Strings and Sol 2019: Are You Ready?
Strings and Sol 2019 Preview: Get Ready!
It’s that time of year again. The time when we gather on the beach in Mexico to listen to our favorite bluegrass bands with a few hundred of our fest friends. The time when we watch those bands play in a gazebo while relaxing in the pool. The time when we drink unlimited margaritas and piña coladas at an all-inclusive resort.
lt’s time for Strings and Sol.
The 2019 Strings and Sol Festival will take place December 12 – 16th at Now Sapphire Resort in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. And we couldn’t be more excited.
Since we’ve been a few times before, we thought it might be fun to put together a little guide for our Festy Friends! Here we go.
Strings and Sol makes it so easy to see all of your favorite bands. There is no overlapping music, and they even give you a break for dinner! This year’s lineup seems extra special to us as well, because the one and only Del McCoury will be dancing in his suit on the white sands of Mexico. And that’s not something you see every day!
Here is the 2019 Strings and Sol Lineup:
Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth, Yonder Mountain String Band, Infamous Stringdusters, DelMcCoury Band, Travelin’ McCourys, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, The Sweet Lillies, and artists-at-large Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman.
Pretty stellar, right?
WHAT’S HOT: We are pretty darn excited about Hartswick and Cressman floating around the stages. In our experience, these ladies put on some pretty epic shows with Leftover Salmon, and while nothing has officially been announced, we are certainly expecting to see them rock out with our favorite polyethniccajunslamgrass band.
DON’T MISS: Sockeye’s Late-Night Set in the Palapa at on Sunday night (1:00 am).
At Strings and Sol, attendees really have the opportunity to connect with some of their favorite musical heroes. The festival schedules plenty of extra-curricular activities all around the resort grounds. So, take time to explore and participate! The full activities schedule can be found here, and it is packed, so make sure you take note so that you don’t miss out on these very special weekend events.
Strings and Sol Activities:
Theme Night: Friday the 13th of December – Strings and Sol SPOOKTACULAR!
Unplugged en la Palapa w/ Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
The McCoury’s Story Hour w/ Ronnie McCoury, Vince Herman, Paul Hoffman, Anders Beck and John Skehan
The Great Bake & Drink Off w/ Allie Krall vs. Natalie Cressman
Adult Swim with Erik Deutsch
Ping Pong w/ Adam and Dave
Bossa Nova Cocktail Hour w/ Natalie Cressman
Bass Clinic w/ Travis Book, Greg Garrison, Mike Devol, Ben Kaufmann, and Andrew Altman
Pickin’ in the Sand w/ Adam Greuel
Mexican Carnival w/ Andy Hall, Andy Thorn, Andrew Altman, Tim Carbone and The Sweet Lillies
Charity Bartending w/ Members of Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth and The Sweet Lillies
Tuned in Bingo w/ The Sweet Lillies
Daily Yoga w/ Jeremy Garrett
WHAT’S HOT: 2 Fun Ways to Donate to Positive Legacy!
Mexican Carnival!! Andy Hall, Andy Thorn, Andrew Altman and Tim Carbone are partnering up with The Sweet Lillies to help host this fun game time which helps raise money for Positive Legacy. This should be a super silly experience for a good cause.
Charity Bartending: Instead of serving up tunes, some band members will be serving up cocktails! Members of Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth and The Sweet Lillies are bartending – and all tips go to Positive Legacy!
DON’T MISS: The McCoury’s Story Hour There are few things greater than hearing Del McCoury tell stories during his shows – except getting to hear Del McCoury tell stories NOT during his show. Pull up a chair, relax and enjoy as Ronnie McCoury, Vince Herman, Paul Hoffman, Anders Beck and John Skehan chat with Del McCoury in the palapa.
Strings and Sol is held in one of the most beautiful locations – the Riviera Maya in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. While there is plenty to keep you entertained at the resort, you may want to schedule an excursion to swim with turtles or visiting nearby towns. Get out of the resort and explore this incredible region through excusions that include snorkeling, swimming in cenotés, sailing, ziplining, and more.
WHAT’S HOT: Extreme Canopy Ziplines and ATVs Want to do something super adventurous and out-of-the-ordinary? Looking for a way to explore the Mayan jungles? This excursion could be just for you! Zipline, parachute and ATV through the land, then rinse off in a freshwater cenoté. This sounds like a great way to burn off those extra calories you picked up from the all-you-can-eat buffet and unlimited piná coladas.
DON’T MISS: Turtles and Cenotés If you’ve never snorkeled with turtles, then we’d put this excursion at the top of your list. It’s a pretty powerful experience. Plus, turtles tend to hang out with a bunch of cool fish – so you’re likely to see some great underwater life. Bonus: you get to swim in a cenoté. It doesn’t specify which one, but from our experience, they are all impressive in their own way.
*Full Disclosure: We have never left the resort during the festival, as we want to take full advantage of the all-inclusive benefits and on-site events. That being said, we have traveled through the Yucatán extensively!
There is a reason that festival-lovers attend Strings and Sol year after year after year after year. There’s a reason that many of them took offense when it was suggested that the festival move locations. Actually, there are MANY reasons that Now Sapphire is so loved and adored.
Here are our Top 5 Reasons We Love Now Sapphire:
- The Staff: No joke, the staff at Now Sapphire remember our names when we return. They seem to genuninely love it when Strings and Sol returns, as much as we do. They are kind, attentive and seem to go over-the-top to make your weekend extra amazing. Bonus: They greet you with cocktails as you’re registering on Day 1 (or Day 0 if you booked the pre-day). They greet you with cocktails when you sit by the pool. They greet you with cocktails when you’re dancing on the beach. Tip them well, and they will return the favor.
- The Pool: Admittedly, the ocean isn’t the wow-factor at this resort. But no worries, because there are PLENTY of poolside activities to keep you entertained. The pool is large enough that you can find a quiet spot for festival re-entry in the morning hours, but intimate enough that you can get front row floaties to the Gazebo sets.
- The Food & Drinks : Free food 24-hours a day (and drinks pretty much round the clock) is pretty magical at a music festival. Only have a few minutes to grab some grub? Head to the buffet! (TIP: Check out what they’re making-to-order that day! Omelettes for breakfast, build-your-own tacos for lunch, and the pasta bar for dinner are freshly made just the way you like them.) Make a reservation at one of the several restaurants for a full-service dining experience. Mexican, Asian, French, Mediterranean and the oceanfront Bluewater Grille are all included in your ticket – and worth planning for!
- The Rooms: Yeah, Bidet! (No, it’s not a foot wash). Spacious luxurious rooms with balconies are definitely the best way to pimp your music festival experience. Hot showers, clean sheets, fresh towels, huge beds and comfortable living areas are awaiting you – whenever you manage to get back to your room.
- The Ease: This resort truly makes festivating easy. From the moment you check-in, you are treated to luxury. Sit back, relax and enjoy everything – because it’s pretty much all pre-paid. For those of you who return year after year, you truly get to know the resort itself – the shortcuts to the shows, the quickest place to grab a drink. And for those of you who are new, you will quickly melt into the relaxing environment where everything you need is just a short step away – or simply delivered to your poolside lounge chair on a tray.
The Packing List
Packing for a music festival adventure in a different country can be a bit daunting. But no worries, we’ve got you covered! Check out our guidelines for packing for a music festival in Mexico!
Need more of a list? Strings & Sol repeat attender, Randi Brent Starrett, has kindly shared her packing list with the Strings and Sol group!
What more can we say about Strings & Sol?
There’s just nothing else like it. The people, the place, the music, the magic. Nothing beats Strings & Sol!
We hope to see you there!
Read the Strings & Sol 2017 Review: Welcome Home, SolMates! for even more of the inside scoop on Strings & Sol.
Ryan Cavanaugh has been described by many as one of the most driven musicians touring today. Read our interview to learn about his roots, his style and what the future holds for this banjo phenomenon.
Cody “Chicago Farmer” Diekhoff is releasing his sixth studio album, “Flyover Country.” The album has a common thread, a love and respect for regular folks, those who might be overlooked and underappreciated.
Photos by Nancy Isaac. Videos by Kyle Isaac and Festy GoNuts. The 5th Winter String Fling was held this weekend (January 3 - 4, 2020) at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom and the Other Side. As usual, this 2-night event brought together the finest in...
Strings & Sol returned to Mexico for the 8th year this past December, and as usual, it seemed to leave a huge impression on everyone that attended. Here are the fan-favorite moments from Strings & Sol 2019:
2019 was an amazing year for live music and music festivals. We are looking back with the First Annual Festy Awards! Check out the best of 2019 in Music Festivals…
Leftover Salmon is celebrating 30 Years Under the Big Top. We interviewed Vince Herman and Drew Emitt about the celebration, commemorative box set, and pacing themselves…
Sticks N’ Thorns is the new project from Leftover Salmon banjoist Andy Thorn and flatpicking guitarist Jon Stickley of the Jon Stickley Trio. Read on for tour dates and more…
Winter Folk Music and Photography Showcase is a 12- day event that takes place over 4 consecutive weekends throughout February and into March, 2020, in Longmont, Colorado.
What to get for the music festival lover in your life? Here’s a list of some fun and useful gifts any music fetival fan will love! For the holidays, or anytime!