Dangermuffin performs at Sleepy Creek HarFest 2019. (Photos by Chester Simpson; Words by Michael Tucker)
Sleepy Creek HarFest: The Place Where We Belong
Each time I go to Sleepy Creek, it feels like coming home. Although I attend a few bigger festivals each year featuring the bleeps, bloops, and synth-knob twiddling of Jamtronica I love so much, Sleepy Creek owns my heart. It’s like that favorite worn in pair of jeans that fit just right or a pair of super comfy pajama pants perfect for lounging at home. Just as importantly, the truly wonderful people who run, staff, and attend Sleepy Creek Presents events create the perfect environment for family, fun, creativity, connection, enjoyment of musical artistry as diverse as the American landscape, and, perhaps most importantly, Sleepy Creek gives festival attendees a place where they can be themselves.
During my weekend adventure at HarFest 2019 in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, on Oct. 4-6, I saw a bumper sticker on an RV that sums up my experience; it read: “There is no alternative to being yourself” — and Sleepy Creek is exactly that: a place where we can be ourselves, a place where we belong.
Jill Sobule headlines HERAFest at City Winery on Sept. 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” — Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
So, let’s talk about women in music. A recent Washington Post article asked, “What’s it like to be a woman in rock today?” Of course the answer is, that’s the wrong question. Does anyone ever ask, “What’s it like to be a man in rock music?”
- Larry Keel performs at the 2019 Watermelon Park Festival on Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson/ Rock-N-RollPhotos.com)
The 16th Annual Watermelon Park Fest a three day music festival, was held at the Watermelon Park Campground near Berryville, Virginia. It’s located on the banks of the beautiful Shenandoah River on Sept. 19-22 with music, camping, as well as canoeing, kayaking and inner-tube floats and late night jam sessions around the campfire. Nothing better!
- Big Something headline the Pasture Palooza Music & Arts Festival on Sept. 13, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Pasture Palooza Music & Arts Festival is an annual weekend festival and camp out held in a field off Minniewood Lane west of beautiful Berryville, Virginia. It started as an outrageous party and has turned into a festival, which celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sept. 13-14, attracting from 750 to 900 people.
Jessica Willis Fisher performs at Appaloosa Festival over Labor Day weekend. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
“There are no strangers here, only friends who have not yet met.” — William Butler Yeats.
That quote from Yeats opened the program for the 2019 Appaloosa Festival, which invited friends of all stripes to Skyline Ranch Resort in Front Royal, Virginia, over Labor Day weekend for a gathering of bluegrass, folk, Americana, Celtic rock, and more! Parklife DC’s Chester Simpson captured the action on film.
Eli Lev performs at the DC Music Rocks Festival on Aug. 17, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
I’ve been following the District of Columbia’s live music scene for several years yet I’ve just barely begun to scratch the surface of the diversity, variety and joy that so many musical artists bring to this region. The same could be said about the third annual DC Rocks Music Festival recently — despite the line-up of a wonderful array of 12 bands and singer-songwriters, there is so much more to discover in our own backyard.
Scythian performs at Appaloosa Festival 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson/ Chestersimpson.com)
Dan Fedoryka of Scythian is pure joy in conversation. With the success of his Celtic-roots band, the laidback vocalist, guitarist, and accordionist is often busy planning a tour or a festival. But Dan remains generous with his time, and he is as pleasant on the phone as he is in person.
Parklife DC caught up with Dan to chat about the ever-growing Appaloosa Festival, occurring on Aug. 30-Sept. 1, and Scythian’s plans for the celebration of bluegrass, roots, and Americana. The fifth annual Appaloosa Festival will take place on Aug. 30 through Sept. 1 at the Skyline Ranch Resort in Front Royal, Virginia.
Check out the Appaloosa Festival website for tickets and info. (After all, Appaloosa Festival won Best DC Music Festival in the inaugural Parklife DC Thrushie Awards for a reason last year!)