Music Park: Appaloosa Festival @ Skyline Ranch Resort — 8/31-9/2/18

Appaloosa Music Festival-9-1-18-279
Scythian performs at the Appaloosa Festival over Labor Day Weekend. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

“The Appaloosa Festival is like building a giant tree fort as a kid, and it keeps growing!” said Dan Fedoryka of Scythian.

Continue Reading

Interview: Town Mountain (@ Appaloosa Festival @ Skyline Ranch Resort, 8/31-9/2/18)

town_mountain_1.2018_studio_sandlin_gaither_photo-84
Town Mountain (Photo by Sandlin Gaither)

Appaloosa Festival returns as DC’s top roots music festival on Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at Skyline Ranch Resort in Front Royal, Virginia. Festival hosts Scythian, your favorite DC Celtic rockers, present a strong lineup, including Gaelic Storm, Mandolin Orange, Six-String Soldiers, Aoife Soctt (Irish folk artist of the year), and Town Mountain, the talented string band from Asheville, North Carolina.

Parklife DC recently caught up with Town Mountain banjo player Jesse Langlais via email to get the latest news about the band and to find out more about their upcoming sixth studio album, New Freedom Blues, due for release on Oct. 5.

Continue Reading

Music Park: ShamrockFest @ RFK Stadium Festival Grounds — 3/21/15

gaelic-stormGaelic Storm

It is clear, after attending the 2015 edition of ShamrockFest, that I need to get myself to Galway, Ireland.

Because the girls.

Scythian, DC’s native purveyor of Irish tunes, crooned ‘and I lost my heart to a Galway girl’, in a lively cover of Steve Earle’s “Galway Girl”. Then later, Gaelic Storm performed their brand new “Girls Night in Galway”, an ode to the multitude of bachelorette parties that festoon the city.

ShamrockFest is an exercise in excess. An excessive amount of Irish and Celtic music. An excessive number of people dressed in elaborate green costumes. An excessive desire to visit Galway (for me, at least).

Strolling around the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds, there is no question that DC loves St. Patrick’s Day. Taking a cue from Carbon Leaf’s dance ready “The Donnybroke Affair”, you might describe ShamrockFest as ‘a rough-n-tumble free-for-all’ and ‘a ruckus to be reckoned with’.

Festival goers were ready for a day of music and beer. I would guess a large percentage of the sold-out crowd partook in the VIP package, which included access to an expansive VIP area and bottomless beer within.

The VIP area spread between the Gold stage and the Green stage. Aside from the dedicated beer stalls and a small DJ booth, it also provided cordoned off and up-close access to both stages. The lines for beer were so long that Red Frog Events eventually opened up VIP member’s access to all festival beer stands. Which then made all the lines long. We want our beer.

The sprawling Festival Grounds is not attractive (after all, it is a parking lot), but the three stages and the electronic tent were spaced apart so that you never felt overwhelmed by crowd movements and spontaneous dancing.

The beer selection was small, but with three choices and a cider (Guinness, Guinness Blond, Yuengling and Angry Orchard Cider), it was both appropriate and better than many festivals. The food offered was nothing beyond typical festival fare to further the St. Patrick’s Day theme. But Bailey’s Irish Coffee was on offer. Yes and thank you.

Other activities included Bear Pong (an outsized version of the classic beer pong) and Cornhole hosted by NAKID Social Sports. There were also stalls selling green things, kilts and alcohol infused cigars. Nice. There could have been more to do, if you wanted a break from the music.

The music options were an eclectic mix of Irish standards, electronic dance, covers, folk, fiddles, Celtic songs and a pinch of blues (Traveler) thrown in for good measure.

I was able to listen to a good number of bands on the Gold, Green and Dewey Beach stages, and did also poke my head into the DJ tent (Electric Isle).

The main complaint for the Electric Isle tent was there was a sizable pool of water in the middle, towards the back, courtesy of the rain from the previous day. People danced around it.

Here is my music lineup and brief notes on each.

Continue Reading

Music Park: Experience ShamrockFest 2015 @ RFK Stadium Festival Grounds, 3/21/15

ShamrockFest ShamrockFest (photo courtesy of Red Frog Events, LLC)

St. Patrick’s Day. Your day to revel in overambitious imbibery while flashing green.

After you’ve had your fun tonight, keep the party going into the weekend.

This Saturday, March 21, celebrate the 15th annual ShamrockFest held at the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds (aka outside the stadium). Tickets are available.

Along with Irish and Celtic themed live music (almost 30 bands and DJs on five stages), expect to find plenty of food and beer options, contests, games, Irish performers, and an Irish market.

This year, notable bands include ShamrockFest stalwarts like Scythian and Carbon Leaf, as well as Gaelic Storm and for the first time, Blues Traveler. Local bands include the aforementioned Scythian, Turtle Recall, The Fighting Jamesons (Virginia Beach) and Gaelic Mishap (Baltimore).

From the press release: “As the largest St. Patrick’s Day festival in the United States, we’re excited to deliver yet another memorable day for all those looking to celebrate the Irish holiday,” says ShamrockFest Director Amanda Hogue. “ShamrockFest has been a staple in the DC-area for over a decade and our team has been working hard to improve efficiencies and plans to provide an unforgettable 2015 experience.”

This year, Red Frog Events (who also produce the Firefly Music Festival, Warrior Dash and the American Beer Classic) hosts the festival for the first time since acquiring ShamrockFest from DC’s GoCity Events late last year.

Come out and flash your green!

 

ShamrockFest 2015
RFK Stadium Festival Grounds
Saturday, March 21
3:00-11:00pm
Tickets: $29.99 (Groups of 4 or more $24.99)
VIP tickets: $74.99, includes all you can drink. VIP for 21+ only