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Bella Terra 2011 Gets the Important Stuff Right

What makes a festival awesome?

Yes, Sherwood forests, silent discos, karma car-washes and 5k races are fun- but for most, the heart and soul of a festy lies in the music.

That’s why – despite a couple snafus – Bella Terra Festival, held last weekend in Stephentown, N.Y., got it right.

The biggest draw of this festival, now with three years under its belt, was the line-up. Packed into three days were over 50 acts, with some [personal] highlights including  Buckethead, Fear Nuttin Band, Rubblebucket, The Alchemystics, Dopapod, Mickey Heart Band, and Wes N Worrell (really just scratching the surface here).

Strange Creek 2011: Same Creek, Different Vibe

Buntology makes its first t-shirt sale of the festival season! What an awesome feeling. And how dapper does this guy look? I mean, really....

What happens when the very quality that makes something so unique is the same quality that seemingly exploits it? When the “special thing” that sets something apart is the very same thing that allows it to gain popularity?

I found myself pondering such quandaries during my time at Strange Creek Music Festival, held last weekend in Greenfield, Mass., as I frolicked among the hippies who also opted to spend their Memorial Day weekends dancing in a field eating grilled cheeses rather than sitting at a barbecue eating guacamole.

I’m sure there is some poetic expression for this type of thing- nothing gold can stay? All good things must come to an end? If a tree falls in the woods… nah, not that one.

Certainly the implication that Strange Creek is “coming to an end” is a false one, considering the festival sold out for the first time in its 9-year history last weekend. But, while the Western Mass festy- known for its intimate number of attendees and strong familial vibe- has gained major popularity over the years, it also may have lost something along the way.

The Alchemystics ‘Spread Hope’ in True Summer Style

As every good music fan knows, sometimes even the best album can take a few listens before it starts to grow on you.

Often, the catchiest tracks are found and played on repeat, until the rest of the album is slowly integrated into the listening cycle, at which point- if the CD is good- the listener begins to fall in love with the entire body of work.

And sometimes you have the pleasure of love at first listen. This is the rare occasion in which you pop on a new album and are instantly captivated, effortlessly jamming out to the entire record while excitedly IMing your friends, “this is the best CD ever!”  (OK, maybe I’m the only one who does that last part.)

The latter can be said about the new album from The Alchemystics, “Spread Hope.”

The 17-track LP comes in at a little over an hour- that’s 70 minutes of pure reggae awesomeness.

Wormtown 2010: Jackie Loses Her Festy V-card, Angela Loses Her Sandals

JACKIE: Last weekend’s Wormtown Music Festival was the perfect way to end the summer.

ANGELA: Held at Camp Kee-Wanee in Greenfield, Mass., this festy has become a staple of my summer and serves as a fitting goodbye to the parade of live music that the season brings.

J: My idea to attend the festival was a last minute decision. If you had asked me a couple weeks ago if I wanted to go to a music festival I would have said, “Ha! Ummm, no.” I am not really sure what spurred the idea. I think it had something to do with Angela moving to NYC and me wanting to spend some QT with her before she left. Or maybe I was just really bored. Being unemployed can make you feel kind of crazy and I was up for pretty much anything.

A: When Jackie told me she was going to come to Wormtown I was thrilled! Finally my twin was going to see me in all my glory… OK, so I was a little bit nervous, too.

Nateva Feva–Or Maybe it’s Just a Sunburn

It’s hard not to write a review about Nateva Festival without comparing it to Rothbury. Which really isn’t fair to Nateva- after all, the festival- which was held last weekend in Oxford, Maine- is much smaller, less expensive, and located in a completely different geographic location than it’s Michigan predecessor.

But when you step in as the replacement for one of last year’s most talked about festies, especially when it’s held on Fourth of July weekend, you should be prepared to step into some pretty big shoes.

What resulted was a fun but somewhat generic festy experience.

And so Festy Season Begins: Strange Creek Campout 2010

Wormtown Productions kicked off the 2010 festy season right with the 8th annual Strange Creek Campout in Greenfield, Mass. last month.

Strange Creek, along with its partner in crime Wormtown Festival, act as bookmarks to the festy season, with one beginning in May and the other ending in September.

I’m sure you all remember Buntology’s adventure at Wormtown last year, and this year’s Strange Creek was just as awesome. The campground and faces of this intimate and affordable festival is so familiar to the Bunty staff that it’s become more like a family vacation than hippie retreat.

Check out our Facebook or Flickr page for some awesome pictures, or check out the photo album after the jump.

Shout-outs to Phaze from DPR (Danny Pease & the Regulators), the Alchemystics, Chelsy Lau (Sauce / Fungus Amungus vocalist) and King Cantor (Goosepimp) for their friendliness and Buntological support!

Also, stay tuned next week for a lil’ video recapping the weekend!

Strangecreek 2010 Flickr feed!