Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘The Festy’ Category

The 8th Annual Festy Experience Is Kicking Off At Infinity Downs Farm
Thursday-Sunday, October 5 – October 8, 2017

Featuring:

The Infamous Stringdusters, Ani DiFranco, Drive-By Truckers, Elephant Revival, Sam Bush Band, Beats Antique, The Jerry Douglas Band, Joan Osborne, The Travelin’ McCourys, and more!

The Festy Experience Presents The eTown Stage and “Almost eTown”
Featuring Host Nick Forster and Guest Host Danny Barnes

Visit the Chiackapig Farm

Full weekend and Single Day Tickets On Sale Now www.thefesty.com

Charlottesville, VA — The Festy Experience is excited about “The eTown Stage,” a new partnership with eTown, a nationally syndicated non­profit radio broadcast/podcast focused on educating and entertaining diverse audiences through music and conversation in order to create a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable world.

For over 25 years, eTown’s Nick & Helen Forster have produced musical, social, and environmental programming to uplift and inspire listeners around the world. eTown listeners come for the music… and stay for the message.

Their social and environmental focus makes eTown a perfect fit to host The eTown Stage, a third stage premiering at The 8th Annual Festy Experience. Throughout the weekend, eTown co-­host Nick Forster and acclaimed banjo bellwether Danny Barnes will present “Almost eTown,” a series of 30 ­minute conversational performances. Danny Barnes & Nick Forster will also be featured with their full band on The Skyline Tent Stage on Thursday night.

Almost eTown will consist of shorts sets and interviews with artists already performing at The 8th Annual Festy Experience which takes place October 5-8, 2017 in the Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm, a 387-acre property in Arrington, Virginia at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This year’s full festival lineup includes The Infamous Stringdusters, Ani DiFranco, Drive-By Truckers, Elephant Revival, Sam Bush Band, Beats Antique, The Jerry Douglas Band, Joan Osborne performing the songs of Bob Dylan, and lots more.

In addition to Almost eTown, The eTown Stage will be home to family yoga, local artist performances, and workshops. The Festy aims to give the ultimate laid back festival experience which is fun for the entire family: camping, outdoor activities, craft food and beer, the 22nd Annual Blue Ridge Burn (5k/10k), and stellar music on three stages!

See the full schedule for each stage →  www.thefesty.com/lineup-by-day.

Chickappig Set up 2017The Festy is also excited to host the Chickapig Farm! Chickapig is a new strategic and fun board game created in Charlottesville. Chickapig breeder and game creator (and luthier) Brian Calhoun joined forces with his farming buddy and musician, Dave Matthews, to bring this game from farm to table where players dodge opponents, hay bales, and an unruly pooping cow. There will be games to play on site as well as a life sized version!

CupKleanKanteenFEsty2017.JPGEnvironmental sustainability is important to the organizers and they are eliminating all waste from single-use plastic cups. Instead every All Weekend ticket comes with a free commemorative steel pint cup from The Festy’s Partner, Klean Kanteen, which they can use for free water from filling stations placed throughout site as well as beer purchases.

The Festy Experience ~ Full 2017 Lineup:
The Infamous Stringdusters
Ani DiFranco
Drive-By Truckers
Elephant Revival
Sam Bush Band
Beats Antique
The Jerry Douglas Band
Joan Osborne
The Travelin’ McCourys
Sierra Hull
Danny Barnes & Nick Forster
EmiSunshine
Garrettgrass Gospel Hour
Della Mae
Cabinet
Shook Twins
Billy Strings
Sarah Siskind & Sunliner
Carl Anderson
Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers
Love Canon
Maggie Koerner
Dori Freeman
Erin Lunsford
Gallatin Canyon
Tara Mills

MapToArrington9
Location: Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm
1510 Diggs Mountain Road
Arrington, VA 22922

Infinity Downs Farm is conveniently located just 35 miles south of Charlottesville and 30 miles north of Lynchburg, (it is also the site of LOCKN’ Festival). The property features outdoor amphitheaters, open fields, campgrounds, hiking, and over 7 miles of biking trails. Stay tuned for more information about outdoor activities and workshops.

Tickets, more information, and updates at www.TheFesty.com,
www.twitter.com/thefesty, www.facebook.com/thefesty, and www.instagram.com/thefestyexperience.
If you have any questions please contact us at info@theartistfarm.com or 434-220-4000.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Festy8-DailyLineup-square-v3-staticThe 8th Annual Festy Experience Announces Daily Schedule!
The Infamous Stringdusters, Ani DiFranco, Drive-By Truckers, Elephant Revival, Sam Bush Band, Beats Antique, The Jerry Douglas Band, Joan Osborne, The Travelin’ McCourys, and more!

Thursday-Sunday, October 5 – October 8, 2017 at Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, VA

Full weekend and Single Day Tickets On Sale Now www.thefesty.com

Charlottesville, VA —   The 8th Annual Festy Experience takes place October 5-8, 2017 in the Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm, a 387-acre property in Arrington, Virginia (also the new home of LOCKN’ Festival) at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Festy aims to give the ultimate laid back festival experience which is fun for the entire family: camping, outdoor activities, craft food and beer, daily yoga, the 22nd Annual Blue Ridge Burn (5k/10k), and stellar music! This year’s lineup includes The Infamous Stringdusters, Ani DiFranco, Drive-By Truckers, Elephant Revival, Sam Bush Band, Beats Antique, The Jerry Douglas Band, Joan Osborne, and lots more.

The Festy Experience is thrilled to announced the daily schedule of music for the Blue Ridge Outdoors Stage and the Skyline Tent Stage, with no overlapping sets between the two stages! Head on over to the newly revamped website to check it out.

Thursday brings the full moon and sees host band The Infamous Stringdusters close out the evening out on the Skyline Tent Stage just following Beats Antique’s set on Blue Ridge Outdoors Stage. Others performing on Thursday include Danny Barnes & Nick Forster, Sierra Hull, and Gallatin Canyon.

Sam Bush Band closes out Friday night the Blue Ridge Outdoors Stage, following early evening performances by The Infamous Stringdusters and Della Mae. EmiSunshine & Friends have an afternoon set on the Blue Ridge Outdoors Stage and Emi is the MC host for that stage the entire weekend. Cabinet will rock out the late night set on the Skyline Tent Stage and other Friday performers on the stage include Carl Anderson and Erin Lunsford.

Saturday is packed with performances including Drive-By Truckers, Ani DiFranco, and Elephant Revival on the Blue Ridge Outdoors Stage. That day, Skyline Tent Stage features The Travelin McCourys, Sarah Siskind & Sunliner, Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers, and Maggie Koerner. There’s also a Kids Parade and Jam at 11:30am.

Sunday sets on the Blue Ridge Outdoors Stage include The Jerry Douglas Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Joan Osborne Sings the Songs of Bob Dylan. The stage kicks off with the Garrettgrass Gospel Hour that morning (featuring Jeremy Garrett of The Infamous Stringdusters and EmiSunshine, as well as members of Shook Twins, Elephant Revival, and more.) Sunday Skyline Tent Stage performances include Shook Twins, Billy Strings, Love Canon, and Dori Freeman.

Family fun is key throughout the Festy all weekend long; along with a family camping area, there will be a large kids area, a teen zone, a kids instrument making workshop, as well as other family activities. Kids activities in the Little Planets Kids Zone will include Children’s Jams, Magic Shows, Balloon Animals & Bubble Making, Kids Drum & Didgeridoo Workshops w/ Jim Gagnon, Costume Making for the Kid’s Parade on Saturday and more!

Notably, half of the lineup consists of female artists, The Festy Experience Director Michael Allenby says, “We recognize that the previous version of the music industry is hurting and can not invest in artists and progress their careers. It is now the promoter’s job to evolve the industry and we believe that gender equality is a critical issue. Other industries often claim that gender inequality is a ‘pipeline issue’ that will take a long time to evolve; however, there’s no shortage of amazing female artists and performers. The marketing of this talent happens AT festivals… not just FOR festivals… we are challenging promoters to make social progress a priority in all aspects of large-scale community gatherings.”

Tickets are on sale now and there are plenty of options including Weekend Camping, Car Camping, Family Camping, RV (powered or non-powered options), Individual Day, and Weekend-Day Passes with addition parking fees added on depending on your needs. Kids under 12 are free and there are special rates for teens (13-17). All Weekend Access Tickets include Thursday Arrival (making it 4 days total over Columbus Day weekend). Single Day tickets are also available now. Get your tickets now a pricing increases on September 5th!

To help in sustainability efforts to eliminate all waste from single-use plastic cups, every All Weekend ticket comes with a free commemorative steel pint cup from The Festy’s Partner, Klean Kanteen, which they can use for free water from filling stations placed throughout site as well as beer purchases.

Lodging Upgrades are also available offering all the fun, with none of the hassle. See the website for more information on The High Country Village and The Show Sherpa packages which range from reserving an RV or Yurt (along with other perks including power, showers, flushable toilets, morning coffee, and more) to having a campsite set up and ready to go for you to on site.

Thursday is “Free Nelson County Day.” Stay tuned for information on how Nelson County residents can pick up tickets.

If you have any questions please contact us at info@theartistfarm.com or 434-220-4000.
More information can also be found at www.thefesty.com.

The Festy Experience ~ Full 2017 Lineup:
The Infamous Stringdusters
Ani DiFranco
Drive-By Truckers
Elephant Revival
Sam Bush Band
Beats Antique
The Jerry Douglas Band
Joan Osborne
The Travelin’ McCourys
Sierra Hull
Danny Barnes & Nick Forster
EmiSunshine
Garrettgrass Gospel Hour
Della Mae
Cabinet
Shook Twins
Billy Strings
Sarah Siskind & Sunliner
Carl Anderson
Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers
Love Canon
Maggie Koerner
Dori Freeman
Erin Lunsford
Gallatin Canyon
Tara Mills

Location: Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm
1510 Diggs Mountain Road
Arrington, VA 22922

Infinity Downs Farm is conveniently located just 35 miles south of Charlottesville and 30 miles north of Lynchburg, (it is also the site of LOCKN’ Festival). The property features outdoor amphitheaters, open fields, campgrounds, hiking, and over 7 miles of biking trails. Stay tuned for more information about outdoor activities and workshops.

Tickets, more information, and updates at www.TheFesty.com,
www.twitter.com/thefesty, www.facebook.com/thefesty, and www.instagram.com/thefestyexperience

Read Full Post »

festy8poster_24x26_FINAL

The 8th Annual Festy Experience Announces Additions of
Ani DiFranco, Elephant Revival, Beats Antique, Joan Osborne, Sierra Hull, & More

Thursday-Sunday, October 5 – October 8, 2017
at Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, VA

Tickets are on-sale now at
www.thefesty.com

Charlottesville, VA — The Festy Experience is excited to announce the second round of its music lineup for the 8th annual festival, happening October 5-8, 2017 in the Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm, a 387-acre property in Arrington, Virginia at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The lineup comprises a carefully curated blend of national and local roots music acts and additions include Ani DiFranco, Elephant Revival, Beats Antique, Joan Osborne, Sierra Hull, EmiSunshine, Della Mae, Shook Twins, Sarah Siskind & Sunliner, Phoebe Hunt, Maggie Koerner, Dori Freeman, Erin Lunsford, and Tara Mills. Danny Barnes, Nick Forster, and Gallatin Canyon have also been recently added!

Other performers already announced include The Infamous Stringdusters, Drive-By Truckers, Sam Bush Band, The Travelin’ McCourys, The Jerry Douglas Band, Cabinet, Billy Strings, Love Canon, Carl Anderson, and The 8th Annual Garrettgrass Gospel Hour.

With half of the lineup consisting of female artists, The Festy Experience Director Michael Allenby says, “We recognize that the previous version of the music industry is hurting and can not invest in artists and progress their careers. It is now the promoter’s job to evolve the industry and we believe that gender equality is a critical issue. Other industries often claim that gender inequality is a ‘pipeline issue’ that will take a long time to evolve; however, there’s no shortage of amazing female artists and performers. The marketing of this talent happens AT festivals… not just FOR festivals.

“The fact that the first half of this year’s Festy lineup was ALL MEN went surprisingly unnoticed by most.” Allenby continues, “We see unbalanced programming too often and wanted to do something to draw attention to the issue. It’s one of many progressive changes that The Festy intends to roll out over the coming years and we are challenging promoters to make social progress a priority in all aspects of large-scale community gatherings.”

Throughout the event’s year history, The Festy Experience team has worked hard to produce a diverse festival experience that illustrates its core values: a love of craft food & beer (they will be offering a variety of Virginia’s award winning craft beer), appreciation for the outdoors, and stellar music. A family-friendly atmosphere is key; along with a family camping area, there will be a large kids area, a teen zone, special programming, a kids instrument making workshop, as well as other family activities. Of course they’ll still have an amazing yoga program, plus the 22nd Annual Blue Ridge Burn (5k/10k)!

Environmental sustainability is important to the organizers and they are eliminating all waste from single-use plastic cups. Instead every All Weekend ticket comes with a free commemorative steel pint cup from The Festy’s Partner, Klean Kanteen, which they can use for free water from filling stations placed throughout site as well as beer purchases.

The Festy Experience started in 2009 and is a partnership between Allenby’s Virginia-based company, The Artist Farm and The Infamous Stringdusters and it offers more than music. This will be The Festy Experience’s second year at Infinity Downs Farm, which is conveniently located just 35 miles south of Charlottesville and 30 miles north of Lynchburg, adjacent to the site of LOCKN’ Festival. The property features outdoor amphitheaters, open fields, campgrounds, hiking, and over 7 miles of biking trails. Stay tuned for more information about outdoor activities and workshops.

If you have any questions please contact us at info@theartistfarm.com or 434-220-4000.
More information can also be found at www.thefesty.com.

Location: Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm
1510 Diggs Mountain Road
Arrington, VA 22922

Tickets and Lodging Upgrade Options:

campingsetup_FestyPicTickets are on sale now and there are plenty of options including Weekend Camping, Car Camping, Family Camping, RV (powered or non-powered options), Individual Day, and Weekend-Day Passes with addition parking fees added on depending on your needs. Kids under 12 are free and there are special rates for teens (13-17).

All Weekend Access Tickets also Thursday Arrival (making it 4 days total over Columbus Day weekend). This is made possible because of a grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC/  Virginia Is For Music Lovers) who recently awarded sponsorships to 32 Virginia music festivals, including The Festy Experience.

The Festy Experience is thrilled to announce Lodging Upgrades. The Show Sherpa Village offers all the fun, with none of the hassle. The Show Sherpa will provide the gear you need (Tents, Camping Cots, Lanterns, Camping Chairs), set up your campsite, and brew you coffee each morning!

The High Country Village provides many of the comforts and conveniences of a Hotel but with the full Festy Experience of camping on-site for the weekend. Set in a premium location, The THC Village has three lodging options: Deluxe Hideout RV, Deluxe Solid Ground Shelters (with Queen and Twin Sized Beds), Standard Solid Ground Shelters (with Camping Cots). Each option includes a breakfast & coffee bar, daily Happy Hour, a large covered lounge, a fire pit, power, free showers, and last but not least, flushable toilets.

Tickets, more information, and updates at www.TheFesty.com,
www.twitter.com/thefesty, www.facebook.com/thefesty, and www.instagram.com/thefestyexperience

 

Read Full Post »

festy8_1000x1000_logos

The 8th Annual Festy Experience Unveils First Half of Artist Lineup
Thursday-Sunday, October 5 – October 8, 2017
at Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, VA

The Infamous Stringdusters, Drive-By Truckers, Sam Bush Band,
The Travelin’ McCourys, The Jerry Douglas Band & more
www.thefesty.com

Charlottesville, VA — The Festy Experience is excited to announce the first half of its music lineup for the 8th annual festival, happening October 5-8, 2017 in the Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, Virginia. The lineup comprises a carefully curated blend of national and local roots music acts, featuring The Infamous Stringdusters, Drive-By Truckers, Sam Bush Band, The Travelin’ McCourys, The Jerry Douglas Band, Cabinet, Billy Strings, Love Canon, Carl Anderson, and The 8th Annual Garrettgrass Gospel Hour. And this is just half of the artist lineup. The next installment of artists will be announced on Wednesday, June 14th. Tickets are on-sale now.

The Festy Experience came about as an idea between Virginia-native Michael Allenby and The Infamous Stringdusters in 2009. Allenby’s Charlottesville-based company, The Artist Farm, was working with the band at the time in management. They got to talking and wanted to organize an event that grew out of the band’s shared experiences with fans over the years on the road. Music was a focus, but it was always more than music to them. Some had started raising families and community has always been at the heart of their involvement in the festival scene.

Throughout the event’s seven-year history, The Festy Experience team has worked hard to produce a festival experience that illustrates its core values: a love of craft food & beer (they will be offering a variety of Virginia’s award winning craft beer), appreciation for the outdoors, and stellar music. A family-friendly atmosphere is key; along with a family camping area, there will be a large kids area, a teen zone, special programming, a kids instrument making workshop, as well as other family activities.

With acres of meadows and miles of trails, The Festy Experience is crafting a full weekend of outdoor activities that will include Disc Golf and many other outdoor activities… plus Guided Nature Tours, Trail Runs, and Hosted Bike Rides. Of course they’ll still have an amazing YOGA program, plus the 22nd Annual Blue Ridge Burn (5k/10k)! Stay tuned for more information on activities, workshops, and special accommodations.

This will be The Festy Experience’s second year at Infinity Downs Farm, a 387-acre property in Arrington, VA, located in the Nelson County Preserve at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia adjacent to the site of LOCKN’ Festival. The property features outdoor amphitheaters, open fields, campgrounds, hiking, and over 7 miles of biking trails. The Festy is fortunate that Infinity Downs Farm has been investing in extremely rare infrastructure (fencing, power, roads, water, internet) that will provide a sturdy foundation for The Festy Experience to continue its mission of long-term sustainability. It is conveniently located just 35 miles south of Charlottesville and 30 miles north of Lynchburg.

Tickets are on sale now and there are plenty of options including Weekend Camping, Car Camping, Family Camping, RV (powered or non-powered options), Individual Day, and Weekend-Day Passes with addition parking fees added on depending on your needs. Kids under 12 are free and there are special rates for teens (13-17). If you have any questions please contact us at info@theartistfarm.com or 434-220-4000.

The Festy Experience is excited to announce that All Weekend Access Tickets now include FREE Thursday Arrival (making it 4 days total over Columbus Day weekend). This is made possible because of a grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) who recently awarded sponsorships to 32 Virginia music festivals, including The Festy Experience.

Anyone that purchases an All Weekend ticket will also receive a FREE commemorative steel pint cup from The Festy’s Partner Klean Kanteen. This is part of the festival’s commitment to environmental sustainability and used for beer purchases and water from free filling stations throughout the event.

Watch out for a series of events throughout the year in central Virginia to keep The Festy Experience around all year such as Bluegrass Brunch, listening room shows, and other special family friendly events.

The Festy Experience ~ First Half of 2017 Lineup:

The Infamous Stringdusters
Drive-By Truckers
Sam Bush Band
The Travelin’ McCourys
The Jerry Douglas Band
Cabinet
Billy Strings
Love Canon
Carl Anderson
The 8th Annual Garrettgrass Gospel Hour
More TBA in June!

Tickets: www.TheFesty.com

Location: Blue Ridge Bowl at Infinity Downs Farm
1510 Diggs Mountain Road
Arrington, VA 22922

More information and updates:
www.thefesty.com, www.twitter.com/thefesty, www.facebook.com/thefesty, and www.instagram.com/thefestyexperience

Read Full Post »

Here’s a fun message from Larry and Jenny Keel:

It’s been an absolutely beautiful and magical fall festival season for the Keel crew, rolling around America’s hills and dales and doing our thang!

The Festy in Roseland, VA was an epic weekend of ideal festivating! Hosted by the wildly talented Infamous Stringdusters, this event represents all the best best elements of a great and inspiring music festival- loved all the collaborations the jams and pickin around the campfire were wide open and memorable, to say the least (larry’s guitar head stock smells like barbecue now! it’s got some awesome mojo in it forever more!) .. a stage highlight was seeing that nuclear jam during the Toubab Krew set, when Larry and members of the String Dusters got up with em and blew the roof off the place.. our new favorite version of ‘Cluck Ol Hen’!

Then we bolted across the middle of the country and headed over to Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Fest, in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.. spectacular autumn scenery, awesome property there at Mulberry Mountain- and a perfect music festival, complete with amazing stage acts, killer art and vending everywhere, and lots of spontaneous pickin jams among the world class artists- Larry and Will Lee, Scott Law and Darol Anger spent a whole late afternoon jammin away behind the main stage… late night picks included Keel, Mark Schimick, Will Lee, Drew Emmitt, Bill Nershi, Andy Thorn, gals and guys from Elephant Revival and Railroad Earth! all crammed into an RV ! super fun- look out for flipped out video on all that- coming soon! Stage highlights included Larry and Adam Aijala’s guitar duo set, with special guest Darol Anger, our Keel and Natural Bridge set, with a grand finale including almost all of the Greensky Bluegrass dudes, and then a wonderfully deep and spiritual set by Peter Rowan, on his own- he got Larry up to do some tunes with just the 2 of them.. on their guitars- Pete said he wanted to test drive a new tune he had just written that morning, and he wanted Larry and he to explore it together, on the spot.. it was awesome- look out for footage on that soon too!

And now! Stokin the home fires back in VA (well, getting the wood ready for the winter, more like it!), and preparing for our next adventure! Bass and Grass down on our favorite lake in the South: Goose Lake, near Perry GA.. join us and fishin/pickin/partyin instructors Jeff Mosier, David Blackmon, Steve McMurry and Gove Scrivenor as we dig in for a weekend of country style resort music and nature retreat together ! no need to know how to play an instrument- you just gotta know how to smile! bring it on, Oct 27-30!

Larry Keel Tour Dates:

Fishin and Pickin
Larry Keel, Jenny Keel, Mark Schimick, Will Lee
10/27-30/11 BASS and GRASS 4 Green Bell Bed and Barn Perry, GA

Larry Keel and Natural Bridge
10/16/11 LKNB HARVEST MUSIC FESTIVAL Ozark, AR
11/03/11 LKNB Boone Saloon Boone, NC
11/05/11 LKNB Private Eastern, NC
11/10/11 Eric Anderson’s Birthday Bash O’Neill’s Pub Lexington, KY
11/11/11 LKNB 123 Pleasant Street Morgantown, WV
11/12/11 LKNB Coffeepot Roanoke, VA
11/18/11 LKNB Gottrocks Greenville, SC
11/19/11 LKNB Private Somewhere, GA
12/09/11 LKNB Legal Grounds Rutherfordton, NC
12/10/11 LKNB Pour House Charleston, SC
02/04/12 LKNB Shepherdstown Opera House Shepherdstown, WV

Keel Brothers
Larry Keel – Guitar and vocals Gary Keel – Guitar and vocals
11/25/11 Larry & Gary Keel Bulls and Bears Pub Hagerstown, MD
11/26/11 Larry & Gary Keel Richardsville Firehall Richardsville, VA

Keller and the Keels
Keller Williams – Guitar and vocals Larry Keel – Guitar and vocals Jenny Keel – Bass and Harmonies
12/31/11 Keller and the Keels Brooklyn Performing Arts Center Wilmington, NC
01/09/12 Keller and the Keels JAM CRUISE 10 Ft. Lauderdale, FL


myspacelogologo_reverbnation

Read Full Post »

Interview with Larry Keel at the Festy

by Diane Farineau

Author, Diane Farineau, is  researching & co-writing The Festival Project, a photo book project which features the combined works of photographers Chester SimpsonMilo Farineau
————————————————————————————————————————————————

One of the highlights at the Infamous Stringduster’s new Festival “The Festy” was a Sunday appearance by Larry Keel and Natural Bridge. The trio quickly became a quartet as they were joined on stage by guitarist and Larry’s brother, Gary. When asked if they played together a lot, Larry responded “It’s rare. But when we do festivals in the area, he comes out and does some picking with us, it’s always so fun! ”

After their rousing set, the band spoke with members of the press and then settled in to just hang out for a little bit. “Everyone’s just here to want to hang out for a bit, which we don’t get to do much” said Mark Shimick. “The Stringdusters will play a lot of traditional bluegrass festivals, where we play some jam band festivals, so we don’t get together that much so it’s nice to see
them.”

The band is known to end up picking in the parking lot on occasion, which they enjoy, and Larry explained; “when I started going to festivals/fiddlers conventions, that’s what it was all about, before being a performer at them it was about all our friends getting together, making a big ol’ pot of soup or something, playing a bunch of music all night and then all day, then playing all night again. That’s where you get your chops down, where you learn to play. It’s very special.” Jenny agreed “That’s a great place to go when you’re just learning, listening and absorbing and getting in to the pulse of it all, watching others, the old-timers, new-timers and everything in between, and then slowly you start picking yourself, it’s a great way to absorb it and take it further, if you want to or just enjoy it for what it’s worth. “

The band has had a busy but fun year, listing some of their highlights “we’ve had a wonderful season this year, Telluride, Grand Targhee, Music on the Mountaintop, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco was really awesome too, French Broad, Watermelon Park.”

I couldn’t resist asking for a fishing update as well, “I haven’t done as much of that as I’ve wanted to,” said Larry, “I did some out in Idaho, fly fishing. I fish every kind of way I can, I do a lot of bass fishing, I did some fishing in the Outer Banks this summer, some saltwater fishing. I caught a lot of bass in Georgia. Every chance I get, I go!”

I wondered what it was like to be on the road as a musical couple, Mark pointed out (and Larry agreed) “Jenny is the bedrock of the band, seriously, she takes care of a lot of stuff to let Larry have his creativity and she’ll let me know if I have something I need to do.” “We wouldn’t want it any other way,” explained Jenny, “we knew, one way or another, we wanted to work together
and be together, so here it is!”

When asked about the noticeable absence of a banjo in the group, Larry explained: “We had our banjo player for a while, he’s out in Colorado now, he’s restarted up his old band and we’re back to our trio that we’ve had for 10 years, and that’s our core part of the band but we have a few very special guests we like to bring in to make it a quartet. Today it was Nate Leath on the fiddle, which, he’s as great fiddler player as there is, really. We have quite a few special guests we like to get out, like Will Lee on the 5 string banjo, he’s a master and a wonderful singer too. We sort of switch it up, have trios, have a banjo or a fiddle, we like to mix it up. And I think our audience likes that. It keeps it fresh for them and it keeps it fresh for us.

When asked where their evening was headed, Larry smiled “I’m looking forward to picking with as many of these folks as I can, we don’t always get to hang out, so it’s sure nice when we do!”

Also, check out this article by Diane about the Festy itself: https://dreamspider.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/introducing-the-festy-experience/

Read Full Post »

Check out this great article about the inaugural Infamous Stringdusters Festival, The Festy, that took place this past weekend in Nelson County, VA.   Diane Wildman Farineau is the author and Milo Farineau is the photographer that took this amazing shot!  The two of them have joined forces with Chester Simpson Photography and are working on a book called, The Festival Project to document the music festival lifestyle and to chronicle all types of music festivals, with an emphasis on the revival of bluegrass music... Also click here for Diane’s complete interview with Larry Keel and Natural Bridge at the Festy!

Introducing The Festy

by Diane Wildman Farineau

Incredible music, a breathtaking venue and promotional visionaries got married about a year ago and gave birth to a baby this weekend and its name is The Festy.

The first cries issued forth from this newborn on Saturday, October 9th on the double stages in front of the Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company, in beautiful Nelson County, Virginia were soft and sweet, with performances by Sarah Siskind, Robinella and Crooked Still, but as the evening and weekend progressed, the cries turned lusty and ferocious culminating with stage thumping and fist pumping performances by the Infamous Stringdusters (the event’s curators and hosts) and Railroad Earth.

Like most newborns, this baby didn’t get much sleep this weekend, as the jams went on well into the wee hours both on stage and in the form of impromptu campfire performances throughout the campground. “I was walking back through the camp zone after it got dark and I saw all these fires, and heard the sounds of picking and people hanging out and that’s a big piece of the whole puzzle that makes a great vibe,” said Stringdusters guitarist, Andy Falco, “there are not enough facial expressions that we can make to show how excited we are about this festival.”

That the award winning Stringdusters could line up a few friends to “gig for a weekend” wouldn’t surprise anyone. The true indicator of success, however, lay not only in the breadth of talent represented, but also its depth. Included in the line up were legendary flat pickers Larry Keel and Tony Rice. The crowd was in awe, as were a number of the performers. Said Keel about their involvement: “We were called by the Stringdusters and they said they were having a festival up here…I couldn’t believe it, I love playing in the hills of Virginia, and they said they really wanted us to be a part of it, so we worked it out and we’re real glad we did.”

Unlike some festival events, where bands roll in and roll out in a dizzying cloud of dust, the goal of these organizers was to create an environment and a vibe where performers would want to stick around, not only to catch up with friends, but also to sit in and jam with one another, something so many love to do, but for which they don’t always find the opportunity. Said Jenny Keel; “The hanging out factor was good. Having the band mastermind it all had a great impact and a very positive one.” There was a veritable love-fest backstage, between artists, organizers, the production team, and volunteers and this vibe flowed from behind the curtain out across the stage and into the crowd which sang and danced their hearts out for two full days and nights. Said Allan “El Ron” Ronquillo, promoter from Running Smooth and good friend of Railroad Earth “When an event is done well like this, everyone, from the band to the fans, walks away feeling empowered.”

More than just a concert, the Festy was designed as a lifestyle, wellness and music experience. In addition to music, the event hosted both a trail running and mountain bike race on the two mornings. Yoga classes were free and available to all participants. A climbing wall, massage therapists, a host of food and beverage vendors, instrument workshops and educational workshops on environmental sustainability were all in the mix. “What we’re doing here” said Michael Allenby, (owner of The Artist Farm, and event co-producer) “is creating an experience for people who love the outdoor culture.” Said Devils Backbone Brewing Company owner and venue developer, Steve Crandall, “we’ve done a lot of work to point event participants in the direction of local resources here, we’re about creating sustainability.” With crisp fall weather and access to hiking and biking trails, participants took full advantage of what the area had to offer. “People come to this area and fall in love with it instantaneously, we can’t manufacture or fabricate any of these mountains around us, that’s their dream, the Blue Ridge Mountains, when folks pull in here…..it’s overwhelming ” said the event’s production company, Cerberus’s co-owner, Justin Billcheck.

Great time, great music, great location, this nascent event just knocked it right out of the park. Go ahead and mark your calendars, this baby will turn one next year on October 8 & 9, 2011 and that’s going to be a birthday party no one should miss!

Click here for the post on the Bluegrass Blog with more photos from Milo and here for photos from the Festy staff photog Tom Daly.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »