Cabinet to perform at Chill fest
First Posted: 8/31/2014
For something that started as a small get together of music fans in the Catskill mountains, the Catskill Chill Festival has grown into a highly respected musical mecca and has garnered attention from bigger name artists and made its way into the pages of jam band publications like Relix and Jambands.com.
While the attention is certainly appreciated, the festival, running from September 5 to 7 at Camp Minglewood in Hancock, New York, is remaining true to its original intention of providing a private getaway for jam fans, while avoiding the chaos of large scale festivals, something promoter Dave Marzollo feels attracts the right kind of crowd.
“We try to get as high of a level of entertainment we can get, but still keep it under 5000 (people), for the intimacy,” he said. “We also try to price it a little lower than other festivals our size to try and get the true, die-hard fans to come out and enjoy it – the ‘Chill Fam’ as we call them.”
While the festival has received high praise for its intimacy, many of the same people rave about its musical offerings, and this year is no exception. With national acts like Yonder Mountain String Band, The New Deal, Lettuce, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and Marco Benevento, this year is shaping up to be one of the strongest. Also mixed in with the bigger names, are up and coming bands familiar to our area such as Cabinet, Twiddle, Turkuaz, Fikus and Cosby Sweater. It’s a lineup that covers everything affiliated with today’s jam band scene, and something Marzollo sees as appealing to everyone for a different reason.
“I feel that when you have five stages of music running consistently, you really need to make it diverse because when I go to music festivals, I’m hard-pressed to even see half of the schedule, even when I’m trying to see as much music as possible,” he said. “I figured I would give the electronic fans something to do all day, while also giving the funk fans something different to do all day. Hopefully they can all mix well when they come together.”
Also on this years’ lineup are a few tribute sets where several bands will perform twice at the festival, with one set focusing on their own material and the other paying tribute to other artist’s work. Our local boys, Cabinet, will be doing their own plus a Dead set (Grateful Dead); Twiddle will also be doing a Dead set; Alan Evans’ PlayOnBrother will be doing a tribute to Cream, and Turkuaz will be paying tribute to Sly and the Family Stone. The diversity of the tributes will hopefully turn some people on to the artists performing them, as many may be seeing those acts for the first time, Marzollo said.
“I think, frankly, that people like to know the words to songs,” Marzollo said. “I chose the bands that are playing the cover sets because of how much I liked their original music – that’s how I saw them in the first place. I feel like if you’re a Twiddle fan – and Twiddle is a fast-rising band – if you’re a Twiddle fan or a Turkuaz fan or a Cabinet fan, you see your band playing their songs all the time. To see them do something else is really great, and I think the bands like to do it as well. For example, there’s two Dead sets. You may not know Twiddle or Cabinet, but you are a longtime Grateful Dead fan. You come to those sets to hear the Dead music and when you hear those guys ripping on Jerry riffs, you’re going to fall in love with the band and go see them when they play shows that have nothing to do with Dead sets. I love to be introduced to new bands, but sometimes I like to be able to sing along in the crowd.”
With all the positive reviews Catskill Chill has received over the last four years, this year is certain to be another high water mark for the festival. The music, landscape, friendliness and community feel of the event has helped it become a yearly destination for anyone who is a veteran of the festival, which is what Marzollo uses to describe the overall nature of the weekend.
“Catskill Chill is very unique. I don’t know if it’s because of the staff environment, or a combination of that and the setting – it takes place at one of the largest summer camps in the northeast,” he said. “It’s almost like it’s isolated from the rest of the world. You come into this gorgeous lake side forest event and see your friends year after year. The Chill Fam was created so that year after year, you come back and see your family. It’s like coming home after being on a long trip. It goes across the board, like in the artist green room where the guys from Kung Fu and Lettuce expect to see each other; the same with the vendors. The attendees camp in the same spots every year so they can see the people they met years earlier. All of that starts with the staff, who are as loving of a group of people as I’ve ever known. It’s a very tight-knit group so there’s a lot of positive energy that starts at the top and seeps in throughout the entire event.”