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March 1, 2014 at 6:51 PM

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Getting a leg up on bluegrass


Keens, Keds, Birkenstocks and comfortable shoes run the hallways at Wintergrass 2014, this weekend's bluegrass and acoustic music event considered one of the biggest and best in the country.

It's as if FolkLife moved indoors to the Hyatt Regency Bellevue to avoid the rain.

The high-heel-free festival has musicians jamming, and sometimes dancing, in every hallway, plus workshops and more than 70 hours of scheduled performances.

The festival began in 1994 in Tacoma and this year expects more than 12,000 paying to attend the 4-day event in Bellevue.

It continues Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

It takes some fancy footwork for Bret Winkler to negotiate the elevator Saturday at the Wintergrass Music Festival in Bellevue. Winkler said he went to the big bass because the band he's in already had too many guitars. His wife had to drive the instrument from Portland in a separate vehicle. The four-day music festival continues through Sunday at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue. More information: www.acousticsound.org

ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Yeti dances to players jamming in the hallway at the festival. Yeti, from Bozeman, Mont., says besides the music, he loves "the fact I can dance anywhere" at Wintergrass. The impromptu jammers called their group "Playing for Pizza."

Duplicate of the Video Hub player - used for testing purposes only.

ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Amy Hakanson on the nyckelharpa, a Swedish keyed fiddle, and Sam Weiss on a more common fiddle, jam at Wintergrass Saturday. Both are from Portland, Oregon and are playing a Scandinavian song called "Pennknivsmördaren" (The Penknife Killer).

For more photos, visit the gallery.

For a review of Wintergrass, visit the Soundposts blog.

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