Troublesome Fest highlights ‘a rare breed of heroes’

Troublesome Fest transformed a tragedy into a celebration about strength and resilience.
Meg Soyars/Sky-Hi News

Tragedy can often bring community members together – they lean on each other to restore what was lost. This is true of the 2020 East Troublesome Fire. Since then, residents have worked to make Grand County more fire resilient. The annual Troublesome Fest highlights this effort, transforming tragedy into a celebration of strength.

This year’s fundraiser took place Sept. 9, featuring live music, nonprofit booths and more.

The Grand County-based band The Wiedls started off the tunes. They played a groovy mix of blues and rock. The bandmates, from Grand Lake and Fraser, include brothers Brian, Kevin and Mike Wiedl, and their “brother from another mother,” Enzo Riggs.

The soulful band Rebekah Meldrum plays at Troublesome Fest.
Meg Soyars/Sky-Hi News

Attendees danced to more tunes by Lucero, Them Dirty Roses, Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers, Danno Simpson, and Rebekah Meldrum. A military flyby streaked across the sky at the height of the fest. The event also included speakers, such as the chief of Grand Lake Fire Protection District, Seth St. Germain.

Chief St. Germain told the crowd how the fire department staff reacted to the tragedy of East Troublesome.

“It can be pretty hard for us,” St. Germain said. “Most of the time, we observe … when people are having the worst days of their lives. It’s not too often we get to see the other side of that. Following the East Troublesome Fire, I was provided with an incredible opportunity where I got to see a very rare breed of heroes.”

The fire burned 580 structures and caused two community members to lose their lives. But residents rallied afterwards to help each other. St. Germain witnessed people opening up their homes to those who had lost theirs, helping others move and rebuild, and donating funds.

“That rare breed of heroes are the members of this community and extensions of this great country,” he said.

Fire on the Mountain, which organizes Troublesome Fest every year, is one of the largest local fundraisers.

“Fire on the Mountain … captured the essence that was the community coming together, and ultimately showing what the real aspect of being a hero is,” he finished, giving his thanks to the crowd.

Funds from the Troublesome Fest go towards fire mitigation efforts, environmental restoration and mental health programs. 

Bandmate Enzo Rigg’s daughter Nora was The Wiedls biggest fan. She was at the forefront of the crowd for their entire set.
Meg Soyars/Sky-Hi News
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