A Breath of Fresh Air at the Mountain Jam Music Festival
The truth of the matter is, people like to stamp their feet to a good live tune. For the past seven years, Mountain Jam Music Festival has provided the perfect environment for foot stamping, crazy dancing, and band discovery. Founded originally as a one-day celebration in honor of New York’s number one independent radio, Radio Woodstock, the Mountain Jam Music Festival now boasts the title as the Northeast’s premier music festival.
With four days and four stages to fill, there will never be a music deficit here. However, unlike Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, you won’t find any of the top 40 artists on stage at the Mountain Jam Music Festival. This festival puts the focus on talented independent artists who are known for producing incredible live shows. 2011’s lineup included My Morning Jacket, Bela Fleck and the Original Flecktones, Michael Franti, The Avett Brothers, Moon Taxi, Civil Twilight, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, amongst many more.
Located in the mountainous region of upstate New York, the Mountain Jam Music Festival promises to keep the heat at a minimum, which is a big plus in comparison to the sweltering weather at Bonnaroo. The festival takes place at Hunter Mountain ski resort, which provides plenty of other great amenities for music fans to take part in over the weekend. The Sky Ride is on hand to give guests a taste of higher altitude, along with the longest and highest zip line known to North America.
Because of its ski resort location, accommodations are easily acquired, but it is definitely a different scene than one might be used to at some of the other popular music festivals. The Mountain Jam Music festival does allow camping, but there are only a limited number of spots available. It is not car-side camping; so you’re only going to want to bring what you can comfortable carry for a bit of a walk. Should the onsite camping grounds fill up before you buy your tickets, there are several offsite camping options available. There are also many hotels located nearby with shuttles running often to and from the festival.
Tickets are offered in three-day passes, four-day passes, and single day entrance. New this year, the festival offered music on Thursday evening to its early arriving guests. Be on the lookout around the holiday season for presale activities, followed by early bird ticketing beginning sometime in January. Tickets are priced upwards of $140, with VIP options available. If you’ve been saving your money to attend, be sure to snatch your tickets early as the Mountain Jam Music Festival has a cap on attendance at about 15,000 to ensure a more intimate fan setting.
In addition to showcasing some of the best independent music out there, the Mountain Jam Music Festival also features the Awareness Village; an area of the festival which seeks to promote planetary consciousness. Inside the Awareness Village center, you’ll find a small acoustic stage among many environmental groups on hand to teach you how you too can make a difference in protecting our earth. In attendance at this year’s festival was Amnesty International, Community Energy, Clearwater, Frack Action, Rock the Earth, and more. For more information on each of these companies, check out the Mountain Jam Music Festival page, or their individual websites.
Visit mountainjam.com to see what all the hype is about and start planning for your road trip!