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KSUT mourns loss of friend Dan Appenzeller, co-founder of Folkwest festivals


Dan Appenzeller, co-founder of Folkwest, the non-profit behind two of the region's most beloved music festivals, Four Corners Folk Festival and Pagosa Folk 'N Bluegrass, passed away on August 21, 2020 from cancer.

Dan and his wife and festival co-founder Crista Munro were long time residents of Pagosa Springs where they launched the Four Corners Folk Festival over Labor Day weekend in 1996, and added Pagosa Folk 'N Bluegrass in 2006. Both festivals have become well established community gatherings, continue to grow in popularity and have a reputation for stellar lineups. They are beautifully managed events in all respects, and provide memorable experiences for attendees of all ages, especially families, and musicians who enjoy evening jam sessions in the campground. 

Dan, who booked the festivals, strived to bring in both well known masters of acoustic music, and young and up-and-coming artists and bands, making their events both a place for music discovery and reflection. His passion for music was on display at every festival. 

KSUT and Folkwest have a strong relationship and common interest. In October 2019, Appenzeller and Munro, who had relocated to Oregon for Dan's health, transitioned ownership of the two festivals to KSUT, remaining involved with plans for 2020. 

Dan Appenzeller (right), with his wife Crista and son Elias.

"We're deeply saddened by Dan's passing, and cherish our partnership with him, his family and his legacy through these wonderful festivals," said Tami Graham, Executive Director of KSUT.  "We'll do our best to honor his stellar tradition of amazing performances on Reservoir Hill. Our hearts are heavy and our love goes out to Crista and Elias."

Read Chris Aaland's beautiful tribute to Dan in the Durango Telegraph. 

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