If you’re one of those people who loves getting down and can never seem to get enough end or brass in your life, get your booty down to Oak, FL this weekend for the 7th Annual .

Bear Creek Royalty right here | Dumpstaphunk @ Bear Creek 2012
Royalty right here | @

In just a few short years, Bear Creek has quickly risen through the ranks of the crowded scene to reign supreme as one of the few can’t-miss festivals on the funk/jam circuit. Boasting a who’s who of royalty, and the funkiest bands from , , Cali, and everywhere in between, this festival consistently delivers one giant ass-shakin good time year after year. I’ve been known to call it the best fest east of the Mississippi, and have yet to meet anyone that’s been there disagree me. In fact, it’s one of those festivals that artists circle on the calendar and look forward to as well — a rare to hang out and collaborate their fellow musicians.

For the sake of generalization, Bear Creek is an extremely intimate fest that is essentially two parts JazzFest at night, one part JamCruise minus the bluegrass, a dash of electronic and a to keep the party going into the wee hours for good measure. Do I have your attention yet?

To top it all off, Bear Creek is situated at one of the most picturesque festival camping grounds I’ve ever seen, The Spirit of Suwanee. Located in northern Florida, the site has the vibe of the nearby Everglades, with a lake surrounded by Cypress trees and Spanish Moss. While the natural beauty is second to none, the amenities that the campground offers are very atypical for a festival as well: golf carts, a general store, log cabins and treehouses, and hot showers taboot! Suwanee plays host to a bunch of different festivals over the course of the year (The Music & Arts Festival, Music Fest, Springfest, Magnolia Fest, and The Purple Hatters Ball, to name a few), but for my money, Bear Creek is the creme de la creme year after year. Festival founder Paul Levine consistently books bands that slay and this year is no exception.

The Roots will be there...
will be there…

At the top of this year’s bill is the legendary Roots crew and funk god/space traveller of fame. I have heard nothing but raves about Bootsy’s live show with his Funk Unity Band, so this is sure to be a set to remember. The usual suspects are also in the house: The , ’s 20th Congress, , , ’s Tiny Universe, and The will all be laying it down with two sets apiece, and in keeping with one of the best festival traditions out there, the two dirtiest funk bands on the circuit today, and , will close down the fest with back-to-back sets on the main stage on Sunday.

Bootsy will be there...
Bootsy will be there…

Other bands that I particularly looking forward to include -singer Lee who absolutely blew away the crowd at this summer, who is performing a rare full-band set, the always funkarrific , and New England prog-jam supergroup . , the best afrobeat band around, will also be making an appearance, as will band , who have been having a banner year and gaining notoriety well beyond their hometown with their engaging mix of rock and . This will also be my first to check out The , Dumpstaphunk’s ferocious drummer Nikki Glasspie’s new four-piece with .

SKERIK!
And …!

Last but certainly not least, everyone’s favorite evil saxophonist is leading this year’s Orchestra-At-Large, and what sort of tunes he’ll lead the assembled masses in is anybody’s guess. This is sure to be just one of many artist collaborations throughout the weekend — you know you’ve got yourselves a good time when the only question floating around in the is where Porter Jr and will sit in next.

Bear Creek takes place this weekend and are still available for $20 off the gate price at bearcreekmusicfestival.com. Make the trip, your bootie will thank you.


East coast born and raised, San Francisco since 2006.