Make some new ‘Frends'
WINDHAM -- Festival season is in full swing, and just because Bonnaroo and Solid Sound have passed you by doesn't mean there aren't plenty of more opportunities to jam out in a campground. Friday marks the beginning of the third annual Frendly Gathering at Magic Mountain Ski Area.
In past years the festival has welcomed artists such as Soja, The Felice Brothers, Dr. Dog, Deer Tick, and Mason Jennings. This year bands include Beats Antique, Rubblebucket and Southern Vermont's own Gold Town fresh off a series of performances at Solid Sound in North Adams, Mass. But for this festival, the producers would like to focus on more than just the music including yoga, hiking, disc golf, and burlesque dancing.
"We're really trying to get classified for more than a music festival we want to be known as an inspiration and friendship festival," festival producer Jack Mitrani said.
The festival, which expects to draw between 1,500 and 3,000 people this year, began when a group of snowboarders turned headphones company called the Frends Crew including Mitrani and co-founder Danny Davis, decided that they wanted to expand their message of "there's no I in friends" to a larger audience.
"We said: ‘We've created this whole community, so let's have this event for the whole community,'" Mitrani said. "(We want to) give people a reason to come to the event and experience the meaning of friendship."
The bands are a combination of local artists and bigger artists with wider appeal, but there are a few guiding principles on which the organizers focus.
(We want to) keep the local thing a part of it, give these local bands a chance," Mitrani said. "We're trying to bring a bands that will draw a friendly crowd We try to cater to everybody."
Festival activities and information:
Yoga - Every day at 9:30 a.m. yoga instructors will be on the main stage to guide those interested in morning yoga routines to get the day started.
Junktown - If you're looking to make some noise yourself check out Junktown, a tent set up by percussionist Junkman, who will also be playing the festival and doing workshops.
Skaters, hikers and swimmers are also welcomed to check out the 4-foot skate ramp, hiking trails, and the Frendly Gathering swimming hole.
Festival attendees are encouraged to bring sunscreen, tents, sleeping bags, pillow, chairs, blankets, bathing suits, towel, face paint, shoes, skateboard (helmets recommended), a reusable water bottle, headlamp, cash for vendors, food, acoustic instruments, cooler, water, cameras, warm/cold clothes, bug spray, sunglasses, I.D., your ticket. Pets, weapons, fireworks, illegal substances, loud speakers, and fire materials are prohibited.
There are camping spots available and are first-come first-serve. Campers are asked to park in the Magic Mountain parking lot and will be shuttled with their gear to the festival. Shuttles run from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday.
Tickets are $95 for a two-day pass, $65 for a Saturday pass and are available at www.friendlygathering.com.
Andrew Roiter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Banner_Arts.
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