If you’re not quite ready for the summer to end, the Catskill Chill offers many music lovers one last chance to spend a weekend immersed in sights and sounds. Just a mere ten miles southwest from its former location, 2016 ushers in a new era for the festival at the New Minglewood. This year’s basic festival ticket includes three days of music and camping starting September 24-26.
Catskill Chill kicks off this year with a Thursday pre-party, a new addition for the festival. At the mere cost of $45, the pre-party offers a powerhouse line-up of northeast festival favorites. The inaugural evening features Buffalo grove rockers Aqueous, jamtronica favorites Jimkata, two sets from Vermont’s Twiddle and superduo Trakstar featuring Todd Stoops (RAQ) and Rob Chafin (The Werks). The evening will be filled with high energy music that looks to set the bar high for future pre-party festivities.
Martie Locke who will be traveling from King of Prussia, PA, said that the Thursday pre-party is actually what sold him on the weekend. “It’s amazing. Aqueous, Jimkata and Twiddle offer some of the best musical vibes,” he told NYS Music. “I think Thursday night could be some of the best fun of the weekend. Well worth the price of the entire ticket.”
For folks not making the Thursday festivities, the entire weekend is packed with creative collaborations, solid headliners, as well as up and coming artists from all over the country.
Friday offers a mixture of relaxed vibes and funk. Zack Deputy kicks off Friday’s Main Stage music. Kung Fu offers the day’s first look at Main Stage funk takeover while funk masters George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic and Phish bassist Mike Gordon headline the Main Stage on Friday evening. Pink Talking Fish are sandwiched in between the two powerhouses, with their performance on the B Stage, creating a solid five hours of music.
Ryan Montebleau sets the mood for the Saturday Main Stage, with Cabinet and Keller Williams offering up a Saturday afternoon filled with Bluegrass vibes. Lettuce closes out the Saturday Main Stage Music.
Sunday’s Main Stage is a variety of musical genres. Roosevelt Collier’s NY Get Down will feature Dopapod’s Rob Compa and Eli Winderman as well as Michelangelo Carubba and Taylor Shell of Turkuaz. Bluegrass favorites Greensky Bluegrass and electronic rock masters Dopapod fill out Sunday afternoon. Electron will conclude the activity on Sunday’s Main Stage
This year’s Catskill Chill is filled with a variety of beloved music performed by some of the festivals most respected veteran artists as this year’s Chill is jam packed with tribute performances. Friday night will feature Pink Talking Fu paying tribute to this year’s passing legends David Bowie and Prince.
Saturday hosts the majority of these performances. Shwikus, featuring members of Shwizz and Fikus, will pay tribute to the music of the Beatles. The Heavy Pets bring their highly praised Tribute to the 80’s, while fans of Primus will want to check out Lespecial’s Primus set in Club Chill.
Dopakuaz, featuring members of Dopapod and Turkuaz, returns after a memorable performance of the music of Studio 54 at last year’s Catskill Chill. This year, the two bands have collaborated to showcase the best of classic 80’s preppie soft rock, also known as Yacht Rock. Saturday night’s tributes will conclude with the Chillfam All-stars Tribute to Michael Jackson. Fans of Led Zepplin should catch Elise Testone’s tribute set on Sunday. Bitches Bloom will perform the music of American Jazz legend Miles Davis on Sunday as well.
The Catskill Chill is also offering a few unique choices on their 2016 line-up. Primate Fiasco’s unique blend of Americana, street band and off humor lyrics are a refreshing change of pace for almost any festival line-up. Meanwhile, Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green) and Electric Beethoven featuring Jay Lane (Primus, Ratdog),Todd Stoops, Cochrane McMillian (Tea Leaf Green) and Clay Welch will perform a set of “classical dance music” with a reimagining of Beethoven classics.
This year’s line-up is also highlighted by a laundry list of this summer’s most buzz worthy bands. Hailing out of New York State, Mister F, Formula 5 and TAUK continue to make noise on festival line-up’s all over the Northeast. Hayley Jane and the Primates are Chill vets, but their rising stock makes the Vermont based group one of the weekend’s acts to see.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and Tom Hamilton’s American Babies are other noteworthy artists for the four-day weekend. North Carolina’s based Big Something and Boston’s progressive eletrofunk outfit Strange Machines have also been gaining steam all summer long.
“Strange Machines is just so epic and progressive as they make you want to dance harder,” said Nick Augustine of Maryland, “They blow me away again and again every time.”
The Werks, Turkuaz and Indobox are also solid, ‘can’t go wrong’ choices amongst this year’s jam packed line-up.
First time attendees will find themselves on even ground with experienced Chill attendees, as everyone will be learning the festival’s new lay-out. However, festival organizers look to make the transition a bit easier by keeping stage names and key amenities the same.
However, beyond the music, the hope of most attendees is that despite venue changes, the “Chill Fam” will maintain the vibe that has, in part, kept the festival growing.
Rachael Dube from Vermont, a four-year Chill attendee isn’t worried about the venue change. In fact, she says she is excited for the new location. “There is just something pretty righteous about moving it from the original spot you know? Change is beautiful and inevitable, nothing should stay the same forever. Being able to take the great base that we have created at the Chill, and move it wherever we like, seems pretty cool to me. It’s something special that’s for sure.”
And it’s not just the festival goers that are excited for the vibe that the festival offers. Scott Hannay of the band Mister F was a three-year Chill attendee before his band played the festival in 2014. He told NYS Music, that it’s the “the ubiquitous Chillfam” that makes the festival special. “The vibe, the staff, all that music and unique combinations of musicians, it all melds together in a way that other festivals do not. Chill is exactly that, Chill.”
Tickets for general admission as well as VIP packages are still available.