As summer draws to a close, residents of the Midwest prepare to settle in for what is sure to be another lengthy winter. Trips to the state fair, mass quantities of sweet corn and late night bonfires are things every Hoosier gets their fix on before the cold hits. But for a select few that ritual also includes one last hoorah, one last big festival to go out with a bang. This year the Midwest welcomes the brand-spanking-new Phases Of The Moon Music and Art music Festival, set to take place in Danville, IL September 11-14.
Phases Of The Moon (POTM as I’ll refer to it from here on out), is a festival most of us have been anticipating with high regard due to the extensive line-up, the layout of the grounds and of course its proximity to home. Spanning four days, POTM is being held on the historic 3000 acre Kennekuk National Park in Danville, IL. According to their website, Kennekuk National Park hosts an array turn-of-the-century buildings, prairie lands, meandering streams, hiking trails and a 170 acre stocked fishing lake.
Sidebar: An Illinois fishing license is required to fish, so plan in advance if you want to make this part of your weekend experience.
The musical line-up is what has many of us giddy with excitement, as the festival offers “four days of 100% organic, guaranteed feel good music,
performed by nationally renowned musicians on four unique outdoor stages.” That’s right: there is not a single DJ, computer or ableton-wielding candy kid set to perform at POTM- a unique experience for a music festival in today’s age. Musical guests include Widespread Panic (two sets!), The String Cheese Incident, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Railroad Earth, Gov’t Mule, Leftover Salmon, Galactic, Tedeschi Trucks Band, JJ Gray & Mofro, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Dumpstaphunk, Toubab Krewe, and the Sam Bush Band just to name a few.
However, the POTM experience does not stop with the music. The whole festival is billed as a music and art festival, offering 14 different performing artists as well as 12 visual artists including the famed Alex and Allyson Grey. All of the artists will be onsite during the whole weekend enhancing the music with their rich visual talents.
The Sanctuary, another aspect of POTM, is set to be an oasis- a place to go to relax, rejuvenate and heal. A diverse line-up of renowned healers and instructors will be on site to provide education and practice in yoga, qi-gong, meditation, sound healing, massage and energy work.
In addition to music, art and healing, POTM will also feature a sober camp ground, the original Furthur bus celebrating its 50th anniversary, a disc golf course, a kids camping and play area for families and festival transportation by Festi Cab. There will also be a beer garden onsite and a wide array of farm-to-table food options, an organic farmers market and plenty of unique craft vendors.
Now that we have you hooked on what will probably be the most talked about festival of the summer, let’s see what we can do to get you there.
Tickets are still available for purchase for the whole weekend, set at $250 which does include your camping. Can’t make it for the whole weekend? They offer one- and two- day passes starting at $85. Please remember that these prices will go up the closer we get to the festival, so act fast.
Setting the stage for what may be the best festival of our region this summer, Phases Of The Moon Music and Arts Festival is sure to be the Midwest’s next hidden gem. Anybody who is a fan of live music owes it to themselves to come check out this amazing opportunity. Grab your ticket, round up some friends and pack the car; I’ll see ya out in the fields.
We made the trip back to Thornville, OH for the All Good Music Festival again this year. John Scofield’s Uber Jam, Toubab Krewe, Papadosio, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Beats Antique all graced the stages on Thursday. Unfortunately, we were only allowed one media credential so you’ll just have to check out the photos and make up your own words.
To see more photos from the festival, click here
The Forecastle Festival is located on the Ohio River, in Louisville, Kentucky. Being so close to the river provides an aesthetic that many festivals cannot match. There is a unique sort of charm in having a party by the river. Throughout the day, festivalgoers were sitting by the canal, cooling themselves off and resting their feet in the flowing water. Louisville Waterfront Park was the perfect setting for Saturday night’s festivities – after a brief interruption from the forces of nature.
Upon arriving at the festival, and trying to acclimate myself to unfamiliar surroundings, I was immediately informed by those running the festival that severe weather was in the area. For the safety of the crowd, all patrons were asked to leave the venue and take shelter in their cars. I delayed this process for as long as possible and managed to remain in the venue until everyone was allowed back in.
The weather caused a delay in the set times for the rest of the evening, but the festival organizers did a tremendous job of alleviating any confusion by displaying the adjusted set times on the screens that adorned each stage. The festival even handed out free tickets to people who bought one passes.
Once fans returned to the venue, TOKiMONSTA took the Red Bull Music Academy Ocean Stage, which was located under an overpass, giving the stage a grungy feel. TOKiMONSTA is a female electronic music producer from California. It was evident that festivalgoers were ready for a party. The crowd surged forward as she began playing poppy loops and dancing on stage in front of a checkerboard of LED screens displaying visuals behind her. Overall, the performance was akin to your average EDM DJ, danceable but not overly impressive. The performance peaked when she dropped, “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” by Kendrick Lamar. Although not my cup of tea, the crowd was quite enthused and it was amusing to watch her sing along to the song.
After losing interest in TOKiMONSTA, I decided to head over to the Mast Stage, Forecastle’s main stage to watch Jim James. Although I have seen My Morning Jacket numerous times, I had yet to see the lead singer perform his solo work. I was not disappointed. Jim James, donning his signature long hair and beard, took the stage looking quite dapper in an open suit jacket and button up shirt. The band played softly as he began, “State of the Art.” The haunting vocals showcased the beauty that is Jim James voice and the crowd was instantly entranced. As the song climaxed, James was twirling around the stage as spikes of light provided visual stimulation behind him.
The second song of the set featured James soloing on a stationary guitar at center stage. While he is best known for his vocal capabilities, he can also play a mean guitar. Next, James sang, “Know til Now,” while dancing around the stage clutching a golden bear. This must have worn him out because he returned for the next song wearing a towel on his head and playing saxophone. The rest of the set felt like a classic rock n’ roll show, drum solos and all. You could sense the hometown love throughout the duration of the set. It became clear that no one loves Jim James as much as Louisville does.
As things were winding down, I decided to head to the Boom Stage to see The Flaming Lips. I had the pleasure of seeing them earlier this year when they came through Indianapolis, and I left quite impressed. The show at Forecastle was nearly identical to the one I had previously seen. Nonetheless, the Flaming Lips’ production quality never ceases to amaze me.
Wayne Coyne seemed to be in good spirits throughout the show, trying to get the crowd to liven up. “During a Flaming Lips show, you are allowed to do what you want to do,” he said. He once again made jokes about smoking pot, shining the light gun into the crowd and encouraging people to smoke. He was infatuated with the fact that there was a highway above the venue and kept imagining a car crashing off of it into the crowd.
One interesting twist that I had not previously seen was the bands cover of, “Gates of Steel,” by DEVO, which began with an extensive drum introduction. Wayne Coyne stood on his pedestal singing lyrics as the entire stage was barraged by lasers.
Finally, it was time to head back to the Mast Stage to see The Black Keys. “Howlin for you,” the band’s first song of the evening started as I was making my way through the crowd. Although the band is comprised of only two members, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, they brought along some touring musicians to add to their sound, giving the band a bass and keyboard when necessary. Although I enjoy most of the Black Keys music, their live performance fell flat. They sounded restrained, playing at a lower volume than the rest of the bands that evening. I overheard people in the crowd yelling for them to, “Turn up the volume,” and I couldn’t help but agree. After a few songs, including an incredible version of, “Gold on the Ceiling,” which sounded better than the studio version, the band said they were going to play some songs as a duo.
The band seemed more comfortable playing as a duo, launching into, “Thickfreakness,” off of the album of the same name, which happens to be my favorite of their albums. After a brief intermission, the band returned for an encore, playing, “I Got Mine,” which featured Auerbach shredding the guitar. Weary from a day of incredible music, I exited the venue as their last song faded off into the distance.
Words by Kenneth Spangler (above) and Chris Lucas (below for SCI late night)
Saturday Late Night: The String Cheese Incident
The best part of the weekend was dancing in the front row at The String Cheese Incident‘s late night set at the Louisville Palace. These boys are definitely my favorite band out there, and there aren’t many opportunities to see them around here, as they don’t make it to the midwest very often. Instead, they perform “Incidents” across the country, but mostly in the western United States.
As we walked into the Palace, I was amazed by how beautiful it was, and just by the fact that I was even there at the show. Nothing all weekend compared to the energy and professionalism that was brought to this show, and it will definitely be something to remember. The crowd, the band, the vibe, and the venue all summed together equated to the best show of the weekend.
To see more photographs from The Forecastle Festival 2013, click here
Forecastle Music Festival has the feel of any other large music festival, except that it is set in an urban environment right on the waterfront of the Ohio River in Louisville, KY. Since it is situated underneath an interstate overpass, it seemed difficult to reach the venue the first time I entered, but the location was worth it. The overpass provided great coverage from the sun and occasional rain. It also provided amazing acoustics for the EDM Red Bull stage set underneath of it. The line-up featured Old Crow Medicine Show, The String Cheese Incident, The Flaming Lips, The Black Keys, and many other artists. This festival drew in a very diverse crowd of fans, which made for an interesting weekend as it was completely different than most festivals that we cover here at indymojo.com.
As I arrived Friday afternoon at the media meeting, I learned that Forecastle is positioning itself as the next premiere world music event, partnering with AC Entertainment to make the event as big as it can be. J.K. McKnight and Ashley Capps (AC/Superfly) stressed their focus on bourbon as the 4th headliner of the festival, which was showcased by a bourbon tent where samples from many Kentucky distilleries were available for purchase. The grounds were beautiful. The stages were set within perfect walking distance from each other, although there was a bit of sound bleed from stage to stage. There were plenty of great vendors to provide any number of items from reasonably priced festival merchandise to amazing food. There was an entire section of the festival devoted to concert poster art.
The primary focus of Forecastle is music, art, and activism. They also seemed to focus on keeping a clean festival grounds as we saw very little trash on the grounds all weekend. The festival supports the local musicians and artists as well as brings amazing national acts together all for an affordable price. The highlight for me Friday night was the Old Crow Medicine Show followed by The String Cheese Incident. The lighting was perfect with the stage set right on the water, as the sun set on the Ohio River. These musical geniuses really opened my eyes to what Forecastle has become….a musical mecca for 3 brief days.
After the String Cheese Incident ended, we walked down the shore to the late night set to catch the DJ, Elliot Lipp. The show was set aboard the Belle of Louisville, which is the oldest operating steamboat in the United States. Getting on the Belle was hard due to ticket restrictions, and once on board it was probably the strictest show I have ever been too. There were a large number of uniformed police officers, as well as security staff everywhere.
The most interesting part of my late night adventure wasn’t the music, as good as it was. It was when I got to strike up a conversation with a gentleman by the name of John Grantz who helps put together Forecastle as well as being the owner of Headliner’s Music Hall in Louisville. Eventually, our conversation then included J.K. McKnight, the individual who started Forecastle in 2002. He mentioned how he lost money the first 8 years of the festival’s existence, and has only recently begun seeing a good return on his life investment. When I asked J.K. how he did it, considering it was a flop the first couple of years, his response was simple. “Just keep doing it, over and over again. Because if it’s what you know you want to do, then you have to just do it.”
Words by Chris Lucas
To see more high resolution images from the festival, click here
To a lot of us Midwesterners Summer Camp Music Festival, held annually on the second to last weekend in May in Chillicothe, IL is like a warm gentle welcome to summer that we all wildly anticipate. And when I mean gentle I mean the chance of knee deep mud, dust bowls, guys walking around in tutus with Donny Darko masks, the sweet sounds of jams going on well till the crack of dawn and the reunion of old friends forgotten in the screen of snow that was winter.
Last years Summer Camp presented me with a great opportunity to get to know a lot of new bands while also allowing me the ability to reacquaint and fall in love with ones I had already been familiar with. There was the scorching sun, dust everywhere, hammocks and tents as far as the eye could see, great people, music and most of all experiences. We were able to see Moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Gogol Bordello late night and Bob Wier take the stage with Les Claypool for the return of Primus to the festival scene. It was hot, it was sweaty, it was glorious and man was it good, which is why we are all going back this year to experience all the glory that is Scamp.
Even more though we are going back for the people, for those freakers by the speaker, those tweekers and geekers, the weird the wet and the wild, the ones that us festy kids just cant live without. It’s life, and once you’ve bought the ticket, you gotta take the ride. This years Summer Camp experience will surely be one to remember with the staple 3 days of Moe. and Umphrey’s McGee, but it’s the addition of the Trey Anastasio Band, STS9 and Thievery Corporation as co-headliners that really have me excited.
Now here’s what you REALLY need to know about this years Summer Camp, again it is set in Chillicothe, IL from May 24th – May 26th. Currently weekend tickets are in the last purchasing tier costing around $218.00. There is also the Thursday night pre-party pass where anybody that is anybody will be in attendance. Thursday allows the regulars a chance to grab the best camping spots, get settled early, avoid super long lines and you get to catch a set of Digital Tape Machine as well as Jaik Willis in the barn, these passes cost an additional $33.00. They have an assortment of VIP upgrades, Primitive RV hook-ups, single day as well as full weekend and pre party passes available on the Summer Camp 2013 website for purchase. Definitely grab yo shit before hitting the road, trust me you do not want to stand in line with all your gear for 3 hours for tickets, only to have to do it for 3 more to get searched and enter the festival.
Summer Camp isn’t just about the music, it’s also about the people, and knowing how to plan ahead can be crucial to a good time. Be sure to check out all the camping rules and info as well as get aquatinted with the schedule and the additional workshops and kids camp if you want a little more out of your experience or are bringing young ones, because if you didn’t know, you need to, and now you can.
Like I said above, ultimately Scamp is about the experience, the people, the conversations and the love. Before you set out for scamp take a second to separate yourself from the greater world that we live in daily, take some deep breathes and prepare and ready yourself for what will be a magical experience, if you make it one. Be open to try new things, meet new people, converse on life, love stress and set backs but also on the positive aspects of life and the NOW, for that’s how you grow, and that is why Scamp is beautiful, because it gives you opportunities to grow and learn and become wiser. Remember, you’re traveling to Edge City, and as it was put to me so concisely by a good friend one of the greatest writing influences I have, “people die out here, it happens every day! It doesn’t take much, but it goes against the grain,” so be safe, be smart but most of all be open and have fun. I’ll see you kids in the campgrounds, come say whattup, you can call me Toph.
Words by Chris Lucas
To view photos from last year’s Summer Camp Music Festival, click here
IndyMojo.com is looking for a team of energetic and outgoing Street Teamers to help put on concerts throughout the Indianapolis area!
This is a fun and exciting opportunity to meet new friends while sharing the same love for music! Street Team helps flier for events, post on social media sites, and partake in new and fun ways to advertise for our events through guerilla ad tactics (aka ninja promotions). It is a great way for you to bring something new to the table. We are always looking for new ideas and tactics to spread the word!
What are the perks?
Not only will you meet new people and extend your social networking we offer IndyMojo.com gear and free tickets to shows that you help make happen!
If you are interested in an internship please click the link below to see requirements:
So if you or someone you know is interested please feel free to contact Gwen Wilson at Gwen@indymojo.com with any further questions!