Jul 25 – Jul 29, 2018
Writer/Photographer: Bob Adamek
The 18th version of Floyd Fest was held at their bucolic location on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. It’s hard to imagine a prettier place. The five-day festival holds around 15,000 fans and has developed a unique vibe. As with many festivals, the fans feel free to let themselves go and become one with their inner hippie more than they usually can during their “normal” life, but Floyd Fest brings out another level of fan. The festival isn’t very easy to get to (although the festival directors bend over backwards to try and accommodate). Most folks must park off-site, which is a lot several miles away, and then take busses fixed with trailers to get their gear in. Once on the festival grounds, there is a ready supply of volunteers driving golf carts waiting to help you get to your campsite of choice, but perfectly flat camping is a difficult find also. So why are so many folks dedicated to returning year after year? It’s the amazing vibe of true hard-core music fans, gathering to share their love of music and each other and this very beautiful place. Continue reading 2018 Floyd Fest→
The unofficial kick off to summer is Summer Camp Music Festival. After it’s 19th year Summer Camp has solidified its name as the premier festival in the Midwest and continues to grow. Having ten stages with music being played on them nearly twenty hours a day, Summer Camp has become a music festival buffet that has something for everyone. Who says you have to be a kid to go to camp?
The unofficial camp counselors of Summer Camp are the boys from Umphrey’s McGee. From stage time to organizing the festival’s kickball game, the band has earned all possible camp badges at this point. Their Friday night set showed why the band has come to the forefront of jam scene. Starting off with, “Maybe Someday” they let everyone know they are not afraid of heights. “All in Time” seemed to have a little extra magic sprinkled on it sounding like an anthem being played across the festival grounds. “Booth Love” had support from Ryan Zoldis and Eric “Benny” Bloom of Lettuce with all the juices flowing everyone ended set one in fourth gear with “Call to Arms”, from the infamous Sturgill Simpson.
There were many choices on the east coast for great live music over Memorial Day weekend — from DelFest in Cumberland, MD to the Greenwich Town Party in Connecticut. However, it would have been really hard to beat the lineup and fun at Rooster Walk 10 in Martinsville, VA.
The four day festival is held on a gorgeous tract of land in Martinsville, VA called Pop’s Farm, featuring gently rolling hills, a beautiful small lake and three stages plus a VIP stage that all have their own vibe. The festival has seen steady growth and puts together a more impressive lineup every year. The overall vibe is relaxed and family friendly. Camping is available and there are many affordable rooms in Martinsville.Continue reading Rooster Walk 10→
Monterey International Pop Festival 50th anniversary
Monterey County Fairgrounds, Monterey CA
June 17-19, 2017
Photographer/Writer: Susan J Weiand
Monterey International Pop Festival, celebrating 50 years, maintained a “music, love and flowers” mindset throughout the festival grounds, with an ambiance that hearkened back to the Summer of Love. An on-site photo gallery, a tribute to the film, art exhibits and hands-on workshops also added to the scene.
It was a weekend full of big moments. Artists on this year’s lineup shared the sentiment that they were honored and inspired to represent the festival’s rich history at the 50-year celebration. They paid tribute to the 1967 performers by covering their songs, highlighted by Leon Bridges & Nathaniel Rateliff’s duet of Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay.” Continue reading Monterey International Pop Festival 50th Anniversary→
Beale Street Music Festival
May 5, 2017
Words/photos by Josh Mintz
Beale Street Music Festival is an annual poor weather magnet. Each May, as Memphis in May begins with the music fest held on the Mississippi River, it’s not so much an if or when it will rain – it’s more like “how much rain are we going to get?” Continue reading Greensky Bluegrass on the river→
The aromas of boiling crawfish, sweet beignets stuffed with pralines, curry, pecan catfish meuniere, fried soft shell crabs and so much more blew over the fairgrounds pulling you in along with the music of Alex McMurray and His Band playing on the Gentilly Stage. The 47th New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was underway!
Running for two consecutive weekends (always the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May) the festival offers up a gumbo of musical genres, cultural activities and mouth watering dishes that help make New Orleans one of the top food destinations in the world. This year welcomed a thirteenth stage to the festival, the music of Cuba. With the easing of political tensions, Quint Davis (CEO of Festival Productions) welcomed Cuban Ambassador, Jose Ramon Cabanas, to the festival along with New Orleans Mayor, Mitch Landrieu; former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu; and Jazz and Heritage Foundation President Donna Santiago. Continue reading First Weekend of the 47th New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival→
This year’s Wanee Music Festival, located at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in North Central Florida, delivered one of the more solid lineups of the 2017 festival season. Though it takes place in the spring, it set the bar for what a schedule should look like.
An important factor all these years for setting the bar high for Wanee was Butch Trucks. The untimely passing of Trucks in January brought the Wanee community together in an unprecedented way, to honor his life and say thanks for impacting so many over the course of his life. There was an extra sense of camaraderie – both on and off stage – the entire weekend because of the tragedy. Everyone truly realized how fortunate they were to be able to experience this year’s festival. Continue reading 13th Annual Wanee Music Festival 2017→
Lucero Family Block Party
April 22, 2017
Photos by: Josh Mintz
With threats of severe thunderstorms in the forecast, Lucero held strong to their rain or shine plans for their annual Family Block Party held on Saturday, April 22. While the rain did indeed pound Memphis in the morning, by mid-afternoon when the music started, the precipitation had died down to a not-bad-enough-not-to-go-but-just-enough-to-be-annoying level.
What a magical weekend! Unreal musicianship, gorgeous, sunny weather, talented painters and other artists, friends, family, cliff jumps, floating penguin rafts, and of course, Disco Pizza! Summerdance Music Festival couldn’t have taken place at a better venue, or a better Labor Day Weekend. Held at Nelson’s Ledges Quarry Park in Garrettsville, Ohio, plenty of music fans flock to this breathtakingly unique oasis. Lotus captivated the minds, souls, and bodies of multiple generations alike, to come together, in a tribal-like unity and escape the daily stresses of the real world, in a truly enchanting place. This festival had all you needed – a place in the woods to camp with old growth-trees that provided ample shelter during the day, a beach to hang out on that leads into a water-filled quarry where you can take your time swimming or floating, relaxing on rafts during the day or find places to take a leap of faith and cliff jump. The Ohio Burn Unit provided expert fire dancers on the beach after the music was over, and of course, places to resupply and fuel up with some awesome food vendors.
Hailed by Lotus fans as a musical mecca, Summerdance has continued to surprise and inspire. This weekend was a special weekend for Lotus; drummer Mike Greenfield had a baby over the weekend, so who else to fill his shoes but their original drummer, Steve Clemens! Also filling in on drums was Jeff Peterson.
Playing two nights were the funky, dance-grooving, fun-loving four piece called Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. These guys are quickly gaining a huge following – to no surprise, you can’t help but feel like dancing whenever their sound waves interact with you. This year’s lineup also featured Particle, Broccoli Samurai, G-Nome Project, Octave Cat (ft. Jesse Miller & Eli Winderman of Dopapod), Luke the Knife, Genetics (ft. Chuck Morris), Eric Evasion, Sean 2:16, Thunder St. Clair.
Hidden in the forest was something truly majestic. If you wandered around long enough, you were sure to find a couple of unique campsites. At one campsite, Camp Excess, the hosts provided generators, mixers, lights, and PA systems to enable local bands and DJ’s to keep the vibes flowing during the day and when the main music was done for the night. Some artists from Pittsburgh, The Clock Reads, Shaq Nicholson, Wink, and Andrew Schillinger were among some to play sets at this campsite. Summerdance serves as a perpetual stepping stone for musicians and friends to interact and share their music with others, even if not on the big stage. One of the best things about Lotus is even though they are world-class musicians, every member is so humble and gracious. What a truly engaging, immersive, and inclusive festival.