Thursday, July 12, 2018

Podunk Bluegrass Festival - Preview

Podunk Bluegrass Festival has become a mainstay of central Connecticut bluegrass music through its now twenty-two years in existence. This year's festival will run from Audust 9 - 12, 2018 at the Hebron Lions Club Fairgrounds in Hebron, CT, located just 15.5 miles southeast of state capital, Hartford, an easy drive from Boston to New York. This lineup is filled with major bluegrass bands as well as local and regional ones to be found on two stages. The former acoustic stage has been renamed the the Showcase Stage, and will feature more mainstream bluegrass, folk, and acoustic acts, catering more to the bluegrass audience. Headliner bands include the Tim O'Brien Band, Balsam Range, and Flatt Lonesome. and Dale Ann Bradley along with fine supporting bands on each day. The band contest looks like a winner, and the usual cluster of other of other activities are all present. Of course, there will be jamming late into the night all over the campus.

Main Stage

Band Contest
In past years, it has been difficult to preview bands participating in the Podunk Band Contest, and even more the secondary stage, because they were such low profile or so social media averse that I couldn't find sufficient information to write about them. Today, even most upstart bands have become savvy enough to post videos of themselves and some contact and personnel information. This is a huge advance over just a year or two ago.

Beg, Steal or Borrow - Last Year's Band Contest Winner

Having said that, I want to emphasize that the band contest offers plenty of good music for early arrivals. In the early days, it was held on Sunday afternoon, attracting few listeners. Now, once you get here and set up on Thursday afternoon, you can look forward to hearing at least four good contest bands performing twice starting at 5:00 PM with the winner to be announced at 10:15, just in time for a night of jamming. 

Collinsville String Band

Collinsville lies only about forty miles west of Hebron, just the other side of Hartford, and performs mostly in the village there. While the Collinsville String Band doesn't play bluegrass exclusively, it sees the genre as were their roots lie.

Blackjack Crossing

Based in Keene, NH and Brattleboro, VT, Blackjack Crossing has been together for nine years, playing locally and at the JoeVal showcase stage, Bluegrass in the Bogs in Massachusetts, and the Cheshire County Fair in NH.  While based in bluegrass, it doesn't restrict itself to the form, while performing many original songs, traditional ones, and thoughtful covers.

Blackjack Crossing - Little Cabin Home on the Hill

Pretty Saro

A Boston-based band formed in 2015, apparently still tinkering with its sound, which has showcased at Joe Val and FressGrass. They work on their fine harmonies and perform at clubs around the Hub. 

Pretty Saro - Horseplay - Green Room Session

River Bones Band

The River Bones Band is from Philadelphia, where they seem to play pretty regularly around the city and its suburbs. They say they don't play mountain music, but are influenced by it and create music which appeals to them, while inviting their audience to join them for a good time.  

Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down

Sponsor of the Band Contest

Mike Mitchell Trio

Mike Mitchell, who plays his grandfather's 1890 hand-carved fiddle comes from fiddle country, in Southwestern, VA. He's had his talented fingers in music ranging from classical to traditional bluegrass to the jam band scene. He teaches fiddle at the Floyd Music School, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in VA while keeping a busy performance schedule, too. 

The Lowground

The Honey Dewdrops

The Honey Dewdrops have been touring together for nine years and have crafted a unique pleasing sound lying somewhere between folk,bluegrass, country, their own idiosyncratic style. They've toured across thc country and abroad performing at festivals, in concerts, and house concerts, always pleasing and reaching out with beautiful harmonies accompanied on a wide variety of stringed instruments. Their songs are joyful, plaintive, warm, and welcoming. Make the welcome at Podunk. 

The Honey Dewdrops - Let Me Sing 

The Karl Shifflett & Big Country Show

Karl Shifflett & Big Country Show bring the feel and sound of radio music shows in the early days of broadcast radio when bands wearily traveled from small town to small town to appear at 5,000 watt radio stations, trying to sell out small meeting halls, school auditoriums, and local bars to make a living performing a new and much loved version of mountain music the people of these towns loved. Karl is a national treasure keeping this tradition alive. 

Karl Shifflett and Big Country Show

Kristy Cox & Calder Highway with Jerry Salley

Kristy Cox, an Australian born country and bluegrass singer, who has been living and performing full time in the U.S for the past three years is on a limited tour with Jerry Salley, and Grammy Award winning song-writer and fine performer. Australia, with its own history of wild country (the Outback) and successful country singers (think Keith Urban) provides rich territory. This should prove to be an excellent show you won't want to miss. 

Jerry Salley &Kristy Cox - When It Comes to You

Flatt Lonesome
Charli Robertson & Kelsie Robertson Harrigill

Flatt Lonesome is an example of the benefits of talent, hard work, and persistence. Coming from a rural, background in northern Florida, they appeared first about seven years ago. Since then, they have moved to the Nashville area, build an ever growing fan base and been awarded with a pile of IBMA awards. They have broadened their musical palette while their sibling close harmonies are well-loved by many. They haven't reached near the top of their potential yet, so keep an eye on them while you can still afford to go to one of their shows. 

Flatt Lonesome - All My Life

Balsam Range

Balsam Range is one of those rare groups that has had the same personnel in it since their inception in 2007, when they emerged out of rural Heywood County in the Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina they have their varied musical backgrounds in bluegrass, country, and rock music together into a rich, exciting musical soup. Balsam Range is one of those bands we travel to see when they're in the lineup. They don't play in New England as frequently as they should, so take advantage of this opportunity. 

They[re Burning Georgia Down

Main Campus & Vendors Row

The Zolla Boys

The Zolla Boys have continued to grow, to improve, and to continue to work at their music while allowing themselves to become well-rounded and attractive young people at the same time. As their musicianship and poise have increased, so has their range of song choice and geography. The work shows. They'll be seen on both the main stage and the showcase stage this year, where they will be the host band. 

The Zolla Boys - Colleen Malone

Beg, Steal, or Borrow

Beg, Steal, or Borrow, winner of last year's Podunk Band Contest justly deserve to be on the main stage at Podunk, not just because they won the band contest, but because they are good. Based in Vermont, their range of bluegrass festivals has widened, while they should be known even farther afield. They're a hard driving, inventive and fun. Join the fun on Friday!

Beg, Steal, or Borrow - Hard Hearted

Virginia Ramblers

The Virginia Ramblers are the successor band for the long-time traditional band, The Virginia Cutups. They have continued the musical tradition while add new players from a variety of backgrounds as needed.

Virgnia Ramblers - The Shut In Friend

Dale Ann Bradley

Dale Ann Bradley's voice is familiar and loved by bluegrass fans everywhere. She's been named IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year five times. Her leadership of Sister Sadie has helped propel this all woman band of experienced and under-recognized musicians into national prominence. Her melodious voice and warm personality can't help but capture fans wherever she appears. 

Dale Ann Bradley - Somewhere South of Crazy


Flashback was formed originally in 1995 as a reunion band of J.D. Crowe and the New South. The current membership, with Stuart Wyrick on banjo, Richard Bennett on guitar, Don Rigsby on mandolin, and Curt Chapman on bass does an admirable job of recreating the Crowe sound and vibe. 

Flashback - You Can Have Her

The Tim O'Brien Band

For more than forty-five years, Tim O'Brien has showered the musical world with his virtuosity and the variety of his musical imagination. The list of accomplishments don't quite capture the breadth of Tim's accomplishments. A founding member of Hot Rize (IBMA's first Entertainer of the Year), two Grammy Awards, twice IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year don't tell the story. The number of people he's performed with from his sister Molly, with whom he still performs, to singer/songwriter Darrell Scott with whom he has been performing and recording for several years, the range is beyond imagination. Tim will be performing one 90 minute set on Saturday night. 

Tim O'Brien - High Flying Bird

Tod Hutchinson & Mark Fitzgerald
Rosewood Sound

Rest Room & Shower Complex

Gospel Sing & Jam
Kids' Academy Performance

The Cornfed Dogs

With Nick Novia and Joe DiLillo at their center, the Cornfed Dogs have been a busy band in and around New England, Here's an earlier version of the band you'll see on Sunday, but you get the idea. Lots of fun with some familiar faces. 

Cornfed Dogs - Gone Home

Showcase Stage

The Showcase Stage has worked over the past few years to provide an opportunity for little known bands to perform in a festival setting. Sadly, the stage has been located a distance away from the Main Stage on this relatively large fairground. Podunk attendees who wander back to the Showcase Stage are in for a treat this year.   Contrary to past years, most of the bands have an active web presence, although they don't all have YouTube videos. I've done my best to introduce some of these riches to you. Bands appearing more than once or contest bands featured on the main stage are not profiled again. 

Band in the River

This is a young duo from Portland, CT. You can see a video and learn a little more from their Facebook page. 

Wide Open Spaces

Wide Open Spaces describes itself as "music without borders." Offering acoustic music which apparently achieves what it claims, this band looks and sounds like fun. Worth a trip out to the Showcase Stage,

Wide Open Spaces - Limin'

Grass Routes

Grass Routes has been around since the 1980's, a Connecticut band familiar to and liked by bluegrass fans. This solid cover of a fine Gibson Brothers song shows how deeply into bluegrass communities Leigh and Eric have penetrated around the country. Know a band's greatness by the quality of it's covers. If that's a valid measure, there's plenty good to say about this song and this band. 

Grass Routes - Somethin' Comin' To Me

Andrew Bohrman

An experienced multi-generational performer from Yarmouth, ME, Andrew Bohrman will be performing as a solo act. 

Open Mic with Jack Jolie

Jack Jolie is a noted Maine singer and known associate of the great Al Hawkes. He will host an Open Mic on Thursday as well as perform on this state on Friday 

Jack Jolie - Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart

The Zolla Boys
River Bones Band
Jack Jolie
Still Pickin'

Trio based in Mansfield, CT, Still Pickin' has been performing for nine years at festivals, local events, senior citizens residences, and other venues. 

Still Pickin'Band 

Sinners's Pie

Coming from the Brookline/Newton area of Boston suburbs, Sinner's Pie offers a wide variety of Americana leaning towards acoustic bluegrass and folk. They claim, rightly, that "everything goes better with pie." Make mine strawberry-rhubarb. 

Sinner's Pie - Ring of Gold

Black Jack Crossing

Dale & Darcy Band with Neil Rossi

Dale & Darcy have been entertaining at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT on Saturdays for the past eight years as well as at the full range of festivals, local events, weddings, and family reunions available to solid performing bands. It's always a pleasure, and too rare, to see Neil Rossi, too. 

Seat of Our Pants

It's always refreshing to hear a band that infuses a bit of humor into its music. Seat of Our Pants (SOOP) performs around Connecticut, maintaining a busy schedule. 

Seat of Our Pants - Connected

Jackson's Island Band

"Bluegrass inspired folksy rock band" covers a lot of territory. Not much more available except the FB song linked to below.

Collinsville String Band
Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band

Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band has been active in various configurations in Connecticut for over a decade, and reconstituted in 2017 with several new musicians, a new song mix and new presentation. They claim, "Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band always offers a fun mix of traditional standards and entertaining classics that bring fond memories and a smile. From music stages to special occasions, we'll entertain!"

Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band - I've Got a Tiger by the Tail

See Podunk Showcase bands for information about this band. 

One Way Track 

Zolla Boys
Cajun/Zydeco Dance with the Squeezebox Stompers

On Saturday evening the Squeezebox Stompers will play for a Zydeco/Cajun dance at the Showcase Stage.

Overall, Podunk offers one of the broadest ranges at a mid-sized festival offered anywhere. The Showcase Stage offers New England bands, and particularly those with their roots in Connecticut an opportunity to be seen and heard. Let's hope the attract enough attention from fans and promoters to justify continuing this often neglected stage.

Other Activities

Workshops: As usual, Podunk will feature an extensive, wide ranging Schedule of Workshops. These will empasize instrumental and vocal skills, discussions with artists, and opportunities to drill down with accomplished artists into their approach to music. 

Family Fun: Enjoyable activities and projects for children, sponsored by Hulls Art Supply will continue through the weekend. Here's the schedule

Podunk Kids Academy: Once again the Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance (RIBA) will conduct the Kids Academy. Bluegrass festivals feature kids academies during the summer months designed to acquaint children with bluegrass instruments, build a short performance to be delivered on Sunday morning, and give parents a break. Get the details Here.

The Details

The Podunk Bluegrass Festival has, over the years, developed a useful, functional website, making it only necessary for me to provide links to the relevant places at their site. Explore the Podunk Bluegrass Festival web site for further information. 

How to Get to Podunk
Place your location in the space marked O
Click Enter and copy the directions

The Artists' Merchandise Barn

Only a month away, we look forward to seeing your at Podunk. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Pemi Valley Bluegrass Festival - August 1 - 4 in - Preview

The Pemi-Valley Bluegrass Festival will run from August 1 - 4, 2018 this year featuring an exceptional lineup of national, regional, and local bands in one of the most beautiful locations in New England, Pemi Valley has consistently developed and improved itself since moving to the Benton's Sugar Shack Campground in Thornton, NH several years ago.  The Festival will run from Wednesday through to a rousing Saturday night finish featuring the Gibson Brothers with a ninety minute closing show. Opening with a strong band contest on Wednesday, this years version will also headline three time IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award winners The Earls of Leicsdters featuring Jerry Douglas, west coast sojourners The Kathy Kallick Band as well as Laurie Lewis the the Righ Hand, and Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper. 

The Lineup
Earls of Leicester (Fri)

The Earls of Leicester were brought together by Jerry Douglas to record a CD and participate in a limited tour to celebrate the music of Flatt & Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys during the period when Josh Graves, Curly Seckler, and Paul Warren were in the band, The present band features Johnny Warren (Paul Warren's son) on fiddle, Charlie Cushman who is generally considered to be one of the foremost Scruggs style interpreters extant, with Shawn Camp singing the Lester Flatt role. Jerry Douglas is still there on Dobro. The band has won a Grammy and three IBMA Entertainer of the Year awards as well as garnering a Male Vocalist of the Year for Shawn Camp last year. It would be dismissive to call this band a tribute band as they continue to honor the music that, along with Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass boys cemented the musical style of traditional bluegrass music. They're a treat to see and hear.

The Gibson Brothers (Sat)

Fewer and fewer people raise their hands at a Gibson Brothers show these days when they are asked if anyone is seeing them for the first time. More and more people sing along even with their less well known music as well as their award winning songs. Sitting in the audience, you're surrounded with their music and the affection one of their shows engenders in audiences as they play out the lives of siblings while singing the songs they write and perform. Twice IBMA Entertainers of the Year, they are also the only duo ever to win Vocal Group of the Year, as well as a couple of fists-full of other awards. 

The performance below features one of their earlier songs, The Open Road. Fans who have known and followed this duo for years love to hear material from their early years as well as the newer songs they continue to produce. 

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (Th)

Michael Cleveland has been named IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year a remarkable ten times, while the band has been named Instrumental Band of the Year three times. But this is not simply a fiddle centric band you listen to for Mike's great fiddle play. It's also the best band he's had, with the most consistent membership. Josh Richards has a pleasant, reliable solo voice. Nathan Livers is a virtuoso mandolin player and a strong singer. Tyler Griffith on bass and vocals along with Jasiah Shrade round out this very good band. Mike, with his bands, has also won several Recorded Event of the Year and Instrumental Performance of the Year awards. Here is one of his recent hits, "Fiddlin' Joe."

Tribute to Vern Williams
A continent is a long distance to separate those of us living in the east from two of the most loved and important bands in bluegrass. This year, both the Kathy Kallick Band and Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands will be at Pemi Valley. They will be joining together for a set celebrating the music of Vern Williams, known as the  West Coast's Joe Val, and an important force in the development of bluegrass music in the West. Both with Ray Park as Vern & Ray and with his own band, The Vern Williams Band. he worked with the likes of Jerry Garcia, Herb Pedersen, Laurie Lewis, and Pete Wernick. Here's the Vern Williams Band in 1992 at Grass Valley in California. 

Kathy Kallick Band (Fri/Sat)

In 1975, Kathy Kallick, along with Laurie Lewis was a co-founder of Good Ol' Persons, a largely female band dedicated to featuring women's voices with men who'd perform with them described as "infiltrating." They recorded five albums as well as other projects, becoming an important voice for inclusion in what had been a dominantly male form of music. They disbanded in 1975. Kathy Kallick  formed her own band in 1996 and has set a standard for others to live up to. She has won a couple of IBMA awards as well as a Distinguished Achievement Award from the California Bluegrass Society. The only problem with The Kathy Kallick Band is that they don't perform often enough in the East. Here's the band singing Kathy's song "The Foxhounds" 

Laurie Lewis & the Right Hand (Fr)

Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands is another superior band coming from the West Coast. Her song, "Who Will Watch the Homeplace," has become a standard, but no-one can sing it like she does. While her band has had a few recent changes, it remains extremely strong and consistent. Brian Godman, Patrick Sauber, and  Sam Grisman are standouts. Tom Rosum has been Lewis' musical partner for more than thirty years.  A co-founder of Good Ol' Persons, too, she's been a voice for women, for music, and for the environment for years.

Laurie Lewis

Laurie Lewis - Who Will Watch the Home Place
with Members of Della Mae in Lexington, MA

Lonely Heartstring Band
Charles & George Clements 

The Lonely Heartstring Band is one of the very fine, young bands with Boston and Berklee College of Music connections filling the acoustic landscape with excellent music these days. They have long since matured beyond their birth as a Beatles cover band. They rarely play those any longer. However, their eerily accurate and evocative covers of Paul Simon, John Hartford, John Fogerty wonderfully complement the music they themselves write and perform. Gabe Hirshfeld has rapidly gained recognition as one of the finest young banjo players around. Enjoy their work on John Hartford's "Steam Powered Aereoplane" at last year's Pemi Valley. 

Nothin' Fancy (Thu)

Nothin' Fancy has continued to develop musically, as their singing and musicianship has improved, at least partly to devoting less attention to humorous bits and more serious attention to their music. The addition of the the Cox brothers, Caleb and James, hasn't hurt, either. Just returned from a trip to Norway, they should have some tales to tell about their recent travels as well as continuing to find added depth in their music. Here's an example with Mike Andes singing his song "Andersonville."

The Feinberg Brothers (Sat)

The Feinberg Brothers hail from the well-known bluegrass region of Long Island, NY, where they were nurtured under the able direction of their Dad, Ronnie. Brothers Patrick and Rourke have been familiar in jams throughout New England and New York, and are now making their mark with appearances at major festivals throughout the region. Meanwhile, both young men continue their studies in music as well pursuing their degrees at Stony Brook (SUNY) and St. Joseph's College, where they are enrolled. Incidentally, never underestimate the nurturing bluegrass environment in and around New York and its suburbs. Here's a sample from a recent show at a library, singing "The Streets of Bakersfield."

Remington Ryde (Fri)

Remington Ryde comes from central Pennsylvania and promotes a large annual bluegrass festival in Centre Hall. Here's a sample of their work with leader Ryan Frankhouser singing his tribute to country music. 

Colebrook Road 

Colebrook Road comes from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. They have been consistent winners at bluegrass festival band concerts over the past couple of years with their strong instrumentals and able original song writing. They've begun to attract attention at the national level, and I expect much more to come. Don't miss seeing them at Pemi, so you can say, "I saw them before they were famous." Here they are playing "Feel the Burn" at a recent performance in Philadelphia. 

Chris Henry & Hardcore Grass (Thu)

Chris Henry amp; Hardcore Grass gets its name from the intensity it generates as it roams the bluegrass world from Bill Monroe, of whose style Henry is a master, to other material, some written by Chris himself and more chosen from the rich traditional bluegrass repertoire. Here's a recent performance:

The Misty Mountaineers (Th, Fri, Sat)

Founded in the mid-seventies by Wilf Clark, the only remaining original member, the Misty Mountaineers sing a variety of bluegrass songs from various eras. Dan and Kelly Burke are regular Pemi Valley staffers, and the band is well known in the region. Here are a couple of their songs:

Newfound Grass (Sat)

Newfound Grass is the host band for the Pemi Valley Bluegrass Festival. Fronted by festival promoter Craig Engel, on guitar and singing lead, the band plays a range of music based in bluegrass and classic country but incorporating the influence of other music. Steve Abdu, Dave Shaw, and Ron Swisher contribute, each from their own interests. Here they are singing at The Flying Monkey a few years ago:

Monadnock (Thu)

Monadnock is also an entertaining and lively local band which will perform a single set on Thursday, Here they perform bluegrass classic "Come Back to Me Little Darling."

Rock Hearts (Thu, Fri)

Rock Hearts is a new band that showcased at Joe Val last winter. You can see samples of their music from the showcase on their FB Page.

A band contest featuring four bands as well as last year's band contest winner Cane Mill Pond will be Wednesday evening's feature. Band contests represent a way for new, often young and ambitious bands to get experience performing before a live audience while providing entertainment for people as they settle in for the weekend. Pemi Valley has decided to rotate its weekend by placing the band contest at the opening, rather than trying to hold customers on Sunday who are ready to get home to prepare for the upcoming work.

The lineup for Pemi Valley is strong and varied. The inclusion of a strong West Coast flavor not only shows imagination, it signals that the festival has been successful at moving from a regional to a strongly national perspective, which can only contribute to its further growth.

The Details

Located on a spacious, varied site offering wide open expanses and private woodsy getaway campsites, Pemi Valley is held at the Benton's Sugar Shack Campground, just north of Thornton, NH and only a few miles from New Hampshire's  I-93. A visitor can camp overlooking the Pemigewasset River or on an open  plateau above the main stage where scarcely a building can be seen in the surrounding foothills of the White Mountains.

Because the Pemi Valley Bluegrass Festival web site is so comprehensive, I'll only point to the highlights from this preview, providing links to the festival site where you can fill in the details.

Tickets: You can purchase tickets for campground reservations and for the festival itself online through Vendini. This is convenient and easy. Arrival at the festival has been constantly improved, making it easy to turn your downloaded tickets into wrist bands. A range of prices for powered or primitive campsites is available. Remember that each campsite reservation includes one ticket to the festival. For   information, you can contact the festival at (603) 239-2238 or by email at

Camping: The campground is extensive and varied. Here's an overall picture of the site:

Scroll down through this page to get overall perspectives and details about specific sites. Here are some pictures to give you a sense of the variety and versatility of this location. Off-site accomodations are listed at the bottom of this page, too.

The festival provides bus transportation from behind the main stage to various locations in the remote area, while it's a short walk to the performance area from the plateau sites. Remember, the remote sites are both beautiful and primitive. Electric sites are available. Water can be obtained from a standpipe. There's also a single shower available for a small fee.

Additional Activities: A variety of activities for all kinds of interests associated with bluegrass are available at this busy festival. Whether you've just picked up a bluegrass instrument or are an experienced picker, you can get your fill of picking during the day and long into the night.

If you want to learn to play an instrument or improve your skills, the Pemi Valley University (added fee) will hold classes on Saturday with a preview meeting on Friday afternoon.

Kids Academies have long been offered at festivals during the summer. They represent an opportunity for your kids to make music with others while getting to know them, give you a little relief from supervision, and give the kids some recognition through their performance on Saturday. The Pemi Valley Academy will be divided in two groups by age and experience, all directed by Ellen Carlson and a strong staff of assistants. Pre-registration and full information is available here.

Kids Academy Performance

Many pickers are hesitant to  join a jam, feeling that they aren't "good enough," whatever that means. If you wish to jam but feel uncomfortable, the slow jam tent is the place for you. There's a jam there on Thursday through Saturday. Other activities on site or nearby are listed here

Plenty of Vendors Surround the Performance Area

Pemi Valley is an Outdoor Event - Be Prepared!

Meet & Greets: Throughout the weekend, bands are available at the Meet & Greet tent, where they sit down and talk with fans about their lives and music. Sometimes, they also bring their instruments to showcase new songs or talk about and demonstrate their music and careers. 

A page of Frequently Asked Questions may answer any unanswered issues you have. If you can't find a good response to your concerns, here's a Contact Us page. 

How to Get to Pemi Valley
On the map below, place your location in the O
then click for a personalized map

The Pemi Valley Bluegrass Festival has continually worked at improving its lineups as well as its organizational structure. Management has continued to create the kind of environment for volunteers that makes them feel wanted and useful. This is an exceptionally friendly and helpful festival. Come prepared to have a good time. We'll see you there!