The Beartrap Summer Festival marks 25 years of music on the mountain this summer with everything that’s kept crowds growing for a quarter-century:  sunshine, mountain air, vendors, food and drink … and a great roster of musicians for this milestone celebration, August 3 and 4 in Beartrap Meadow on Casper Mountain.

This year brings a wide-ranging line-up of national and regional musicians to the Hilltop Bank stage, from traditional roots styles to genre-bending acts that aren’t afraid to mix bluegrass with grunge.  And we top it off with headliners who run the gamut from butt-kickin’ rock and roll to classic country, with Survivor on Saturday and Mark Chesnutt, along with special guest Ned Ledoux, on Sunday.

Survivor nailed down their spot in rock history with their Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated theme from Rocky III, “The Eye of the Tiger.”  They followed that achievement with more chart-topping songs including “I Can’t Hold Back,” “The Search is Over,” and “Burning Heart.”    While some band members have changed over the decades, Frankie Sullivan has provided the consistently powerful lead guitar that throbs at the heart of Survivor’s sound, and new lead vocalist Cameron Barton has won praise for his energy, charisma, and seamless fusion with the band’s 80’s roots.

Mark Chesnutt has been called one of Country’s true musical treasures, with 14 number one hits, 23 top ten singles, 4 platinum albums and 5 gold records to his credit.  Mark has remained true to himself and his honky-tonk heritage while keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of country music.  From “Brother Jukebox” and “Too Cold at Home” to a pure country rendition of Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” he brings a musical integrity that has never wavered across 3 decades of success.  Opening for Mark is Wyoming’s own Ned Ledoux.  Ned started out as the drummer for his father Chris’s band, Western Underground, and soon found that he had inherited that unmistakable voice and a love of songs that reflect the Wyoming way of life.

But there’s more to Beartrap than the headliners.  On Saturday, Zoe and Cloyd start things off with their new Appalachian music.  This pair’s great harmony singing, fine playing, and choice material earned them first place in the 2015 FreshGrass Duo Contest.   Next up is The Woodpile, Laramie-based indie folk-rockers noted for their unique arrangements and dense vocal harmonies.  Their ear-tickling mix of rich, sweet cello with energetic electric guitar brings a unique sound to everything from originals to classic folk tunes.  The Ransom Notes take the stage next.  This trio originated along the Colorado Front Range, and are now based out of Nashville.  They’ve played at venues from the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. to numerous PBS music programs.  Influenced by bluegrass, folk, Americana and Celtic styles, The Ransom Notes have “the precision of classical music, steeped in hometown tradition.”  Following them is Wyoming’s favorite finger-style guitar wizard and master of quirky lyrics, Jalan Crossland.   More than just a great picker, Jalan has graceful delivery, whimsical character, and a feel for what people want to see and hear.    The next set belongs to The Riverside from Santa Barbara, California.  This indie folk group crafts original songs full of “ideas and stories that mean something to us.”  Their unique style of gathering around a single mic will take you back to the golden era of live radio broadcasts.   Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband have played Beartrap before, and we are pumped to have them back.  Their own term for their style is “PostHeeHawFunkadelicHipHopNewGrass” ��� and that about sums it up.  With high energy and tight musicianship, they’ve been called “a cross between Dave Matthews and the Dixie Chicks, without the political agenda.”

Sunday morning, things start off with a group of local bagpipers who will make you feel like you’re in the heather-covered highlands.  Next up is Whippoorwill, a Fort Collins alternative folk/rock trio who is about to launch their debut album.  Variously described as raw, rootsy, and otherworldly, they’ve won praise for “3-part harmonies that can scorch, soar, or haunt.”    The Jon Stickley Trio brings something new to the Beartrap line-up – a purely instrumental group.  With guitar, fiddle and drums, they take on anything from bluegrass to metal, Chuck Berry to grunge.  Their energetic sound “reminds us of the pure joy that can be created and shared through music.”   Tris Munsick and the Innocents are up next.  This Sheridan-based “real country” band has opened for acts from Lyle Lovett to Blackhawk, and was named runner-up for NPR’s Wyoming Album of the Year.  If this good-time band can’t make you dance, you may need new feet.  They’ll be followed by the Rad Trads, a Brooklyn-based quintet made up of conservatory-trained musicians who just want to have fun.  Their punk-rock energy, horn-drenched soul, and jazz precision have won them fans across 4 continents, 15 countries and 41 states.

Beartrap is a weekend-long party:  a meadow full of vendors, open-air food court with something for every taste, beer garden, VIP area, kids’ area with activities and projects, and camping spaces available adjacent to the meadow.  Tickets are on sale now – order online at

The 2019 Beartrap Summer Festival is produced by Townsquare Media and sponsored by the McMurry Foundation in partnership with the Natrona County Roads, Bridges and Parks Department.

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