Talking WinterWonderWomen with Megan Letts

Have you heard of Megan Letts yet? If not, you will soon. She’s hard to miss these days - making a huge showing in the music scene in Colorado and beyond. Megan is the frontwoman for Mama Magnolia and the day to day manager for The Motet; she sings, plays piano and trumpet and seems to be the first call for all the superjams in Denver lately.

Megan has also been a big part of the WinterWonderGrass community since 2015, when she came on to record and archive every set at every Festival, using her expertise as the studio and record label manager at Immersive Studios and later Immersive Records.

As with many of the WWG staff, she grew and changed and adapted to several roles at the Festival from there doing ticketing, marketing and eventually, artist relations, where her passion lies - being an artist herself and being a music manager, she understands the importance of making sure artists are warm and taken care of.

One of the huge benefits of the WWG community is that there is room to grow into roles and really shine. Not just artists, but as participants in the larger community and efforts to put on an event in freezing temps and rain and snow. Which leads us to the point of this sit-down with Megan, the amazing new supergroup called WinterWonderWomen.

HG: How did WinterWonderWomen come to be?

ML: It all started with a conversation between Bridget Law and myself about how being women in a generally male-dominated music scene can be empowering and also frustrating. Knowing your instrument and coming to the table with knowledge is really powerful, but you also look around the room and wonder why you’re the only woman there.”

Last year, the first year in Vermont, Bridget Law (of Elephant Revival) was getting geared up for her Bridget Law & Friends set, which tapped, Lindsay Lou and Megan, in addition to Jay Cobb Anderson (Fruition) & Craig Brodhead (Turkuaz). This was pop-up and unrehearsed with songs they knew, and very female focused. WWG Founder Scotty Stoughton saw the set and was immediately called to action to make this a more regular occurrence. There was magic there, and despite WinterWonderGrass’ women-heavy lineups, entire sets that are women-focused just don’t happen often. He gave them a few slots (each day?) to perform at WinterWonderGrass in Steamboat this year as the WinterWonderWomen.

Megan and Bridget immediately set to work, forming a band that included Tiffany Christopher, an incredible guitar player from Denver. The idea is to have a few consistent women who curate the set, picking songs to highlight the core members, and make space for some of the other women present on the WinterWonderGrass lineups, including Pixie & Party Grass (Katya and Amanda), The Shook Twins, Lindsay Lou, Mimi Naja (Fruition) and more.

HG: This was a special moment in time. Let’s be real, super jams are standard by now, but it’s very rare that you look up and every single person on the stage is a woman. Megan and Bridget really set out with this project with the intention of letting these women shine.

ML: “It was such a hit! People were packing it out. Having a full female band and feeling that energy was intense and powerful. Every single woman on that stage is a crusher, and holds their own. Usually working with men, and often having to work twice as hard to be noticed on the scene. Bringing all that energy together on stage was other-wordly. That was the first time I had ever felt that.”

Steamboat was amazing and then we set about to plan the sets for Squaw. These last sets of the WWG season featured some of the same tunes from Steamboat, and added even more. We did a Tram Jam up into the mountains of Squaw Valley. How fun to sing Beyonce’s “Daddy Lessons” right into a Reverend Gary Davis tune, “I Belong to the Band”.

HG: Having done both WinterWonderGrass, and Bonfire Entertainment’s summer Festival, Campout for the Cause, how do you see the community translate between the two?

ML: My first Campout was in 2015, recording sets, working artist hospitality, and performing with Reed Foehl and Schleppin’ Wolf. The way I see it, the hive mind of WinterWonderGrass is so powerful that it can be translated into any situation. Campout is a huge exhale for everyone involved - an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve done over the past year, and to breathe together.

WinterWonderGrass… it’s cold, it’s extreme! Campout is sunshine, and being surrounded by the community of people around you who you’ve spent these cold winter nights with at WonderGrass. It’s some of the same music, the same staff, and the same vibe, just with a different backdrop.

Two years ago when Mama Magnolia played Campout, I had just started working with The Motet at 7S Management. Our performance was the same night that The Motet was headlining Red Rocks so I played the last note, packed up my things and got in my car to drive to Red Rocks. I even bought a police radar to make sure no one was going to catch me as I was going 95 the whole way. I caught the first notes of The Motet’s sound, and it all hit me -- this was how important Campout was to me. I won’t miss it. I get an itch after WinterWonderGrass and Campout is the thing that can hold me over until the next winter.

HG: I feel so fortunate to have seen all the WinterWonderWomen sets this year! You ladies sure know how to put on a show. It’s an important time to celebrate women!

I need to make a point here: celebrating women is important, but including men in the conversation is just as important. We always try to include a man in the sets, because in order to succeed we need them to support and lift us. These men are out there, supporting us, and we always try to highlight them.

WinterWonderWomen is not the same lineup each set, it can change even between sets at a Festival. The core two people are Bridget Law and myself. Lindsay has also been at each one, and taken on more of the planning recently. Each lineup we look at which women are a part of the Festival, what kinds of songs we can play to highlight them -- and we ask! What songs have they been itching to play, what inspired them the last go ‘round?

Often times we have too many women to choose from, there were so many women at Steamboat you couldn’t even get all the women involved in the set. What an incredible problem to have. WWG and Campout for the Cause have always been focused on highlighting women and letting them shine, both on stage and behind the scenes. I really love the addition of the WinterWonderWomen because it allows artists and fans to engage in these really fun moments with amazing feminine energy at its core.

Campout 2019 Highlight Reel




"How Was Your Weekend?!"

Ever wish you could stay in touch with everyone you met at a music festival? It would be so lovely to know how every person’s weekend went, what kind of magical things happened to them, and to hopefully see them again the following year. We spent a lot of time getting the festival in order, then we all spent a great weekend together. But in the end we wanted to know- How’d we get so lucky to have you join us? How was your weekend?

We asked a few festival goers to tell us about their experiences and here’s what they had to say!

“Campout exceeded our expectations. After a long winter we were itching to get outside in the Colorado sunshine. BV was the perfect setting for that adventure. We spent one day rafting with friends, one day mountain biking, and enjoyed phenomenal bands between those outings. It was small, intimate, and instilled a sense of community unparalleled to any other festival I have been to in Colorado. The sunset behind the Collegiate peaks was worth the trip itself. We truly enjoyed the experience & can’t wait to be back under those beautiful BV skies!” - Natalie B

“I was pretty stressed out leading up to Campout because I had my wedding coming up, so I was just looking for a reason to put my phone away and relax and listen to good music in nature with a few friends. That’s everything it was & more. Not only that, but the community was awesome. I got lost a few times and made some cool friends. Loved the yoga class. Got attacked by kids dressed as lions guarding the teepee…LOL kind of died at that. And forever impressed with WinterWonderWomen. I came home with a full heart and abs from laughing so much.” -Clair C

My reason for attending Campout is simple: for the people and community. Everybody wants to feel like they are part of something great, but unfortunately that's harder to find than you think out there in the real world. Kindness, love, and respect are alive and well at Campout for the Cause, and that's something worth coming back for." - Jay S.

“I love Buena Vista, and this year’s Campout lineup was full of my favorites. Unfortunately, we were only able to come up for the final day. Ultimately, I was looking for a something that was reachable by Denver and worth a day trip, which it certainly was! The Sunday experience was so incredible and full of life that I definitely intend on being there for the whole weekend next year. My expectations were high to begin with, but Campout exceeded them!” -Lindsay S

Lindsay Lou’s gospel hour had us all feeling like we would fly away. The short weather delay was more than worth the upcoming magic that would unfold upon those who decided to stick it out. The Pickin’ On The Dead set, aside from the occasional banjo guest appearance, was more of a electric affair and featured a rotating cast of musicians. During their cover of “Werewolves of London,” everyone was howling at the moon as the rain started to sprinkle down again. Gasoline Lollipops had people out in the rain stomping their feet to their twangy blues rock and roll. It was my first time seeing them, and they were the surprise the festival for me. The lead singer featured two microphones he would use to achieve two different effects, which was quite innovative. The California Honeydrops surprise set was hands down the highlight of the evening. Under the tent, the funk was grooving and a guest appearance by Lindsay Lou about blew the roof off of that place. To wrap it all up, following a heartfelt thank you from festival organizer, Billy Strings took the stage and delivered a masterful performance with highlights including a cover of Phish’s “Back on the Train” and “Summertime Blues,” culminating in a encore performance of “Proud Mary”. I’m from Memphis so I’ve heard just about every rendition of Proud Mary possible, but Billy Strings’ version was really special and unlike any I’d ever heard before. - Dylan S.

“Honestly…I just wanted to try SUP Yoga. I was excited about the music and everything too, but stand up paddle boarding on the lake looked really fun. It’s harder than it looks!” - Anonymous

I live in Buena Vista now and I was really excited to check out the festival I kept hearing about. It was an amazing weekend. - Megan W

“I had such an incredible weekend running around with my family. The weather was perfect. I’ll be back! - Peter R

Cole Ford <>

Tue, Jul 2, 1:32 PM (23 hours ago)

to me

“I seriously appreciated the overall intimate vibe that the festival seems to have captured, especially in today's age where most festivals are "mega-festivals" filled with lines, high prices, and unfortunately trash. I went last year and was able to re-connect with a family that had two little boys, that we deemed the "Dino-Bros", who were ripping bikes around the majority of the day with dinosaur helmets. We met their Mom and Dad last year and we all got to sit down and catch up for a bit. I'm not aware of many other festivals where that happens. I think the intimate vibe works cohesively with the family atmosphere that CFTC accurately pitches.

For such a small intimate event the lineup is incredible, year after year. During Billy Strings set it was almost felt like a private Billy show.

The actual festival grounds, with the river running through the grounds and the town of Buena Vista are breath taking, plus the numerous activities BV has to offer such as mountain biking, main street, rafting, hiking, etc. So fun.” - Cole F.

Can I Camp With My Friends?

By now we all know that getting into any kind of event can be stressful and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Most people’s main concerns are that they’d like to be able to stick with their group and to make sure they have the passes or wristbands they need to keep anyone from saying, “Hey you can’t camp here!”

Don’t worry…we’ve got you.

SO, Can I Camp with my Friends?

Short answer: absolutely.

Long answer: Absolutely, and here are the details, the how’s, and the why’s.

Before we go into any of these details - please keep these two important things in mind:

  1. There is to be NO parking of any kind within 100 ft. of water.

  2. Please carpool.

Both of these things will help keep this festival site beautiful and easy to manage, which will make your experience better as well. If you see someone who missed the memo about parking near water, feel free to fill them in as kindly as you can. We appreciate you helping with that.

Moving on!

When you look at the site map you’ll see 6 public campgrounds: Buck, Sturgeon, Snow, Harvest, Wolf, Moon Flower.

Is any camping included in the festival ticket?

When you buy a festival ticket, car and/or tent camping is included in Buck Moon. If you’re not worried about where you camp, or with whom you camp, you are all set and Buck Moon Campground will be your happy home. You will need to pay $20 for your car, but will not need to purchase any kind of camping pass. This area isn’t particularly shaded so we recommend an EZ-Up if you’re planning to take this route.

What if I want to be creekside and don’t mind separating from my car?

Wolf Moon is the only campground that does not allow parked vehicles. If you’ve reserved a space in Wolf Moon, you may drive up and unload your car before parking it. Please do not set up your campsite while your car is there. Unload, park, then get settled. One of our camping staffers will show you the designated car parking for Wolf Moon campers.

What if I want to camp with my posse?

Let’s suppose you’re coming with a big group, you’re coming at different times, different cars, the whole sha-bang. Check out the site map again, decide as a group which campground suits your collective fancy, then have everyone in your party purchase a $10 camping pass in that campground. If one portion of the group arrives earlier, it’s acceptable to hold space for the rest, but please be considerate about it. We’ve got a lot of folks joining us for the weekend!

If you’ve reserved a space in Wolf Moon, you may drive up and unload your car before parking it. Please do not set up your campsite while your car is there.

What do you recommend for families or if I’m looking for a quieter camp zone?

If you’ve got kiddos in your group, we recommend Moon Flower Family Camping, as it will be significantly quieter than any other campground. Adults over 18 need to purchase Moon Flower campground passes to reserve their site, but camping is free if you’re under 18. This area allows for a single vehicle per group.

I’m bringing the whole rig. Where can I camp?

Now let’s talk about RV’s. For obviously and very understandable reasons, people love to camp near their friends with RV’s. If this is the case, you can have up to 5 tents and a maximum of 2 cars (including the tow vehicle) in your surrounding RV area. Each adult over 18 will need to purchase a Sturgeon Moon camping pass to be able to camp in that area.

What if I don’t know where I want to camp? Can I purchase my spot at the box office?

Sure! But please know that by festival weekend camping options will be limited. We absolutely encourage you to purchase in advance!

Please note that parking costs $20 per car, no matter where you’re parking or camping, and RV passes are an additional $199. Again- carpooling is the way to go!

Emmy's Friends: The Cause We're Camping For

Beyond having a great time in a beautiful place, we’re all at Campout For The Cause for a greater purpose.  Ever since the beginning, 11 years ago, “The Cause” was just as important as the music, the location, and the people. The festival was created to bring it all together.

Over the years, The Cause has changed to reflect the variety of important humanitarian and environmental issues close to the festival’s heart. Never did its founders imagine that one day their Non-Profit Organization of choice would be one that was established in support of their own flesh and blood, heart and soul. When Emery Welle, the five-month-old daughter of Site Operations Director Michael Welle, was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer called embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, everything changed.

“We went through 2 years of craziness, living across the country for treatment, living in Denver, going through all the motions, everything that exists in that world, very little of which is nice.”

While Emmy was undergoing treatment, The Welle family had to spend an exorbitant amount of time in one hospital after the other, away from home. It was during that time that they discovered the unfortunate realities of hospital nutrition.

Nearly across the board, hospital food is poorly sourced and unhealthy. Organic food isn’t even a consideration. Kids just aren’t being fed what their bodies need to recover.

“Even if you’re a healthy parent treating a sick kid, you're not treating yourself well because you don't have an opportunity to live better and eat better while you're stuck in a hospital. Nothing is being offered in that world. There are something like 50 nutritionists at a children's hospital and, statistically, only 2 of them are advocates for organic care.” -Michael Welle

So The Welle’s created a fund for young patients and families in similar situations, and they called it Emmy’s Friends.

"Emmy's Friends Foundation is designed to help young patients and their families who are facing life-threatening illnesses; to receive better access to fresh and wholesome organic foods, nutritional guidance and bountiful resources for healthy living. This specific focus represents the largest deficit in the overall experience of dealing with a child facing a life threatening illness; a need for improved wellness for the entire family.”

One hundred percent of Campout For The Cause proceeds go to this fund, and while it was created in 2017, this year’s festival will be treated as its official launch.

Congratulations to Emmy and the Welle family for hitting 1 year cancer free! Cheers to many many more!

Buena Vista: Things To Do Before & After Campout


You’ll feel so happily at home at Campout For The Cause, you probably won’t want to leave. The good news is that the Buena Vista area is not only breathtaking but full of all kinds of activities for your wayward journey. We asked a bunch of our friends for their suggestions, threw in a few of our own, and voila! Some of these businesses were even kind enough to offer some discounts to festival goers, so be sure and mention this article when you check these places out!

Hot Springs
Hot Springs aren’t to be missed when you pass through this portion of Colorado. Unlike some states, we’re don’t have that many, so when you’re near them…visit them. Colorado’s hot springs were used for centuries by the Ute Indians as a spiritual gathering place, and they are still known today for their curative properties.

Cottonwood Hot Springs
Located 5.5 miles west of Buena Vista
18999 Co Rd 306, Buena Vista, CO 81211
(719) 395-6434

Mt. Princeton Hot Springs
Located in Nathrop between Buena Vista and Salida
15870 Co Rd 162, Nathrop, CO 81236
(719) 395-2447
SPECIAL OFFER: Get a free hot springs visit with any spa treatment when you mention this article!

You can truly never run out of things to do in the Collegiate Peaks wilderness. This mountain range contains some of the highest peaks in Colorado. The snow-melt drains right into the Arkansas River in spring and early summer, so hiking might be a little muddy, so dress accordingly!

Lake Ann - this trail is rated as a “moderate” hike but it’s a long one at 9.3 miles out and back. We’ve been told it’s one of the most beautiful hikes the area has to offer, so just start early and enjoy a wonderful day of hiking and taking it all in!

Lost Lake Trail - this is a much easier and faster hike for those that don’t have a whole day to hike. It’s an easy 2.6 miles out and back and it’s great for all skill levels. Be sure the trail is open before you go by calling the Salida Park Ranger’s office at 719-539-3591

14ers - this won’t be just a hike you take on a whim, but the area has tons of 14ers if you’d like to bag and tag a peak while you’re in the area: Mt. Shavano, Mt. Antero, Mt. Princeton. Mt. Harvard and Mt. Yale.

Don’t have time to hike but want to see some pretty sights? Check out the Collegiate Peaks Overlook on 285 right as you come into town.

Although we’re obviously huge advocates of camping, we get it. Sometimes you just want to say in a nice hotel. Fortunately- the Surf Hotel is absolutely incredible and it’s not far from the festival. It’s a boutique spot right along the river. Check it out and see for yourself!

Surf Hotel
1012 Front Loop, Buena Vista, CO 81211
(719) 966-7048
Check Availability

Shopping & Retail:
Both Buena Vista and neighboring Salida have some really great little family owned and operated shops to check out. We highly recommend carving out some time to just stroll through town a bit. Mention this article when you swing by Free The Monkey for 10% off (at the Buena Vista location only).

Free The Monkey Consignment - Women's and men's clothing, jewelry, furniture, household items and more.
312 E Main St, Buena Vista, CO 81211
(719) 966-5159

Sundog Colorado is central Colorado's source for vintage western wear, antiques, mid-century furniture, tools, relics, and art.
301 E Main St, Buena Vista, CO 81211
(719) 395-2058

Music & Entertainment: While we’ll certainly be entertaining you with music and activities all day at Campout for The Cause, there’s always more fun to be had. We’re hosting 2 late night shows at the Lariat during the festival, Jay Cobb Anderson (Fruition) and Friends, and Grant Farm. The shows are $10 and there will be a shuttle to and from the event.

The Lariat
206 E Main St, Buena Vista, CO 81211
(719) 395-9494

Comanche Drive In Theatre (When is the last time you got to go to a Drive In movie?!)
27784 Co Rd 339, Buena Vista, CO 81211
(719) 395-2766

Rafting, Fishing, Paddle Boarding: What kind of article would this be if we didn’t mention water sports in Buena Vista? There are absolutely TONS in the area, and they’re all great. Since there are too many to list, visit the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center’s listing. You can decide which company you’d like to hire based on your experience level and what type of float you’d like to do.

Cottonwood Lake is a great little spot to check out if you’d like to hang out and fish.

FOOD & Drink: Let’s be real- probably the highest thing on your list before or after the festival will be to eat food. We’ve got you covered on the recommendations.

Eddyline Brewery: Colorful tavern featuring its own brand of draft brews & bar bites amid murals & handcrafted tables.
102 Linderman Ave, Buena Vista, CO 81211
(719) 966-6018

House Rock Kitchen: Anyone that recommended this place to us did so with the utmost fervor and many explanation points. Haven’t been, but maybe we’ll see you there!
421 E Main St, Buena Vista, CO 81211
(719) 966-2326

Pancho’s Burritos: Who doesn’t love burrito’s to go?
215 US Hwy 24 N, Buena Vista, CO 81211
(719) 395-2863

Deerhammer Distillery:
A whiskey distillery, if you’re into locally crafted spirits and cocktails!
321 E Main St, Buena Vista, CO 81211
(719) 395-9464

Los Girasoles Mexican Restaurant:
We were told the fresh squeezed margs are the way to go…
708 US Highway 24 S Buena Vista, Colorado 81211
(719) 395-9998

Simple Eatery & Spoon It Up:
Fresh casual dining, artisan bakery, and yogurt bar!
402 E. Main St, Buena Vista CO
(719) 207-9400

Food Trucks:

The Olive - Mediterranean Cuisine
324 E Main St. 81211 Buena Vista, Colorado

The Buena Viking - Burgers & comfort food!
321 E. Main St. 81211 Buena Vista, Colorado
(719) 398-0136

That’s all folks! If you have any more recommendations that we missed, please feel free to leave them in the comments section of the Facebook event! See you soon!