The Festival Season

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock (

It’s the middle of summer and that means the festival season is in full swing. Most fans save up and focus on one big festival adventure a year, then proceed to go all out. Festivals like Bonnaroo, Watkins Glen, and Electric Forrest have already come and gone but with the summer only half over there is still a lot on the docket. I’m finding that by looking a little deeper into the local scene there are lots of smaller events and local festivals that can be as fun as some of the regional and national musical celebrations.

For me this year's Summer Camp Music Festival was my big outing. Flying into to Chicago and heading down to central Illinois as the first ever Summer Camp Counselor was the early highlight of my summer. Now back in Colorado I have been spending my weekends at some great shows, but I am getting ready for some smaller local festival experiences to fill out the rest of my summer. One such event was the Pearl Street Jam festival which took place last weekend.

The Pearl Street Jam Festival featured a pretty full and diverse lineup. Taking place on Pearl St. in Denver the Jam Fest was essentially a well-run block party. Costing only five dollars to get in and boasting The Motet, Kyle Hollingsworth Band and Signal Path on the bill, it really was a great bang for the buck. Springdale Quartet, The Congress, and Kinetix rounded out PSJF giving everyone in attendance a solid snapshot of the Denver jam scene. Not to mention a huge bonanza of micro-brews that worked to benefit a tons of local charities.

Signal Path played their brand of organic untz in the rain to many a dancing wook. I found them to be okay but as some of you know I tend to avoid electronic music at all costs so this was not my favorite set. Springdale Quartet served up some serious rock and given the fact that they were a last minute replacement for the recently broken up Mountain Standard Time, they did well. The Congress played a solid set of music including a beautiful rendition of the Grateful Dead’s "They Love Each "infused with their own brand of rock flair.

Kyle Hollingsworth and his band (that included Garrett Sayers and Dave Watts) went all out on an amazing set of music that packed in the crowd. At this point there were about 8000 people on the street. In fact it was so full that the Stop Sign on the corner was literally shaking in amongst the audience. The Motet invited vocalists Kim Dawson, Damion Massey, and Ayo Awosika onstage. They seemed to give them an almost porno funk sound. The entire crowd was definitely dancing their respective asses off as they ended the night.

Stay tuned to MusicMarauders for a full breakdown of the Pearl Street Jam Festival including photos and video. Looking ahead I will be covering both Kyle’s Brew Fest and the Barkin’ Bluegrass Festival here in Fort Collins for MusicMaruaders. Kyle’s Brew Fest is in its second year and promises to be a huge celebration of all things beer. Having collaborated with Boulder Beer on a “festival pale ale” called Hoopla, Kyle has moved the fest from Great Divide up to Boulder.

Lastly, The Barkin’ Bluegrass Festival is one show where you can actually bring your dog. In fact it’s encouraged. I’ve never brought Bear (that’s my dog} to a show so I’m pumped for the festival! Keep checking back to MM for upcoming coverage and get yourself out to a local festival, you might end up surprised.


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