I miss Mabon!

Wah! The Festival Of The Mabon was one of the best things of the fall for me,
and we aren’t naturally blessed with a lot of Celtic exposure. It’s really sad
that the Festival folks aren’t doing anything in this vein. I would really like to
see Planet Bluegrass get back to feeding us Celtic fans again.

I too am mourning the demise of Mabon. This festival was a one-of-a-kind event.
My friends and I supported this festival every year, reveling in the unique musical acts, small crowds, beautiful weather, and bagpipes on the hill. Now it’s just another Saturday night concert, with half a band, and held indoors no less. Hardly a “festival” at all. What’s the point?

Now, I can’t get anyone excited about attending. It’s a lose-lose solution. None of our money will be going to Planet Bluegrass, and none of the Planet’s fun will be in our lives. Bummer.

If you decide to bring Mabon back, please let me know ASAP. We miss you!


I Heartilly AGREE!!!

Mabon was THE main festival I have looked forward to for several years…it saddens me deeply that it has boiled down to this indoor event!

I have been looking forward to this and seeing Beth Patterson, and the Bagpipers on the hill…and the wonderful Fall weather…the Barn dance…

And here I have been promoting the event to at least a dozen different friends who have never been to the Mabon fest. :huh

In fact, I saved my money and planned on attending Mabon over the Folks Fest now! Since we dont have a lot of money to spend on recreation right now, this was the festival we were planning on attending since Springtime. :butterfly

I wish hope pray that Planet Bluegrass people decide to at least bring Beth Patterson, or some other local celtic musicians in as well. There is NO other venue as suited to celtic music as the Festival of the Mabon!

PLEASE bring back the full Festival!

This is sad in so many ways. Between the draconian changes to the festival and the rude behavior Yonder Mounitan’s fans at an E Town taping earlier this year, I have no desire to attend. One of the highlights of my year is apparently a thing of the past. It was great while it lasted!

Just so you guys know, we at the Planet will miss Festival of the Mabon too. It was fun for us as well. However, after giving it a good run for five years, we just couldn’t continue to lose the kind of money we were losing on that Festival.

One of the great things about working for Planet Bluegrass is that it’s not all about the money, but it is still a business and we sometimes have to make difficult decisions to keep things moving forward. When we first conceived of Mabon, it was our hope that we would break even in 5 years. Unfortunately, we were not even close to acheiving that goal.



Well, I can understand the cost of running the show…and I appreciate the wonderful beautiful job the Planet has done with Mabon (which is why Im hooked) :thumbsup -
It would be good if some facets of the original Mabon were not taken away, and creative ways of dealing with costs -

  1. volunteer musicians (local celtic musicians who arent looking for money, just a venue);

  2. an almost all volunteer staff(set-up, clean-up, parking crew, etc) (put out the word that if you cant get the volunteers the fest wont happen!);

  3. Charging more for admission (like say $5-10 more per person - this is the only major festival I save for, so I would pay it, and IM living below poverty level);

  4. allowing some of the main vendors to stay (like the stonecraft artists);

  5. allowing more sponsorship opportunities for the Festival -

  6. Use only very basic lighting on stage, and in other areas…not excess in electrical or gas usage at all

…and Im sure I can think of other ideas as well.
(Im a long-time nonprofit event planner and fundraiser… :flower)

Peace, and I sincerely hope that this is re-thought…for wsome of us the Mabon fest became an institution of the Autumn season - especially those of us who dont celebrate the traditional holidays like everyone else.


  1. It’s great in theory, but we can’t facilitate a full festival with impromptu acts. Professional musicians don’t play for free, and at the very least we still have to feed them and provide accommodations.

  2. We use as many volunteers as possible, always. I’m sure we could gather a great crew if we thratened to not have a festival…but we still have to have professional security, production, etc…we can’t trust ours or your saftey, or the safety of thousands and thousands of dollars worth of equipment to random volunteers. Paid staff is a must. (though, I do see your point)

  3. Hard to justify this when we weren’t getting the numbers at a $20 ticket. Raising the price is hardly the answer to getting more people.

  4. Something to look at for next year, but it costs vendors money to be here, too. If the people aren’t here, they don’t make money either. It also goes back to money for staff…it takes man hours to line up vendors, mark out spots, deal with sales tax stuff after the show, etc…

  5. Have you ever tried getting big dollar sponsorship for a celtic music festival?..much less one that has maintained a consistantly small attendance? Get back to me when you do. :wink:

  6. Electical and gas are the least of the concerns. To use the main stage takes a professionally trained staff, overnight security for the gear, etc…not to mention the rental of the sound gear, the set-up, the campground set up,etc…

I’m sure if you have helped plan the non-profit fests you say, you understand many of the logistical hurdles to overcome. Unfortunately, what you haven’t considered is people’s willingness to work with you BECAUSE you are a non-profit, which is something we cannot claim. Nobody gets a tax break for working with us.

Everybody is so worked up about the Mabon being different.


We are opening the grounds for about 12 hours less than we have in years past. There is no caylee dance, true…but we are going to have a wonderful feast on Saturday night. There are going to be a couple of different acts playing in the late afternoon and evening. We are going to have pickin’ sessions and jams on the ranch in the afternoon, and into the evening. There will be camping…there will be a bonfire on the river…there will be bagpipes.

IT’S STILL A CELEBRATION OF THE MABON! …it just doesn’t have vendors, or sword fighters. We are doing everything we can to ensure that everyone has a good time for this year’s celebration. Who knows what next year will bring…If you can’t understand that your favorite festival that was 1/3 the size of the next smallest thing we do here wasn’t a good business model, I’m sorry. We love the Mabon, and want it to continue…but it is what it is this year. After spending 7 months, and a good deal of money on the new pavilion, we just didn’t think that the mabon, as it had been historically, was a good move.

It’s YOU that makes the Mabon the Mabon. Bring your kilts, and bring your pipes. If it doesn’t fly, it very well may die. Don’t crucify us for scaling back for one year.

I hope to see you there.



Dustin said it all very well. I would only add that the reason our costs were so high is probably that our standards are pretty high. We pride ourselves on having a high production values in everything we do, and we aren’t willing to sacrifice those standards. We want “A Planet Bluegrass Production” to mean something- always.

Having said that, I don’t think there is much “fat” to trim anyway. We found out many years ago it’s really hard to get volunteers for a one evening show. Usually you need the most volunteers for the beer booth or where ever during the evening, and no one wants to work for free during the headliner. We don’t really have anything to “trade” in exchange for their labor.

I hope everyone will give the new Mabon a chance. We will try to invoke as much of the spirit of the old Mabon as we can, but we will need you kilt-wearers and pagans to complete the celebration!

Fine… If it helps set the Mabon mood I’ll wear my kilt. (As I did last year to the mockings of basically everyone within a 5 mile radius of Planet Bluegrass.)

There I said it.

I was going to try to spare you all this year. But I guess it’s for the greater good. See everyone on Sept. 22.



I for one thought it was dashing, I’m actually quite jealous of it. I tried to get one once in my family’s tartan, It was a little out of my budget…

While I enjoyed Mabon, I fully understand where Dustin and the Planet folks
are coming from. As Dustin said, it makes no business sense to continue
a festival that was (a) sparsely attended in comparison to the other festivals
and (b) lose money every year.


Thanks for the explanation Dustin - nobody is getting their panties in a bunch, but some are disappointed - can you fault us for loving something? True, the nonprofits I worked for werent in the habit of putting on huge music shows.

Anyway, our tickets have been purchased and we will be coming - all the way from Green Mountain Falls, CO.

Sorry - no kilts for me…maybe some pagan-wear. I so hope you will be serving mead. :flower


Mabon was the one festival my husband and I attended in Lyons. When I read this years would be inside and scaled down, there went the magic…for those who are looking for Celtic fun and music, go the the Estes Park Highlands Festival…Just up the road from Lyons…plenty of bagpipes, music, kilts and games…this is just the week or so before the Mabon was. We always went to both each year…I hope you recoup your money invested in the new pavilion…an outside fall festival is still a good idea…maybe it will make a comback after the newness of the pavilion wears off and the money is recouped …

I’m clearly in the minority on this thread but I liked the new version of Mabon this year. Taarka and Adam and Ben were great. While it wasn’t a full tilt Celtic festival, bagpipers did play in the afternoon and there was a pretty cool celtic jam by the silo.

We actually enjoyed the low key atmosphere.

I think the Wildflower series is a great extension to the music season and would love to see it continue for years to come.

I realize it’s a smaller affair and probably won’t garner as much discussion, but has there been any talk on the return of Adam and Ben for the Mabon celebration in a couple weeks? I for one am pretty excited, after missing them last year!

Sorry to bump an old thread, but I’m of the belief that when the thread is on the first page, it’s fair game.


They must of read yer mind cowboy, Sept. 20th Mabon Adam and Ben as requested :fish :festivarian

This will be an excellent day, one not to be missed :flower :flower
The air is crisp and the trees are just starting to turn. :flower

Indeed, indeed! It should be a beautiful day/night!


Today feels like mabon…
I will be in Boulder this evening celebrating with a sweet couple that has just moved back from L.A.
Dinner and Wendy Woo, I’d rather be with my festi friends… :flower
Have fun today you lucky few… :cheers