This summer started with a bang for us as we embarked upon Disc Jam. The event held in early June was set in the picturesque rolling hills of Stephentown, New York. Garderners Farm is a beautiful field which normally serves as a driving range with putt-putt golf and a quaint diner; but on this beautiful weekend it was a funk filled wonderland teeming with good vibes and a vibrant mix of artists. From the moment we arrived we felt the love. Disc Jam brings an intimate small festival environment with a truly underrated lineup. It was a breath of fresh air- musicians and artists at the top of the game without the drama and hype of a large festival. This festival was a nonstop pineapple aided groove- bliss for all the senses.
Arriving late Thursday we came to find an already bumping festival with lespecial on the main stage. After setting our tree-lined oasis for the weekend, we set out to get a quick feel. The energy was there from the get. Bodies buzzing in anticipation of what was surely ahead. The site was easy to navigate with everywhere you would like to go in a five minute walk. We took it back to the woods to catch a wobbly booming Wubson set before taking on the weekend full force.
Friday’s lineup set the tone for a morning to morning to morning funk-filled bonanza. Each day kicked off with the jams of Boston’s Bearly Dead at the Tent Stage. Friday afternoon featured the NoLa sounds of the Funky Dawgz Brass Band, the human sound machine Honeycomb and the jams of Wobblesauceand Teddy Midnight. In the woods Stephen Lewis brought a ruckus. The afternoon also brought an outstanding performance from artist at large Hayley Jane alongside groovy rock group Aqueous. One of my favorite moments of the entire festival was when Philadelphia’s funk experience Swift Technique made waves with a soulful performance that broke out into a fiery dance party in the summer sun. Sneaking from the stage Swift Technique brought their immense energy and a plastic penguin named Senator Squawks, to the crowd leading to a funkadelic battle. The madness continued as trumpet player, Greg Rosen, made his case for his place in next years flow tribe, playing melodies while hooping. The afternoon was a whirlwind of energy- a fine start to an intimate memorable weekend.
Friday night broke out with Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad, Kung Fu and Dopapod bringing swift dance moves and joy to the main stage. The production was of top quality, bringing a big-time festival feel without the big-time festival headaches. A large part of this weekend’s excellence was due to the astonishing performances of the Flow Tribe. Flow artists rotated through the fields adding visual beauty to each show. After a hefty get-down at the main stage the crowd moved onward to adventures- ragers to the Woods Stage and groovers to the Tent Stage. My night had highlights of getting lost in the visual arts tent, enjoying the Flow Tribe light up the night with fire, making friends with strangers in inflatable pools and bouncing between The Motet at the Tent Stage and Baltimore’s Deltanine at the Woods Stage.
After the close of the main stage the Disc Jam Fam was in full frenzy. Break Science brought a full band and wowed the crowd at the Tent Stage. In the woods Toadface, Esseks and Yheti shook the trees with booming bass. The real treat of the night came when we stumbled upon the Teddy Midnight RV. The recreational vehicle was host to a groovy jam session that rocked as hard as any show that weekend. The setup was beautiful, with a drum stage off the front as Teddy Midnight guitarist, Wiley Griffin, casually riffed in the doorway. The night was a true testament to the festival as whole.
Disc Jam was simply a classic. The location, crowd, weather and music was all on point. The weekend was full of shenanigans from carving up pineapples for moonshine tiki drinks with Swift Technique trombone player, Ian Crowley, to following magical spinning sombreros through the woods and unicycling beer chugs. The weekend was also host to world-class disc golf and tournament. In the oversaturated world of Music Festivals, Disc Jam is a breath of fresh air. The organizers managed to book a lot of top acts along with some of the best up-and-coming local acts while maintaining the casual comfort of a smaller festival. Disc Jam appeals to every kind of music lover and is a rare gem in the live music world.
Be sure to check out all the artists and keep your eye out for updates on next year’s festival.
We had an unforgettable time at Disc Jam and hope to be back next year. We are incredibly blessed for these opportunities and can’t wait to shoot our next festival,Mad Liberation Festival. Located in the New Jersey Pine Barrens at beautiful Paradise Lakes Campground, the best local Jersey artists will gather for a weekend rumpus. Join us from August 18th-21st and for more information check their website.
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