Silver Cloud Campout 6.9 & 6.10.17

Silver Cloud Campout
Haugan, MT

Words & Photos by Brad Hodge

In only its fourth year since inception, the family farm gathering known as Silver Cloud Campout has grown up to be a full fledged music festival. In Montana we like things comfortable and friendly, so it should come as no surprise that our up and coming premiere music festival is held on a family farm, the beer tent writes your name on your beer cup and dogs are allowed to roam the grounds of the festival at will. I mean if there wasn’t a music festival happening, there certainly would be some critters roaming these beautiful grounds. The site is nestled in the mountains of western Montana, nearing the border of Idaho. There is no shortage of hiking, biking, river floating and fly fishing to be done in the down time from a stellar music line up.

The music line up showcased an array of local talent ranging from the Black Keys-esque duo of The Rotgut Whines to the funky horn driven jams of Shakewell. However, in the fourth year of booking this party, the headliners moved toward national touring acts. Day one brought a headlining set from New Orleans’ Dumpstaphunk and late night set by Montana heroes of the bluegrass world, Kitchen Dwellers. Both the Dwellers and Dumpstaphunk delivered amazing sets as a very stoked crowd danced away the evening under what was most certainly a gorgeous full moon engulfed by the festival namesake’s Silver Cloud. No doubt providing one of the summer’s best Friday nights yet.

Saturday was filled with sunshine, lots of socializing and another day of great music. I took advantage of being close to Silver Mountain’s Bike Park (the Pacific Northwest/Northern Rockies favorite bike park) all day, and jumped back into the music action with the early evening show from the Shook Twins. This powerful ensemble delivered one of my favorite sets of the weekend. They were followed by Colorado’s season pros Whitewater Ramble for a delightful set.

The Infamous Stringdusters have a history of delivering the goods in Montana and the evenings two set headlining performance lived up to the expectations. At one point Jeremy Garrett addressed the audience to let us all know that being here was as much a treat for them as it was for us. Before he and other members of the band showed off their Wilma/Top Hat t-shirts that were tucked away under winter coats (the night got chilly and lots of dancing was required for warmth). Late night saw one more act. Spafford is a band many in attendance had heard good things about, however most had never seen them. If they wanted to impress the newly obtained audience they certainly accomplished that. Well in to the early morning hours they delivered phenomenal grooves and kept the party moving. Around 3:30 when the music finally stopped parties began to huddle around fire barrels throughout the campgrounds, as laughter and socializing took most on thru to the sunrise. Well-played Silver Cloud Campout! No doubt we will see you again next year.

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