Situated deep in the heart of the Pine Barrens is a campground aptly named Paradise Lakes. These grounds have become sacred land of the groove. The weekend of Beardfest is a large reason why. The host band, Philadelphias funky rock group Out of the Beardspace, put together a beautiful collection of energies. The weekend featured an impressive collection of artists including Medeski, Martin and MonoNeon, Marco Beneveto, Moon Hooch and more.
Thursday I escaped the throws of the work week and made my way out to Hammonton. Riding in the warm memories of Farmfest and Mad Liberation filled my soul. I set up shop and made my way around the campsite. The site was flooded with joy- I haven’t felt that at home that early in a festival in a very long time- it was beautiful. Friday brought some rocking sets from Tweed and Ghost Note. The highlight for me was the saxophone duo, Moon Hooch. The band who originally ruled the NYC subways as buskers have been dominating stages across the world since. Their Beardfest set didn’t disappoint, their energy was infectious and set a serious tone for the weekend.
Friday kept the same energy- a beautiful day to take in some great music, check out the vendors and enjoy the beauty of the lake. Musically the day was a funk-filled beauty- Sex Office, Out of the Beardspace, Nate Wood of Kneebody’s project Four and Muscle Tough absolutely crushed the night. Marco Beneveto stole the show, his bassist Karina Rykman looked like she was having the best weekend of all. The set was a ride of sunshine in the depths of the night.
Saturday the crowd was settled in, a groovy family enjoying the packs of festival dogs, giant flamingo floatie and beautiful atmosphere of Paradise Lakes. Typically on the last day I keep it easy early on and save my energy for the night, but this was damn near impossible when Zachademy of Music hit the stage. This group of youth musicians did the damn thing. Those kids blew my socks off, the whole campsite seemed to gravitate to the stage, it was an incredible performance. Saturday also featured two doses of the legendary bass player MonoNeon– the first bit was an afternoon set from Ghost Note. The band described as ‘conscious funk’ read the energy and brought that high-octane funk to the Beardfest masses. The sand was kicked up in a frenzy, I saw some moves I didn’t know were possible. Thinking back- this was probably my favorite set of the weekend. MonoNeon made another appearance as part of Medeski, Martin and MonoNeon. The night also featured a funk-filled set from the host’s Out of the Beardspace.
The weekend was the magic you always hope for in a festival. A big kudos to Out of the Beardspace and the whole team that put Beardfest together. Everyone was passionate and loving and it really showed through. Beardfest was a real family affair and had something for everyone. The community was strong and it all beautifully came together on the shores of Paradise Lakes. This is the energy I crave as a fan of music and creative communities. Beardfest goes down as one of my favorite festivals in my career and I highly recommend you find yourself here next year. 🙂
Show some love to all these artists. We’ll be back at Paradise Lakes on August 17th with all the homies for Mad Liberation Festival. And on August 25th we’ll be partying in Philly with Tweed for SENSORiUM Festival. Stay tuned for updates on this and other great content by following our IG!