Volt
Son Volt. Son Volt is an American band. But MeadowGrass has had many Canadian artists perform through the years. Others include Blue Rodeo, Wild Rivers and the Duhks.
13. Which MeadowGrass artist has not also played at Red Rocks?
- Blitzen Trapper
- Gregory Alan Isakov
- Mandolin Orange
Blitzen Trapper. Despite many years of touring nationally, we could find no record of Blitzen Trapper playing at Red Rocks.
Mandolin Orange played MeadowGrass in 2016. They headlined Red Rocks for the first time in 2021, in a rescheduled show from 2020, although the band changed its name earlier that year to Watchhouse. Joining them in support of that Red Rocks show were The Tallest Man On Earth and folk trio Bonny Light Horsemen.
Colorado artist Gregory Alan Isakov has been a Red Rocks regular for many years, with shows including some memorable performances there with the Colorado Symphony. He is scheduled to play Red Rocks this year on Sept. 4, 2023.
14. What band performed in orange NASA astronaut jumpsuits?
- The Accidentals
- Judah and the Lion
The Accidentals. The young band played an energetic Saturday afternoon set in 2017 while dressed in orange astronaut costumes.
15. What progressive country artist who wrote “Muskrat Love” came out of obscurity to play at MeadowGrass?
- Willis Alan Ramsey
- Ben Sollee & Kentucky Native
- Wendy Woo
Willis Alan Ramsey. The Austin, Texas, singer-songwriter released one eponymous, critically acclaimed album in 1972 before disappearing from the music industry. But it was enough to bring him a cult following as one of the pioneers of the progressive country movement that grew to include artists such as Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. Ramsey’s songs were covered by many artists, including Jimmy Buffet, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker and Shawn Colvin. Most famously, the Captain & Tennille scored a Top Five hit with Ramsey’s “Muskrat Candlelight,” which they renamed “Muskrat Love” in 1976. Lyle Lovett brought renewed attention to Ramsey when they co-wrote several songs together in the ‘90s. When Steve Harris learned that Ramsey was living in Colorado, he invited him to perform at the 2014 MeadowGrass.