The Start of a Season

By: Michelle Morico

The temperature is rising, students are finishing up school, and spirits are high. This is the start of summer; this is the start of festival season.

“Ah, music festivals, all that is good wrapped up in a weekend full of partying, laughing and listening,” Tom Clancey said. Clancey is a Marist grad, and avid festival attendee, having attended festivals all over the east coast, traveling as far south as Florida.

Mountain Jam is a local festival that people travel from all over to attend. This year, from May 29- May 31 is the celebration of the fifth annual Mountain Jam festival. It is located about an hour from Marist College at Hunter Mountain, a popular winter ski spot.

Radio Woodstock and Warren Haynes present Mountain Jam. According to the Mountain Jam website, Rolling Stone named Mountain Jam one of the top 8 music festivals in the United States in 2008. A 1 day ticket ranges from $80-90 dollars, while a full weekend festival pass can be purchased for about $140. A full weekend festival pass can also be purchased to include camping which is priced at about $160. More information about VIP ticket offers can be found as well.

“I honestly try to wait to buy my tickets on Craigs List for most festivals,” Clancey said. “A lot of people realize they have something to do that weekend, or last minute have to give up their ticket, so they’ll take whatever you will offer them on Craigs List.”

According to the Mountain Jam website, there are some great headliners this year. Some of the highlights are The Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Umphrey’s McGee and the Derek Trucks Band.

“I have seen all of the big headliners live before, and they all put on a great show,” Clancey said. “I most recently saw Michael Franti in New York City and it was great.”

For those not into the jam band scene, Girl Talk, popular American musician who specializes in mashup remixes, will also be performing at Mountain Jam. Gomez, an English Indie Rock band will be playing as well as Martin Sexton, an American folk singer-songwriter, and many more. The full lineup includes more than thirty bands.

“The main draw for Mountain Jam is that it is a smaller festival, so there aren’t as many people,” Clancey said. “They also have bathrooms which is nice.” At huge festivals, such as Bonnaroo, it can cost $15 to shower.

Many students go to Bonnaroo and other huge festivals just to go to a festival. They don’t care about the lineup, they just want the experience. Robert Boyce, Marist graduate, has been to Mountain Jam, Bonnaroo two years in a row, and Langerado, which is located in Florida.

“The weather in the Hudson Valley is much nicer than waking up in a tent in 95 degree Tennessee heat,” Boyce said. “Not to mention the thirteen hour drive to Manchester, Tennessee.”

“Unlike a lot of other festivals you don’t have to miss one big act to see another,” Boyce said about Mountain Jam. .

The crowd enjoying the music at Mountain Jam.

The crowd enjoying the music at Mountain Jam.

Everyone wants to go to music festivals, the reason for last minute back outs are usually because of money or transportation.

“Mountain Jam is right in our backyard, and the lineup is normally very good, why wouldn’t people want to go?” Clancey said. “Normally I drive so far to get to any festival.”

“It is hard to believe Hunter is only an hour away, and it is so pretty up there,” Boyce said. “The nature is insane; there are tons of waterfalls and great hiking trails.”

Boyce said he loves how Mountain Jam is not located in the complete middle of nowhere. Many festivals are in places where you can not just drive to get a bite to eat, you either bring your own food or buy food at venders, which are always extremely overpriced.

“It’s nice that you can get up in the morning and drive into Tannersville and get something to eat,” said Boyce. “It is a cute town up there, and at any other festival you would spend money eating from venders or try to be thrifty by eating peanut butter sandwiches all the time, which can definitely wear on you after a couple of days.”

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