FESTIVAL RECAP: Catskill Chill 2012

Two words coming back from this year’s Catskill Chill: CHILLED OUT. This unique festival brings out the best in everyone lucky enough to be a part of it. I felt nothing but amazing vibes and pure talent the whole weekend. You really couldn’t ask for a better lineup.

Yonder flew in hot, traveling all the way for this one-off gig (and almost not making it due to the weather) and brought with them some of the most exciting energy of the weekend – producing a dance-packed and invigorating performance. Despite tornado warnings and a brief mother nature sneeze this festival was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the summer on the East coast.

Festival-after-festival I find myself always on the look out for the one that I know I’m going to have to come back to the next summer. That one festival where everything is so relaxed and “chill”; as so many attendees like to say. Set on beautiful Camp Minglewood, Catskill Chill gives this sleep-away camp vibe, a rare-found feeling essential to a successful festival experience where having fun was all you attendees had to worry about. Patrons stay in notably nice, clean cabins with friends, while others choose to keep it real and pitch their tents.

Highlights of the weekend include Lettuce throwing down an absurd funk-bundled set that was one for the books. Covering songs like “Movin’ On Up” by The Jeffersons brought people of all ages to the dance floor.

Another impressive band that had a huge late night performance was Particle, a group among the first in the jam world to blend rock, jazz, funk, and electronica into the milieu of what has been dubbed livetronica. Particle wielded an insane array of multi-faceted instrumental compositions, bringing a totally unique element to the Chill.

As always Lotus threw down an insane and heartwarming performance. According to many hardcore fans it was one of the most spectacular festival sets people have seen them play. Giving the crowd all they had left after headlining Red Rocks the night before Lotus came with their game face on. Dropping old school rarities like “Nematode” and the beloved “Caywood” the show was sure to leave many hearts melting Sunday night.

The atmosphere of this festival was overwhelmingly positive, happy and caring. It genuinely felt like being a part of one big family, as only the great, intimate festivals can provide. Doubling in attendance from last year, Catskill Chill sold out and officially planted its roots in the festival scene as a must-go for upcoming summers. I look forward to retuning next year. With a lineup like this, I couldn’t even imagine how they are going to top it next year!