Music fans listen up, the 12th Annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival presented by Deschutes Brewery proudly announces the lineup for 2015. The lineup is as follow: Widespread Panic, Passion Pit, Thievery Corporation, Phantogram, Portugal. The Man, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Beats Antique, Trampled by Turtles, StrFkr, Robert Delong, and Break Science.
Widespread Panic’s nearly thirty-year-old traveling carnival of crunched-out jam rock is a spectacle that’s anchored by a faithful following that grows with each seasonal tour. Crafted in the shrieking southern-rock of the Allman Brothers Band and the improvisational mastery of the Grateful Dead, Panic resides among the upper echelon of jam bands, and they’re built to last.
It’s hard to use the term super-group without a couple of obvious stigmas surfacing. It usually constitutes musicians who were sensationalized with other bands coming together to benefit off of the novelty of their collaboration with other already successful players. Often the results are under-inspired, a lucrative opportunity to make a quick buck off of an established name. Not every band assembled of already established players constitutes super group.
A year ago, Planet Bluegrass was in shambles. The North St. Vrain Creek, which carves a path along the venue’s northern and eastern borders, overflowed during a torrential downpour that lasted nearly a full week in mid-September. The 2013 Colorado Flood created a state of emergency in 14 counties and hit especially hard in Lyons. The town’s crown gem, which hosts the annual RockyGrass and Folks Festivals, was submerged under four feet of water.
I’m searching for phrases to describe Phases of the Moon Music & Art Festival. It began as a dark side of the moon, but that was just a phase. As an audience, our hackles were already up, howling at the moon before the weekend ever arrived. Through no fault of the Phases organizers, RatDog had to cancel their appearance. Bobby Weir’s lightening is lazy.
For the promoters of Lockn’ Music Festival, combining an impressive array of headliners spanning decades of American Music alongside thriving local and regional artists seemed to be a necessity. After all, the southern U.S. is where much our music history was born and evolved.
So many years after the disbandment of Grateful Dead that in turn relocated tens of thousands of devoted tour followers to various other acts and bigger life purposes, folks still crave that familiar feeling that kept them on tour. It didn’t only come from the music that Garcia and the gang connected with so many people through, but the sense of community and thriving weirdness that expanded continuously over decades of different intersections.
If achieving a balance in diversity is a music festival’s key to success, then Dave Frey and Peter Shapiro have truly created the most dynamically integrated festival experience of all time. The Lockn’ Music Festival isn’t another colossal gathering from bandwagon fans there to see a couple of big name headliners mixed in with who-else-knows.
Tickets go on sale July 18th for Widespread Panic’s highly anticipated 2014 Fall Tour. Along with the Fall tour, Widespread Panic is providing a myriad of unique opportunities to experience their music, including performances at Gathering of The Vibes Music Festival, Lockn’ Music Festival & Phases Of The Moon Music + Art Festival.
Last year during Widespread Panic’s annual June pilgrimage to Red Rocks, I bore witness to a natural phenomenon so sublime, it will be emblazoned in my memory until my dying breath. An awe-inspiring lightning shower accompanied nearly the entirety of Saturday’s second set.