The 16th Annual All Good Music Festival

Something gone, something new, something unchanged (& the complete lineup, too!)

Festival fever is setting in with more and more intensity every day. Each weekend my friends and I share stories of summers past while simultaneously looking forward as we drool over the artist lineups for the 2012 festival season.

Recently feeling a bit nostalgic and still sorting out my feelings about All Good’s move to Ohio, I made this list of three things that stand out to me when I think about the event that I will be attending for the third straight year in a row:

The thing I will miss the most about All Good in West Virginia: the scenery

All Good’s home atop Marvin’s Mountain in West Virginia was no easy destination to reach. Miles upon miles of one-lane, one-way traffic weaved up, down, and around clunky, pothole-laden roads often left festival-goers trapped inside their cars for hours. I made the treacherous trek up the mountain twice, but I’d do it all again if it meant I could get one more glimpse of the beauty that waits at the end of the road.

While awesome artist line ups can be duplicated no matter where the festival is held, scenery is not something that can be simply packed up and moved elsewhere. So many of my cherished memories at All Good pertain to the breathtaking views that encapsulated each of those special moments in time.

The most memorable event that I have ever experienced at a music festival took place, oddly enough, after the music stopped and as bedtime was nearing. After a super late show from Umphrey’s McGee, my crew & I were still running on an adrenaline high from Umph’s magical set when we realized the sun was starting to come up. A short, easy walk to the mountaintop’s perimeter revealed a magnificent view of nighttime clouds settled into the valley below us and a small ball of fire slowly rising just above the horizon. We were literally higher than the clouds… and then we watched the sun pull them back to the sky as the morning sunrise began.

What I will still love about All Good in Ohio: no overlapping sets

The first time I went to a music festival (Bonnaroo 2008), I made the common rookie mistake of not preparing an agenda or planning my daily stage-jumping escapades. I had no idea I’d have to make spontaneous, heart-breaking decisions about who I wanted to see the most and which stage I thought I had enough time to travel to on foot before the next show started.

All Good does the best job of any festival at completely eliminating these factors from the equation. Their lineup may be smaller than others’ in comparison by numbers, but guess what? You’ll have the luxury of seeing every single one of them on the list due to the genius scheduling decision of no overlapping sets.

Moreover, All Good works hard to conserve their patron’s vital energy and keep them as comfortable as possible during their weekend stay. With two stages located right next to each other, there’s never a need to hike to the next show. You’re always already there!

The new thing I am excited to experience at All Good in Ohio: The Legend Valley venue

It’s appropriate that the event known for its determination to remain a full-fledged jam festival is relocating to historic Legend Valley- the site where Grateful Dead laid down some of their biggest shows from the 80’s and 90’s. As media coordinator Dave Weissman said in an email discussing the change, “Hosting All Good on those hallowed grounds should be interesting, to say the least.”

Legend Valley’s history is rich with a grassroots inception, a reveled list of bands who’ve performed there (including this year’s All Good headliner The Allman Brothers Band), and a particularly ironic story of how the stars aligned for current president Steve Trickle make Legend Valley what it is today.

I can’t wait to finally experience it in person!

The complete 2012 All Good Festival lineup includes:

The Allman Brothers Band

Phil Lesh & Friends

The Flaming Lips

Bob Weir & Bruce Hornsby featuring special guest Branford Marsalis

Michael Franti

Yonder Mountain String Band


Dark Star Orchestra

G. Love & Special Sauce

Big Gigantic


Shpongle presents The Masquerade


Mickey Hart Band

Trampled By Turtles

Railroad Earth


The Werks

Tea Leaf Green


Greensky Bluegrass


The Wood Brothers


Larry Keel & Natural Bridge

The New Mastersounds

Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons


Devil Makes Three

Corey Harris & The Rasta Blues Experience


Elephant Revival

The Lumineers

The Pimps of Joytime

Red Wanting Blue

Everyone Orchestra

The Macpodz


Moon Hooch

Yellow Dubmarine

Rumpke Mountain Boys

Cris Jacobs Band

The 4onthefloor

The Rex Jam

DJ Who