Bob Dylan, The Dead top old-school Rothbury line-up

March 16, 2009  |  6:00am
"Attending the inaugural Rothbury music festival was like spending four days inside a psychedelic Disney film."

So wrote Paste correspondent Andrew Leahey as he descended into the madness of last year's Rothbury Festival. Located in the hinterlands of Western Michigan, the eco-minded fest instantly made a name for itself with a truly immersive four-day experience.

Now, after reports of its demise proved greatly exaggerated, Rothbury returns July 2-5. And the ante has officially been upped.

For example: last year, the festival welcomed Phil Lesh & Friends. This year, it's The Dead making their only summer concert appearance of the year (maaaaaan). Last year, Jakob Dylan warmed up the crowd on Day 2. This year, poppa Dylan takes the stage, which even after all these years is still kind of a huge deal. Adding some further veteran influence near the top of the bill is Willie Nelson, Dylan's touring buddy from a few years back.

Elsewhere in the line-up, Rothbury acknowledges its core audience with a thick slate of jam bands. The String Cheese Incident (their only 2009 show), STS9 (two Rothbury sets), Gov't Mule, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Disco Biscuits... you get the picture. Expect all of those sets to go deep into the summer night.

Then there's the more straight-ahead rock contingent of the festival roster, which features names like the Black Crowes, the Hold Steady, Broken Social Scene, Cold War Kids, Flogging Molly, and so forth. Femi Kuti, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley and Toots and the Maytals all provide a bit of an international influence, as well.

That not enough? Here's a bunch more notable artists confirmed to perform:

G. Love & Special Sauce, Les Claypool, John Butler, Chromeo, Ani DiFranco, Matisyahu, Guster, Girl Talk, MSTRKRFT, Martin Sexton, Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, Zappa Plays Zappa, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Son Volt, Man Man

An early-bird special on tickets came and went Saturday, but don't despair: the main ticket sale gets underway Friday, March 20. A full Rothbury weekend pass weighs in at $249.50, but don't worry, you can put these things on layaway now.

For full information on the festival (line-up, sleeping arrangements, tickets, sustainability initiatives), visit the Rothbury website.

Related links:
Festivus: Rothbury 2008: Day 3
Festivus: Rothbury 2008: Day 4
YouTube: Fashions of Rothbury music festival

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