Charley Crockett performs at Watermelon Pickers Festival 2021. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Watermelon Picker’s Fest is one of my favorite festivals that I look forward to every year. The experience of camping, socializing with old and new friends while listening to music is an amazing experience not to be over looked. Besides music on the stages, there’s the night jam sessions, where various musicians travel from campsite to campsite for a special musical experience. It’s an opportunities to hangout with performers in a pleasant, usually quite rural, setting.
Bela Fleck performs at MerleFest on April 27, 2018. (Photo by cp_thornton)
We all have ideas and preconceptions about different kinds of music. We can’t help it; we’re exposed to something, and it fixes our notion of what it is. For years, whenever I thought of jazz, I pictured a saxophone in my mind’s eye, and I heard a particular sound. While that sound is representative of some jazz, it’s certainly not representative of all it.
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, an all-star lineup of progressive jazz musicians, demolished and rebuilt my ideas of what jazz is and can be at the Strathmore Music Center recently.
Marty Stuart and Watermelon Park owner John Miller Jr. at the Watermelon Park Festival in September 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Watermelon Park, located in Berryville, Virginia, on the banks of the Shenandoah River, is a local haven for camping, tubing and kayaking all summer long. It hosted the 15th annual Watermelon Park Festival recently, and we’ve got pictures of the performing bands to prove it!