It’s not happening until the first weekend in June, but the upcoming Music on the Mesa Festival is already creating quite a buzz throughout the New Mexico-Colorado-Texas area. This being the third year for the Americana-themed event, founder-director Stephen Plyler says the festival has been an exercise in raising the bar each time out of the gate.
One of the most common questions asked of the DeSoto, Texas-born entrepreneur is, “Which headliner should we be watching for?” The thing is, Plyler said there are so many great acts, “We’re almost doing double headliners every night.” For instance, on the night when Railroad Earth is playing, event organizers will bring out The Cheese Dusters, a mashup band made up of members of the Infamous Stringdusters and String Cheese Incident. “We have Robert Randolph and the Family Band on Saturday, with Rising Appalachia right before them,” Plyler said. “Every [evening is] just headliner next to headliner, which is new. It should be exciting for everybody.”
The third annual Music on the Mesa Festival will take place the weekend of June 2-4 at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west.
Music on the Mesa, affectionately known as “MOM,” is the “coolest, grooviest festival in the world,” Plyler likes to say in the event’s publicity. “Located in a one-of-a-kind location just minutes from the Río Grande Gorge, the brewery offers a comfortable atmosphere with jaw-dropping views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This location, paired with top-notch bands, draws the perfect symmetry between music and nature.”
This year, the base-Americana offerings are expanded to include bluegrass, funk, soul and even blues — true American music, a press release gushes.
The outdoor festival will feature nonstop music from artists such as Elephant Revival, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Railroad Earth, as well as the Drew Emmitt Band (of Leftover Salmon fame), Rising Appalachia and The Cheese Dusters. In addition, many other well-known bands, both national and local, will round out the festival.
Other artists scheduled to appear include James McMurtry, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, The Greyhounds, Grace Askew, Alice Wallace, Chris Arellano and more.
Started in 2015 by Stephen Plyler of Walking Rain Productions and working with Dan Irion, CEO of Taos Mesa Brewing, “The idea was to bring three days of terrific Americana music to the Taos area.” Plyler said in a prepared statement he was convinced a festival of this type of music “would be not only be a terrific draw for local music lovers, but would also give visitors a chance to experience the ‘magic’ of Taos during a multi-day festival. This year, Like A Boss Productions has joined forces to help expand the lineup. The response has been terrific.”
Taos Mesa Brewing provides what many have said is the perfect venue for a festival.
“Since they opened, they’ve established themselves as a [one-of-a-kind] venue, with a combination of great indoor acoustics, great beer and food,” a press release states. “Adding to the perfect location and set up, the venue offers three stages: an outdoor Amphitheatre, a smaller Patio Stage and the Indoor Stage, allowing the promoters to offer non-stop music for the three day festival. It is a very special setting. The best in New Mexico.”
In addition to the festival, “Music lovers are encouraged to spend several days in the area to explore the rafting, ballooning, hiking and, in short, the whole Taos experience. In addition to the the great hotels, B&Bs, private homes and condos for rent in the Taos area, there will be tent and RV camping available on-site. In addition, El Mystico, a nomadic hotel and campground, will be open in time for the festival.”
For ticket information and more information about the festival and camping, visit taosmusiconthemesa.com and “Music on the Mesa” on Facebook.