The festival featured 12 stages spread out over the Wilkes Community College campus. Between these stages you could find anything you would desire including, arts and crafts, food, drinks, CDs, clothing, Internet access, sand sculptures, instrument tents, a lost and found, medical services, and even a huge kids area that included a bounce castle, painting and crafts area, a full size teepee, a flea circus, and even an area where children could see birds of prey up close. We did not bring our children this time, but we certainly won’t have any qualms about it as they get older. The patrons were well behaved and courteous, and we never heard any yelling or saw any obnoxious behavior. We did see a diverse cross section of people from all age groups.
The only negative about the weekend was deciding which bands to see, and getting everyone to agree! It was hard, but for us it broke down like this.
1. Doc Watson with Richard Watson, Charles Welch, T Michael Coleman and Maggie Peterson - There is simply no better way to start the weekend than with Mr. Doc Watson, who I was lucky enough to meet backstage.
2. The Avett Brothers - This band's recordings haven’t really grabbed me, but their live show was superb, I’ll be giving them some more spins and will be looking for future releases.
3. The David Bromberg Angel Band - So-so, There were only glimpses of the talent that Bromberg displays in his quartet. It was not bad, but I found myself doing more people watching than listening, a good show keeps my attention and doesn’t let go.
4. Gillian Welch & David Rawlings - Flawless performance, they were a highlight for sure, and they are both super nice people. Not only did they make us feel welcome with their good nature, but when we asked for a photo they suggested a second pose. After meeting Gillian And David I could have went home a happy man.
5. We opted out of the Waybacks with Bob Weir to see both the Duhks and the Mammals performing together on the same stage. It was billed as the “Platypus Jam.” Get it? Anyway, this show was easily the most electrifying of the weekend. The energy was amazing and the crowd was whipped into a screaming, dancing frenzy. Highlights included the super-human voice of Duhks singer Jessee Havey and a cameo by the grandfather of Mammal Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, who happens to be the 87 year-old folk legend Pete Seeger.