On June 23, frends from all over the world will converge at Timber Ridge in Windham, VT, for the 6th annual Frendly Gathering; a festival based on elevating current and future generations from the mentality of “me” to “we.” Started in 2010 by the The Frends Crew, whose founding 7 members are comprised of professional snowboarders Mason Aguirre, Danny Davis, Keir Dillon, Scotty Lago, Jack and Luke Mitrani, and Kevin Pearce, Frendly Gathering has turned from a 250 person camping trip into a three day music festival; one which is highly anticipated the moment the previous year’s event ends. To get a full understanding of the festival and its purpose be sure to read the Frendly Manifesto, as well as the 10 Anchors of Frendship.
NYS Music had the opportunity to speak with Jack Mitrani about this year’s festivities. To say he’s excited about what’s planned for Frendly attendees this year is a true understatement. When asked what is in store for Frendly Gathering 2016, Jack gave some pretty awesome examples of what can be expected. “We’re building a new stage, which is really exciting. It gives us something to build from scratch and take what we’ve learned over the last couple years from some of our more handmade stages and build something new and exciting for people to watch bands on.” He goes on to talk about one of the headliners playing multiple sets, each one being unique and even one of them played from the trees, more commonly known as the DJ Nest. Also, Burton’s Snowboard Teepee will have its own stage with special sets played by collaborations made up of artists on the bill. “I think this year, by far, is looking like the best year yet,” he added.
Jack also said that the FrendShip will make a return this year, where music will be recorded all week long. There will also be a projector for fans to watch on from the outside, as well as continuing the tradition of using Skype to reach out to frends who can’t make it and give them the opportunity to watch music performed inside the transformed Airstream camper live. The purpose being to ensure the premise of inclusivity no matter where in the world people might be.
The FrendShip is just one example of how Frendly Gathering has evolved over the years and Jack shared his thoughts on the evolution of the festival. “Honestly, I couldn’t have written it any better,” he explained. “It’s grown in such a way that that I could’ve only dreamed about.” He elaborated further by saying how grateful he is for all of the people who have been galvanized by the festival and its community. “It’s really just the festival of our dreams. It’s been our vision for so long.” He sincerely gives credit to all of the fans who show up, to Twiddle, and to all of the people who work on Frendly year round to help Jack and the Frends Crew continue to realize this living dream of theirs.
The three days (June 23-25) will be filled with music from headliners Big Gigantic, Trevor Hall and, of course Twiddle, who has played every Frendly Gathering to date. The line-up is beautifully rounded out with such acts as Turkuaz, Moon Hooch, Marco Benevento, Cabinet, Jaden Carlson Band and Kitchen Dwellers. This year continues to display how the Gathering is evolving into one of the best early season festivals in the northeast.
In addition to music there are a lot of different activities to keep you as busy as you wish to be. There is hiking, a bunch of unique vendors, yoga, live art and swimming. Also, if you have a hankering to be on a board there will be a mini half pipe to tear up. Just make sure to bring your helmet!
With Frendly Gathering quickly approaching, make sure you buy your tickets soon. There’s the possibility of day passes sold on site, but that’s dependent on whether the festival sells out or not. If you’re on the fence about going this year, Jack Mitrani says it best – “Every person who goes to the festival comes up to us and says, ‘This is the best festival that we’ve ever been to because of how intimate it is, how short the lines are, how the experience is really thought out, versus anything else.’ We spent five years carefully focused on creating an environment, to not only share music, but to share this energy and vibe that you can’t find anywhere else. I would say come to Frendly and come see it for yourself.” Jack also mentioned that the most important aspect people should be aware of is that the festival has its name for a reason; there are 3000 like-minded people who just might become frends of yours for life. He finishes his explanation with, “You’ll never be able to understand what I’m saying until you experience it for yourself.”
Make sure to visit Frendly’s website for more information like guidelines, ADA info or to learn about the festival’s Greening Initiative. While you wait the 2 short weeks until the festival kicks off, check out this video of Twiddle playing “Lost in the Cold” in the FrendShip and a gallery of photos to get a glimpse into last year’s Gathering.
Photography by Chelsea Erin Wright