Fairs & Festivals 2010

From traditional county fairs and innovative theater performances to music of all types, these 20 local events help put the fun in summer



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mountain jam music festival

Mountain Jam Music Festival

Hunter Mountain, June 4-6

In just six short years, WDST-Radio Woodstock’s Mountain Jam has grown from a one-day event with four performing groups to a three-day super fest with 50 musical acts. Last year’s event drew approximately 12,000 people each day — quite a substantial increase from the original 3,000 participants. And this year, festival founder Gary Chetkof anticipates similar attendance.

“Word on the street is it’s a very cool, diverse lineup,” Chetkof says of the festival’s 2010 program, for which he can largely take credit. “Booking a 50-act festival is kind of like being a chef — you have to have the right ingredients, the right variety, the right flavors.” This particular menu has something for every taste; there’s a well-rounded sampling of today’s music, from seasoned performers to up-and-comers, representing genres from blues to folk to Hassidic reggae pop.

» Flash back to Mountain Jam’s 40th anniversary

What has made Mountain Jam one of the year’s most anticipated festivals may be the same sort of cutting-edge musical style that has for years set WDST apart from the rest. “The radio station has always championed the emerging artist. But the reality of being in this business and trying to appeal to a wide audience — you have to present the emerging artist with the established,” explains Chetkof matter-of-factly. So in addition to such fresh talent as Company of Thieves, One eskimO, and the Avett Brothers, this year’s program includes heavy-hitters like Toots and the Maytals; festival partner Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule; Alison Krauss and Union Station; and Derek Trucks with his wife Susan Tedeschi. A special 70th birthday tribute to Levon Helm will feature such artists as Steve Earle, Jackie Greene, Ray LaMontagne, and Patterson and David Hood of Drive-By Truckers. And of course, homegrown talent is amply represented as well. “One of the reasons we went to 50 bands — there are so many great bands out there and so many locals, so we just added another stage,” says Chetkof. Among the Valley’s own are Simone Felice and his new project, The Duke and The King; Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams; 14-year-old blues guitar prodigy Mojo Myles Mancuso; and jam band IS.

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