Today marked the unofficial beginning to the Festival, the annual (and free) festival that brings thousands of people to each and every fall with tarps in tow and whiskey drinking on the brain. I say unofficial because really only played today as part of an educational outreach program, so tomorrow is really when the action begins.

The Festival has become a cultural institution in the city and something that we music fans hardly take for granted (LULZ SEE WHAT I DID THERE). When a rich venture capitalist named Warren Helman decides to put aside a ton of money to bring a large scale music festival yearly and at no cost to the public full of great folk, , blues, jazz, jamband and fans, you know you’re in for a treat. And the fact that this happens annual and within an easy bike ride from my place in the Lower Haight, well it’s pretty clear that we’re spoiled here with festivals like this.

I’m heading down tomorrow morning after some coffee and a catch up on the news; read on for the artists I plan on seeing with some video previews of the action I’m likely to see. Who are you excited to see?!?

Friday, September 30th

Tomorrow starts off with THE King of Funky Drums, , and I couldn’t be happier about that. Let’s hope the sun is out and shining bright when his funky grooves fill the air at the Star Stage…

w/ Friends Cissy Strut @ Rockefeller

From there I’ll hang out and wait for the South Memphis String Band, a trio composed of (), Alvin “Youngblood” Hart (Grammy-winning bluesman) and (Squirrel Nut Zippers). Uhm, yes please…

South Memphis String Band at The Capital Ale House May 2nd 2009

It’s odd the Mekons are playing, but not really when you consider that Southern Culture on the Skids and play on the same stage following their set. I’ll definitely want to check some of this out.

The Mekons - Memphis, Egypt - LIVE @ , NYC, 2000-03-09

From there I’d probably rock myself over to the & set. Those two powerhouses playing together is something I can keep missing and I’m glad they’ve been added to this year’s lineup at a good time.

After that, …who I’m really not all that attached to because my mom used to always listen to it and tell me it was the hot stuff. Because of that I think I inherently turned off on it and told myself it was not cool to like , so I’m hoping my attendance at this set will open back up my mind about his music. Obviously I know he’s a legend but so is and he’s playing all the way over on the Star Stage…it’s going to depend on what grabs me, I guess.

I would NOT by any means want to miss the chance to see for free…that would be a mistake.

To finish off my day I’m pretty sure I’ll be hustling over to see for a few minutes then finish off with & the Band of Joy.

Wow, did I mention that all of this is going to be free? I’ll have my Flip camera with me capturing some of the action as I go along and it’d be rad if you want to meet up for a shot of whiskey and a hello. CAW CAW!

Check back tomorrow night for a preview of the six stages of artists to choose from Saturday and Sunday…we’ll help you navigate your way…

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