Despite the efforts of Tropical Storm Irene followed by extraordinary rainfall in Delaware County that flooded Binghamton and made much of upstate NY impassable, the second annual Catskill Chill Festival enjoyed sunny skies for most of the three days of September 9 -11, 2011. The gentle sloping hillside spotted with bunkhouses and tents weathered the rains magnificently and provided terra firma for more than 3,000 festival attendees that made their way to Camp Minglewood in Hancock, NY for the festivities. Attendance was up more than one-hundred percent over the 2010 figure of 1,250.
Sunday, the last day of the festival, had mild rain to contend with but the Camp's infrastructure features pavilions that house the two main stages and another building that held "Club Chill" which significantly differentiates Catskill Chill from other festivals. Attendees seeking shelter merely headed towards the music when the skies opened up to enjoy performances protected overhead from foul weather.
While other festivals build a small city on the land they occupy all the proper buildings are in place at Catskill Chill. When the last notes were played Monday morning sound reinforcement specialists from Atomic Pro Audio and lighting designers from BML Blackbird loaded out equipment from the existing sound stages. A timely production schedule was maintained throughout the weekend while keeping a relaxed and informal atmosphere for the musicians. Many of the musicians on site were seen enjoying the grounds, mingling with guests, checking out performances and participating in activities. Members of Umphrey's McGee were seen outside their tour bus raging a full blown barbecue hours before their set.
Dumpstaphunk took to the large pavillion at 1am as the final main stage act of the evening late Saturday night.
The band was onstage for fifteen minutes and hadn't started their set before Ivan Neville was overheard saying to a stage tech, "We want to get the sound sweet...like sugar" while smiling broadly. Shortly thereafter Dumpstaphunk blasted into a scorching two hours of hard-core funk.
Catskill Chill featured over thirty-five acts spread across three stages that performed more than sixty-two hours of music over three days. Music got underway on Friday, September 9 at 2:30pm by Fundimensionals and ended early Monday morning at 3am when Zoogma played their final notes. Artists included Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and his band 7 Walkers, Conspirator (members of The Disco Biscuits), JGB with Melvin Seals, Perpetual Groove, John Brown's Body and Particle.
Festival Executive Director Dave Marzollo praised the venue and the attendees. "I'm incredibly grateful that this family of caring, fun loving people came from as far as Washington and California and enjoyed this beautiful property and three days of music." Festival attendee Nicole Bain concurred by saying "The vibe was great, the people were kind as can be and I really felt like I was at home."
Plans are now underway for the third annual Catskill Chill to take place September 2012. A lineup announcement is tentatively scheduled for April.
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