'Everyone smiling' at the Frendly Gathering


WINDHAM -- Frendly Gathering music festival founder and professional snowboarder Jack Mitrani says once everyone arrives for the three-day event, he gets a very surreal feeling.

"To see a full year of work with so many people collaborating to make this thing is possible then everything you've done to get to this day is set up and ready, seeing everyone finally arrive is just the most special feeling in the world," he said. "To see everyone smiling."

This year's Frendly Gathering will be held from June 26 to 28. It will mark the fourth year in which the festival was hosted at Timber Ridge, which is on the backside of Magic Mountain in Windham.

The line-up features musicians ranging from rock to bluegrass to folk and electronica. It includes Lotus, Delta Spirit, Deer Tick, Twiddle, Lake Street Drive, Shakey Graves, Dopapod, Kung Fu, Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, Spirit Family Reunion, Chuck Ragan, Terra Naomi, the London Souls, Moon Hooch, Jamestown Revival, Kat Wright and ISB, Ludwig and Stiegler, LYNX, DJ Equal, Disco Phantom, Chris Kasper, Jactoba, Gold Town, Quiet Lion, Myra Flynn, Tallgrass Getdown, Devesh Duo Band, Kris Orlowski, Wind and Wave and Tricerahops.

Mitrani and Danny Davis, another professional snowboarder who competed in this year's Winter Olympics halfpipe competition, created the festival. Both men are musicians and their group of friends is known as the Frendly Crew.

In the third grade, Mitrani moved from New York to Vermont. He considers the state his home, although he moved to Mammoth, Calif., after attending Stratton Mountain School for his sophomore year only.

"There's no place like Vermont," he said. "It's perfect for what we're doing. The festival is just a great addition to what Vermont has to offer."

Mitrani told the Reformer that the number one thing that brings people back year after year is the overall experience and vibe.

"The theme is just around being friendly. Beyond the music, people get to see the friends they haven't seen," he added. "It's more of a reunion. We use music and workshops as catalysts to make this experience possible."

Mitrani said Burton Snowboards will have a huge tipi with community activities such as face painting and dream catcher making classes.

A stage will be set up by Martin Guitars, where festival-goers can perform a song. Once a person plays, they will be entered for a chance to win a custom guitar.

Attendees can also skateboard on ramps that will be set up, swim in a pond and partake in yoga. Local food vendors will also be on site.

Mitrani said the amount of tickets was capped at 3,000 to keep the experience intimate. Tickets can be purchased on frendlygathering.com.

"The whole purpose is to keep it connected rather than getting lost in big lines like other music festivals," he continued. "We hope you have a life changing experience, meet up with old friends and meet up with new ones."

This year, all the stages were upgraded and cottages will now be offered for rent.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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