There are few things in life that are certain, and the Strangecreek Campout festival has become one of those things.
This weekend at Camp Kee-Wa-Nee in Greenfield, Mass., the Wormtown Trading Company will celebrate the 15th iteration of the beloved Western Massachusetts festival, headlined every year by Connecticut mainstay Max Creek.
Festival founder Mark Blanchette sees this year as being one of the stronger lineups he’s put together.
“We’re getting a lot of great feedback on this year’s lineup and it looks like it will be a very festive gathering indeed,” says Blanchette. “It looks like we’re going to celebrate 15 years of StrangeCreek with a whole lot of friends this year.”
Other headliners include Badfish: A Tribute To Sublime and The Eric Krasno Band, who will join returning mainstays Max Creek, Ryan Montbleau and Zach Deputy, as well as The Machine, Pink Talking Fish and more than 70 other bands on multiple stages over three days and three nights, along with food and craft vendors, family activities, a community bonfire, and roaming musicians.
If you have a weekend pass in hand, you can arrive on Thursday and pay only $30 for early entry. If you purchase tickets before Friday, it will cost you $145, but be prepared to spend $160 if you buy at the gate. And honestly, there isn’t a better deal in the Northeast festival circuit than Strangecreek.
Gates formally open Friday at 9 a.m., and guests need to be packed and on their way home by noon on Monday. In between, it’s fun, sun, jams and, literally, magic. New to family camping this year is the addition of a magician, who will add to the wonder of a highly celebrated weekend. There will also be guided stargazing.
Another new and anticipated feature is the Holistic Village, a place where revelers can go “nurture body, mind and soul in natural, healthful ways.” Jeff Bujak will be hosting a silent show, where fans will listen to him perform through headphones. Think Silent Disco style.
Camp Kee-Wanee is an inclusive summer day camp with an emphasis on the arts. Wormtown’s music festivals provide a key source of funding for the camp’s summer programming; the camp has been home to Wormtown’s StrangeCreek Campout and their fall show, Wormtown Music Festival, since 2003
In addition to Max Creek, Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime and The Eric Krasno Band will be making their debut appearances. Ryan Montbleau and Zach Deputy are back on the bill along with hybrid cover band Pink Talking Fish and The Machine.
New York progressive wizards Consider the Source will be thumping the main stage, along with the Werks, David Gans, who is celebrating the life of Grateful Dead keyboardist and crooner Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, and area favorites Hayley Jane and the Primates.
Western Massachusetts grown The Alchemystics, Dead cover band ShakeDown, Albany area favorites Gang of Thieves, The Z3, Beau Sasser Trio and Skeleton Keys are other notable bands on the bill with ties to the state of New York.
Llama Lasagne, a rotating collective of Pioneer Valley musicians who concoct thematic concerts featuring a mix of musicians from local bands are putting on a special “theme” set for the third straight year.