What Time Is It? TICO TIME! Tico Time Bluegrass Festival Review - Festy GoNuts!

What Time Is It? TICO TIME! Tico Time Bluegrass Festival Review

May 6, 2021

What Time Is It?  It’s TICO TIME!  Tico Time Bluegrass Festival Review

We have to admit, when we first saw the announcement several months ago for Tico Time Bluegrass Festival, a part of us doubted if it would really happen.

It’s been well over a year since we’ve attended any type of music festival, and cancellations and reschedulings have become more plentiful than sand on a beach.  Still, we secured an RV spot for our camper and held on to hope.

Low and behold, the weekend for Tico Time Bluegrass Festival came, and it was still a reality!

We spent the week getting the camper ready and trying to remember how to pack for a festival, and when Thursday came we couldn’t be more excited for the incredibly beautiful drive south to Aztec, New Mexico, and Tico Time RV Resort!

Tico Time Bluegrass Festival 2021 | Festy GoNuts
Tico Time Bluegrass Festival 2021 | Festy GoNuts

For the first festival in so long, it’s fitting that we picked a first festival!  In fact, not only was this the very first festival at Tico Time, but the paint was still drying on the venue when we arrived.  Literally, the sand had just been poured on the beach, and the finishing touches were being added to the stage while the first act was doing their soundcheck.

None of that mattered once the first chord was played, and our feet tried to remember what it is like to dance!  Add to that the fact that we were dancing on sand, and you can imagine the joy.

For those unfamiliar, Tico Time refers to the Costa Rican lifestyle where time is more of an attitudeNo hay prisa.  Tranquilo, man!  What time is it?  It’s tico time!

The creators of Tico Time Resort certainly brought in the Tico vibe on all fronts. 

The brand-new resort sits on the banks of the Animas River.  A newly-erected (and we mean newly erected!) bridge brings you to the far bank of the river, where the stage sits surrounded by two man-made ponds, filled with rafts, floats, SUPS, and a giant waterslide!  The stage is not just a stage – it’s also a ziplining and bungee jumping platform.  The walk-in campground behind the stage is surrounded by trees, and at night the entire place sparkles with colorful lighting throughout.

Speaking of sparkles, each night was capped with an amazing firework display.  While the dogs in attendance may disagree, it was a perfect celebration of the day we just enjoyed and the night that was just beginning.

After the main stage closed, the party went till the early morn at several acoustic picks of different sizes surrounding firepits throughout the camp.

These guys seriously thought of everything.  The port-a-pots were clean, the ice was cold, and the vibe was all tico!

Tico Time Bluegrass Festival 2021 | Festy GoNuts

Tico Time Bluegrass Festival: The Music

Let’s not forget that this was a music festival!

From start to finish, every band on stage seemed genuinely just as elated as to be there as the fans in the crowd were.  It was heard over and over from the stage how good it felt to be performing in front of actual people!

The festival was kicked off for the early arrivers on Thursday by Blue Moon Ramblers, followed by PJ Moon.  By the time Buffalo Commons took the stage, the crowd was starting to get comfortable on their feet again after a much too long hiatus.  The first night was a flurry of reunions and smiles, and the party continued throughout the campground until the sun came up, as everyone came in hot, anxious to make up for lost time!

On Friday we took to the river and the ponds, where we could easily enjoy the main stage music while chilling in a raft.  It’s Tico Time!

After a morning Yoga session, the You Knew Me When kicked things off, followed by The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers and then the always amazing Tara Rose and the Real Deal.  After a brief refresh at camp (never more than a 5-minute walk away) we returned for an awesome set by the Stillhouse Junkies, followed by the much anticipated Leftover Dust Farm. Compilation bands have become a norm in the past year, as full bands are often cut off from each other by travel restrictions.  This supergroup was comprised of Greg Garrison and Alwyn Robinson (Leftover Salmon), Tyler Grant (Grant Farm), and Andy Hall (Infamous Stringdusters).  As the crowd farmed the leftover dust, the band went through a great selection touching on each individual’s repertoire and some shared classics.  The entire set, bungee jumpers bounced up and down aside the stage, as the crowd looked on in awe.

As night dawned, Liver Down The River played a set that reminded us all of what we’ve been missing in the past year. The host band, responsible for putting the Bluegrass Festival together, let it all out on stage, finishing with a touching tribute to a lost friend, and leaving everyone with a glow that continued again throughout the evening.


Tico Time Bluegrass Festival 2021 | Festy GoNuts
Tico Time Bluegrass Festival 2021 | Festy GoNuts


Saturday was another wonderful day filled with music, floating, water sliding, relaxing, and enjoying everything Tico Time had to offer.

Robin Davis Duo kicked things off, with Six Dollar String Band and Lizzy Plotkin & Natalie Spears continuing to entertain everyone dancing, swimming, bungee jumping, and hammocking.   As the afternoon rolled on, La La Bones and The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers kept the crowd going into the early evening. Wood Belly, one of the highlights of the festival, delivered a high-energy throwdown capped by a beautiful sunset that perfectly illuminated the entire resort.  High Country Hustle brought things to a close, with the help of some incredible fire-spinners.

Once again, the party definitely didn’t stop with the main stage.  Picking and grinning went on till the break of dawn, and perhaps beyond.

Sunday was another gorgeous one, with Middle Ground, Smelter Mountain Boys, Cousin Curtis, The Cosmic Groover Band, Mean Mary and People We Know all bringing it for those who didn’t have to hit the road.

Everyone lucky enough to stick around was treated to another perfect day of music on the beach!

Tico Time Bluegrass Festival 2021 | Festy GoNuts

We couldn’t think of a better way to get back to going to music festivals.  The venue, the music, the people, and the vibe were all absolutely perfect.  Tico Time Resort will be hosting music festivals all summer long, and we highly suggest you find your way to one.

Colorado/New Mexico is now blessed with another amazing venue that we hope to enjoy for years to come!

What time is it?  It’s TICO TIME!

Tico Time Bluegrass Festival 2021 | Festy GoNuts
Down to $9.99
Tico Time Bluegrass Festival 2021 | Festy GoNuts
Tico Time Bluegrass Festival 2021 | Festy GoNuts
Tico Time Bluegrass Festival 2021 | Festy GoNuts
Tico Time Bluegrass Festival 2021 | Festy GoNuts
Tico Time Bluegrass Festival 2021 | Festy GoNuts
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About The Author


Jason has been in love with the festy lifestyle ever since his first festival experience, The Great Went in August of 1997. Whew. That was a while ago. Jason loves the way festivals free us from the constraints of the outside world, and let us be our true "fest" selves!

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