Unlike the previous three days, the weather at the onset of Sunday, June 5, at Mountain Jam 2016 was gloomy with continuing patches of rain. People throughout the campgrounds were picking up their equipment and assessing any damage. The storm hadn’t been overly aggressive, but that didn’t stop things like camping canopies from collapsing under the weight of accumulated rainfall.
Once everyone completed their morning cleanup, regular plans for the last day of the festival started. Parents and kids joined together in Healey Hall at 9 a.m. for Yogarama with Bari Koral, a yoga instructor who brings fun music into the mix to make yoga interesting for kids. And of course yoga for the older kids was next, led by none other than Michael Franti. Originally scheduled to be held in Dolan’s Lake Park, across Ski Bowl Road from the festival grounds, Franti’s yoga session had to be moved into Healey Hall due to the inclement weather.
After yoga with Franti, Michael joined Radio Woodstock in their Mountain Jam booth for an interview and a quick song. NYS Music was there to experience his time on the radio and sing-along with him and the rest of the crowd who gathered around; Franti loves to be surrounded by people, while he plays—it really fuels his love-filled music and performance.
Meanwhile, Woodstock native Elijah Wolf, Boston-based Quilt and New York City’s London Souls played on the Valley Stage. The continuing mist didn’t stop fans from throwing on rain gear and enjoying themselves on the final day of Mountain Jam 2016. Like the previous day, the schedule had a change, and it caused Michael Franti’s Mountain Stage performance to be the last main stage show of the weekend—except this time the schedule change was caused by mother nature.
Severe weather alerts came across the PA system, and everyone was instructed to pack-up their belongings as quickly as possible and either leave the grounds or seek shelter immediately. No one knew exactly what to expect from the weather, but the general fear was that high winds would cause structures, like the stages, to become unsafe. Attendees complied as best as possible. Some were able to pack-up and depart, while others fastened down their equipment and congregated in the main lodge to wait out the storm.
Many festival-goers were sad that they had to miss the final three acts of the weekend—Brandi Carlisle, Third World and especially, the Avett Brothers. Safety is always understandable, but that doesn’t quell unrest about an upheaval of musical plans. Luckily, thanks to Radio Woodstock, a secret set popped up in the media loft where the radio station had been broadcasting all festival long.
The buzz about this secret set started to spread throughout the crowd inside the lodge, just downstairs from the loft, but no one knew exactly who was going to play and where. Suddenly, some stage crew started carrying in instruments and brought them up to the radio booth, followed by four gentlemen who make up the originally scheduled closing band, the Avett Brothers. After some audio setup, the indie-folk quartet played a four-song set over the airwaves and over the station’s PA system, which was turned up and pointed at the crowd downstairs. After each song, applause erupted from below. It was clear that the remaining festival-goers recognized just how lucky they were and how much they appreciated the Avett Brothers’ humble and apologetic attitude toward having to cancel last minute.
As the weekend finally drew to a close, people sat around recapping the events of this year’s Mountain Jam. Everyone had their own individual experiences, but the final product of all experiences was joy and an overall feeling of fulfillment. Much sought-after music had been enjoyed to the fullest, and everyone knew that the 2016 festival season was truly underway.
Check out the photo gallery below—captured by Steve Malinski—to experience the fourth and final day of the twelfth annual Mountain Jam.