The inaugural Catskill Mountain Jubilee (CMJ) was held August 12-14 at The Blackthorne Resort in East Durham, New York. The venue’s biggest event yet bent genres and danced around the intersection of electric and electronic. bands like Lotus bridged the gap between Doey Joey and Dark Star Orchestra. The eclectic influences and open minds made for a few days full of idea-filled conversations, exciting new music, and top notch vendors. The not-too-big, not-too-small festival in the middle of a humid heat wave created an atmosphere of mutual respect which cultivated a space ripe for profound understanding of ourselves and our community.
Gnomes and 9 Pins
The CMJ had a familiar story that aligned with folklore about sailors being led by gnomes deep into in the Catskills only to find joyful celebration full of music. Diverse creatures of the forest gathered to play games of 9 pin all night, illuminated by a seemingly ever burning bright firelight. It is said that every 20 years, that light can be seen and music heard. Some felt a pull, while others felt magic.
This past weekend, bright lights could be seen and music heard. Strangely, in the land of Mountain Jams and Cosmic Alignment’s past, genres at CMJ could not be identified. In a most peculiar way, the over 400 residents at Blackthorne resorts were nowhere to be found the first and second day. It was as if they did not exist.
Games were played at DJ Doey Joey’s pool party. Bright colors, bubbly movement existed in this thriving ecosystem that was the Joey crowd. Fans extended like dorsal fins, electric poi hung in the air like angler fish and glow sticks helped fasten hair into a bun as the warm day slowly cooled.
Meeting of the Minds in Transitional Times
The intensity of the heat matched the the conversation during the day at CMK. Crystal Wielders and Zen masters took shade at the second stage which acted as an arena to discuss the ultimate debate: Quartz or Himalayan Black Tourmaline on your back?
As night fell and humidity rose, attention could only be directed towards the place with the light. The oceanic thickness in the air combined with the “mind like alter” transition from healthy debate to learning seemed only appropriate.
Lotus gave intimate, yet energized upstate Flodown that evoked new levels of emotional connection for fans as guitarist Michael takes his victory lap with the band. Incoming stand-out guitarist Tim Palmieri and fellow guitar warriors exchanged theories on the most humane strategies for reducing a crowd into liquid form with their solos.
This is a moment that captures the heart and soul guitar playing in the band Lotus from Michel to Tim. Tim’s eagerness to learn from Michel and Michael letting go of this place will put a smile on all Lotus Fan’s Faces. We love the band. We will miss Mike, and we still want Lotus in our lives.Alexander Wonnell Nicknames: Wonz, Wonzie, Wonnie, Fatass, Wonz Frat, Wonton, Wonnell (pronounced incorrectly)
Intensity’s Breaking Point
During tumultuous conditions, the vendors acted as protector and mother to any patron in need. Regardless of Maslow’s ranking, the vendors were there to provide quality accommodations every homeostasis need, like Keith’s Coffee.
Some vendors even appeared to have a special ability to live paint the eye of the storm, channel its dragon spirit and will the storm and all of its heat away.
After the storm passed and the heat broke, Annie In The Water acted as the rainbow ride all the way to a party “where the wine flowed like cheap booze in soup containers.”
The locals, feeling safe, were drawn out of what turned out to be their their air conditioned summer homes. What did the trick? It seemed the upbeat jams of Lucid did the trick. Lines of golf carts were full of folks seeing a world of possibility they never knew existed. The party continued into two nights of Dark Star Orchestra.
Powers and Abilities
Once the heat broke and everyone at CMJ began to interact with more cognizance, something unexpected happened.
As true celebration began, the inner power of each individual began to manifest itself in different ways.
These patrons responsibly used their powers to summon a deep feeling of gratitude and acceptance among all attendees. The group seemed to tie closer and closer bonds throughout the weekend.
Newfound confidence in community had many take their light bending to an entirely new level.
It takes some kind of magic to allow oneself to submit to romance and all that goes along with it. It is a scary world out there, but only with the support of our community can we find it in ourselves to kiss the girl.
Sometimes finding that one inner light in ourselves was all we needed.
What does this all mean? It means that the power of a beautiful place, good music and supportive minds can remind us why we loved going to see music when it was all still new. It also allows us to tap into our inner optimist. Regardless of how bad life might feel, we could probably make it to the next set.
“It will buff out.” A rainbow Hemp Hatted Zen Master shared his mantra with the crystal keepers while gazing deep into the looking stone. He explained the phrase meant everything will be ok, but he has to do work.
“At least if the journey has no destination, the jubilant reassurance that we are all in this together” – Loosely quotes from David Byrne but with a CMJ twist
“Let’s cherish the Memories we’ve had so far, and have equanimity with what happens next.” – Wonzie
“F**k yeah!” -Woman on the Left (pictured above)
This Inaugural symposium brought together individuals from every planet, ocean, desert, pool party and pot of gold. It was a true meeting of the minds. Moving forward we will be empowered to take care of more fellow music fans, regardless of their favorite band or who they think is getting “The Torch.” In times where addiction runs rampant, we must remember that we are all in this together and everyone without a water bottle needs one.
The Catskill Mountain Jubilee certainly felt like it had been happening for centuries. and maybe it has…
For a reminder of how far we have come, check out this awesome video from shutdown with Karina and Marlo from Melt playing China Cat Sunflower