So how was the inaugural festival? Let me put it this way: I was invited as a member of the media. If I'm not invited back next year, I'd gladly pay to go as a civilian. I'd love to give a shout-out to the staff for being so energetic and accommodating. (There weren't enough people from NYC requesting to take a shuttle directly to "camp," so somebody came to pick us up at the Scranton bus depot.)
|Spirit Family Reunion|
|Pat and the Hats playing by the boathouse. It was like something out of an Elvis movie.|
All of the bands were from the Northeast -- while most of them were from New York City and Philly, I'd never heard of many of them since they're more clean-cut and friendly than the scoundrels who congregate around here. But by far the best lineup of the weekend was Friday's: Spirit Family Reunion, Amy Helm (who played a powerful Band-heavy set), Langhorne Slim, and, topping it off, an electrifying set from Charles Bradley.
|Langhorne Slim harangues us like a country gospel church|
|The Black Rose of Soul struts his stuff|
The Delta Spirit, who I guess headlined the festival, played on Saturday night. Thirty minutes into the set I could barely stifle my yawns, so we played laser tag instead.
But the party didn't end after the headlining concerts. Impromptu sets sprung up in the cabins after hours, both with attendees who brought their guitars and performers who were soaking in the casual atmosphere. Campfire brought us back to rock'n'roll's roots: music to be shared and enjoyed without all of that bullshit posturing.
Though the rave reviews the festival has been getting will undoubtedly mean an increase in attendance, I hope the intimacy of this summer will remain. (I understand that the organizers were thinking of putting up a sponsored stage in the cabins but formalizing those sessions will kill what made them so great in the first place.) That all being said, I hope everyone reading this has a great school year because I can't wait to see you (again) this summer!
Campfire Outdoor Music Festival's Official Site