In celebration of its 30th year, the Moab Music Festival organized its first-ever “High Water Festival,” a series of concerts to be held from May 20 through 22. 

“We are thrilled to be celebrating our 30th anniversary,” said Erin Groves, the festival’s director of development and community engagement, “and we’re just having a lot of fun continuing that celebration as we build up to the annual festival itself.” 

There are four concerts throughout the weekend, aimed at every facet of the Moab community, Groves said. A Colorado River float and concert will kick off the festival on Friday, May 20. Participants will float the Fisher Towers section of the river, then enjoy a lunch and concert at the Red Cliffs Lodge. The artists—Francisco Fullana on violin, Mark Votapek on cello, Jon Paul Yerby on guitar, and DuoJalal, a duo of Katharine Lockwood on viola and Yousif Sheronick on percussion— will perform selections including Agustin Barrios’s “La Catedral” and “Summer in the High Grassland” by Zhao Ji-Ping. Tickets are $175. 

“Our goal is to serve as much of the community as possible, and that always comes down to variety,” Groves said. “We like to provide concerts at a variety of venues with a variety of price points…when we say ‘music in concert with the landscape,’ that means a lot of different things to different people.” 

There will be two concerts on Saturday: a family music hike in the morning and a garden concert at Sunflower Hill Bed and Breakfast in the evening. The family music hike marks one of the first times that MMF has held a hiking concert for children ages five and up, Groves said. The festival noticed much of its programming was aimed at older people, Groves said—this music is designed to be enjoyed by young kids and their families. 

“We want to make sure we’re serving our whole community,” she said. “The musicians that were brought in were also chosen in part for their ability to connect with a wide range of audiences.” 

Families will embark on a short hike in an undisclosed location to enjoy the music. Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for students. 

The garden concert’s program will include more mellow, transporting compositions, including “Libertango” by Astor Piazzolla, “Lágrima” by Francisco Tárrega, and “Koyumbaba” by Carlo Demoniconi. Michael Barrett, the festival’s music director, will also play on the piano. Tickets for the garden concert are $80. 

To round out the weekend, MMF will host a free community concert in Old City Park on Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m. The free community concert is a staple of the official festival in the fall as well—patrons are encouraged to bring blankets and picnicking supplies, and spread out on the lawn of Old City Park while enjoying free classical music. The same artists will be playing, accompanied by Barrett again on the piano, who will close out the weekend with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Piano Quartet in E-flat major, K.493.” 

“It’ll be interesting to see what from this we make into a potential annual tradition,” Groves said.

A full list of concerts and times, plus ticket purchases, can be found on