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As summer comes to an end, so, too, does its magical subset: Festival Season. This year, we hit the road for several tours of the east coast, hitting festivals big and small, from Florida to New York. Of course, there were dozens of festivals we couldn’t make, but whose performances will nevertheless live on in music lore for years to come. 

Among our most talked about experiences and heard-about hearsay, here are 5 that stand out:

1. The Hudson Project - a wonderful mud-filled experience. Kendrick Lamar and The Flaming Lips proved why they were headliners, and we got to party a little bit in the Dreamatorium with The Soul Rebels and Lettuce. Yes, the festival’s final day got rained out, but the Hudson Project is going to be a musical force to be reckoned with in the Northeast in the coming years. 

2. Bonnaroo - It’s tough for such an established festival to keep improving, but in our humble opinion, Bonnaroo does each year. This year saw Elton, Kanye, Jack White, Phoenix, Sam Smith and more. One of our favorite new features at this year’s ‘Roo was the Kalliope Stage. Once the sun set, the party started. Lights, lasers, bass, CRYOGENICS. It was a trip.

3. Wanee - One of the earlier festivals of the year, Wanee went down in Florida in April because, well, they can get away with things like this in April in Florida (we still have snow here in VT). Wanee’s lineup reached from the Allmans to Trey Band, Electric Hot Tuna, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and The Blind Boys of Alabama. 

4. WYSIWYG Festival - This small music-and-food festival just finished its second year, taking place on the grounds of Burlington College in Burlington, VT. Although it’s very much a local festival, WYSIWYG (short for What You See Is What You Get) threw down with memorable performances from Anais Mitchell, Shaky Graves and TONS of local food, beer and cider from Vermont’s best restaurants, breweries and cider makers. 

5. Newport Folk Festival - The granddaddy of them all. Newport was where Dylan went electric for the first time. It’s been around for 50 years and in the last five has seen a huge revival of spirit and performance. The Rhode Island oceanfront bared witness to Ryan Adams (touring for the first time in several years), Tweedy (Jeff Tweedy’s band with his son, Spencer, on drums), Mavis Staples, Dawes and more. The bands seem to love playing here as much as the fans love attending the festival. If you missed out, NPR usually streams a bunch of performances each year, and archives some as well. Check them out here. 

There are a few more left to go, and we’re looking forward to them, because each one, while totally unique and exhilarating, full of friendly faces and dancing feet, has a familiar feeling to it. It all starts with a car ride and a playlist, and then a camp set-up and a setlist. As memories face over time, we made a little video to keep them fresh. Check it out above. 

Neil Young - Needle Of Death

Neil young recorded his new cover album in a phone booth. Sort of. Okay, not really, but it was in something called a Voice-O-Graph, and it’s about the size of a phone booth. 

On Record Store Day, April 19th, Jack White’s label, Third Man Records released “A Letter Home” on vinyl, the deluxe set of which will be available on May 27th. It’s really an amazing, raw, old-timey sound that only someone like Neil can pull off to such an amazing effect. On the album, he covers Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Don Everly and more. 

Check out the video above to hear Neil’s cover of Bert Jansch’s “Needle of Death” and to see just what kind of space he was working with in the Voice-O-Graph. 

This weekend, one of the best-named music festivals in the country will take place in Devens, MA. The Nines Festival takes place Saturday, August 10th, and features a spectacular day-long lineup of music, art, comedy and, yes, plenty of Magic Hat beer. 

Explosions in the Sky, Dr. Dog, Delta Spirit and Shuggie Otis are but a few of the amazing acts that have been assembled. Join us down in MA for the day and get down. 

Tickets are still available, so check out The Nines Festival website for more info. 

The weather this Friday is looking grand, and we’re getting amped for Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band's performance at our brewery from 5-8pm. After the first Summer Sessions concert had to be postponed because of bad weather, we’re itchin’ to get outside to dance, drink and eat some Skinny Pancake crepes. 

As an added bonus, Lance from Lance’s Brewery Tour will be visiting, and $1 from every pint we sell during the show will go to his Lance’s Room charity which will help others with autism achieve their dreams, attend college, receive vocational training and more. Yeah!

Come on out and feel the soul, the sun and the good vibes!

Heavyfest 3 returns to our brewery this Saturday, May 18th! It’s a glorious celebration of Vermont-made music, Vermont-made beer and, as an added bonus this year, American Craft Beer Week! Yessir! 

From Noon to 6, we’ll be pouring pints at the outdoor beer garden, dancing to the sounds of The Jen Hartswick Band, Waylon Speed, Casio Bastard, Teleport and Rumblecat

$3, which goes directly to our beneficiary, Big Heavy World, gets you in. After that, drink, dance and mow down some Skinny Pancake crepes all afternoon long. If you need a break, head on inside for a brewer-led tour of the brewery, or some free samples at our growler bar. We’re ready for you…are you ready for Heavyfest? 

For more info, hit up the event on Facebook

Rock n Roll Resort!

The first festival of our 2013 season kicks off at Noon today in Kerhonkson, NY. The Rock n Roll Resort is a festival unlike any other. Why? Because they rage IN A RESORT! For three days, they take over the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa and all it’s amazing amenities from mini golf to poker tournaments to yoga and much more. Also, there’s a load of awesome music. This year’s lineup includes headliners Soulive along with Ryan Montbleau Band, Kung Fu, Pimps of Joytime, Nigel Hall Band and many more to fill up nearly every hour over the next 72 hours. 

If you’re in the Hudson Valley area, get up on this. 

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