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Wind Rider Mountain Festival

  • Ski Apache 1286 Ski Run Road Alto, NM, 88312 United States (map)


The Wind Rider Mountain Festival is set to be an unforgettable experience when it takes over Ski Apache Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-28. For three days the resort will transform into an outdoor mecca of music, food, culture and recreation. Between 33 acts, 2 stages, 10 bounce houses, a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned event, a beer gelande quaffing competition, and a slew of exciting outdoor activities including camping, mountain biking, zip lining, and hiking, the festival offers something exciting for anyone at any age.

Tickets on sale now


The Wind Rider Mountain Festival Inside Scoop

Provided below are insider tips, the full music line-up and everything you need to know to best prepare for the Wind Rider Mountain Festival.

Camp under the stars.
Festivalgoers are encouraged to take advantage of the camping options available at Ski Apache. Camping gives festivalgoers the opportunity to sleep under the stars and then jump right into the festival experience without having to deal with a commute or waiting in line. Tent camping and RV camping is available for $25 and $35 respectively.

Insider tip: For the diehard, there is a secret campground just above the festival grounds at the top of Easy Street. With several great locations to pitch a tent or float a hammock, the music junkie can get their fix without ever having to leave their campsite.

Pack and dress right.
Ski Apache is situated between 9,400 and 11,500 feet in the Sierra Blanca Mountains, which means temperatures often swing from toasty to chilly in the same day. Layers, rain gear, and high-quality shoes are recommended, as well as plenty of sunscreen to protect against high elevation UV rays.

Insider tip: Load up on lots of water. Hydration prevents altitude sickness. Also, be sure to carry plenty of bills to enjoy the vendors (many of which only accept cash).

 Soak in the spectacular Views.
Attendees who make it to the summit of the resort will be treated to some of the most spectacular views in the country. To the East is Lincoln County, home of Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County Wars. To the West reveals White Sands National Park, a breathtaking collection of pure white gypsum sand dunes. To the North you can see the Valley of the Fires, a lava flow that once ran through the area. And to the South you can see the sacred peak of the Mescalero Apaches, Sierra Blanca.

Insider tip: For those looking to exert some energy and get away from the crowds to take advantage of an incredible vista of the stage and surrounding area, a hike up Captain offers attendees all natural VIP seating, with great sound and a bird’s eye view of the action.

Get active.
Complete the great outdoor experience by taking advantage of the many recreational activities available at Ski Apache. There are many areas perfect for hiking and observing the local wildlife. Guests can ride the zip line, take a cruise in the gondola or hop on a mountain bike trail to get their adrenaline fix.

 Insider tip: Special guest yoga instructor Jacob Daffner of Floo-id Yoga will be offering yoga every morning. Start off mornings by aligning mind, body and spirit in the great outdoors.

Occupy the kiddos. 
There is more than enough going on at the Wind Rider Mountain Festival to occupy even the most hyperactive child.

 “Our music selections are suitable for all ages,” said Ski Apache marketing director Justin Huffmon. “We strongly encourage families to bring their kiddos up to the mountain to enjoy a great weekend of solid tunes and outdoor recreation.”

There will be multiple bounce houses at the festival to wear out the kids while giving them the time of their lives. 

Insider tip: Kids will be able to see the bands playing from the bounce houses, which means parents will not need to make a choice between a great view of the stage or a good view of their kids. 

Stay nourished
An array of delicious food, drink and treat vendors will be present at the festival. Listed below are a few culinary highlights:

  • Native-owned Albuquerque-based brewery Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. will be serving up some of their popular craft beers.
  • Kombucha brewery New Mexico Ferments will be featuring their delicious kombucha.
  • Just Dunn Poppin will be serving up delicious kettle corn.
  • Shaved Ice of Vermont will be cooling off palates with refreshing snow cones.

Insider tip: A Kansas City Barbeque Sanctioned competition will lure some of best in barbecue from across the nation. A sampling of some of the best barbecue in the nation will be taking place Saturday near the beer garden. Attendees don’t want to miss out.  

General admission tickets are $85. To complete the festival experience, Wind Rider Mountain Festival will feature camping on Lower Moonshine Trail and Bunny Hill for $25 and RV camping for $35.

 For more information on the Wind Rider Mountain Festival or to purchase tickets visit

Music Line-Up

Friday, May 26, 2017  

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.   Los NM Playboys   
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.   Sweet Lillies   
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.   Secret Circus  
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.   Tow’rs
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.   Pherkad
5 p.m. – 6 p.m.   Progger
6 p.m. – 7 p.m.  Elder Grown
7 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.   GrooveSession
8:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.  Sneaky Pete & the Secret Weapons
9:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.   The Werks
11 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Analog Son
12:30 p.m. – 2 a.m.   Brothers Gow

Saturday, May 27, 2017

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.   Gleewood
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.   Silver String Band
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.   Sweetwater String Band
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.    Bill Hearn Trio
4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.   Ray Wylie Hubbard
5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.  Wood & Wire
6:45 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.  Poor Man’s Whiskey
8:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.  Old Salt Union
9:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.   Spafford
11 p.m. – 12 a.m.   Greener Grounds
12 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.   Desert Dwellers

Sunday, May 28, 2017

11 p.m. – 12 p.m.   Let it Grow
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.   Jones & Miles
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.   Haymarket Squares
2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.   Liver Down the River
3:15 – 4:30 p.m.  Gipsy Moon
4:30 – 5:45 p.m.   The Drunken Hearts
5:45 – 7:15 p.m.   Fruition
7:15 – 8:30    Grant Farm
8:30 – 10 p.m.   Spafford
10 p.m. – 11 p.m.  Cycles
11 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.  The Magic Beans


Music, Culture, BBQ and Recreation collide in this 3-day camping festival that boasts 25+ bands on 2 stages where the high mountain air will be filled with the sweet smell of BBQ smoke and the best of Jam, Funk, Bluegrass, Rock, Folk and more.

This scenic venue sets at 9,600 feet and will also be home to The Wind Rider Mountain BBQ competition (a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event), downhill mountain biking, zip lining, camping, craft beer, good eats, local vendors, and art. Campsites are $25 and RV sites are $35 for all three nights of the festival. There will be FREE PARKING for all ticket-holders. Fire restrictions will be in effect. Children 5 and under are FREE with a paying adult.

Email to become a volunteer! We strongly recommend pre-purchase of tickets which are available on Ticketmaster, The Inn of the Mountain Gods Box Office and Ski Apache Ticket Sales. This epic event will take place at the base of Ski Apache sprawling across the slopes. Ski Apache is located at 1286 Ski Run Rd. Alto, NM 88312 just 30 minutes from the beautiful mountain resort town Ruidoso, NM.

Please note that the ski area will not be open for normal operations on the event days and the only guests who will have access to the Gondola, Zipline, Bike Trails, etc. will be festival ticket holders. Seasons pass holders will also need to purchase tickets to be at Ski Apache during the festival.