Silver Cloud Campout 6.8 & 6.9.16

The Homestead Events Park
Haugan, Montana

Words & photos by Brad Hodge

In this day and age of complete music festival saturation there are a handful of festivals you could chose from every weekend. Many are massive conglomerates of multi genre, mass marketing and fields full of people. These mega festivals are exciting, but seem to all play out with the same lineup, 4-8 stages to sort thru and more emphasis on the festivals overall profitability. However, there are still many family run, grass roots festivals all across the country that offer up a unique experience; this is where Silvercloud Campout enters.

This family run festival that happens on farmland nestled in the Silver Valley of western Montana offers up a music festival that plays out more like a family reunion. Dogs are free to roam the grounds, slack lines, fire pits and dream catchers fill the space in front of the stage. The food is sourced locally, as is the beer, liquor and many of the bands. It just so happens that the local bands this year included national touring acts like The Kitchen Dwellers and The Lil Smokies. Joined by friends and family like Leftover Salmon, Jelly Bread, Fruition (a repeat performer from years past), Dead Winter Carpenters and many more. As well, the not as well known locals like Dodgy Mountain Men, Cole and the Thorns put forth a great sets of music.

Throughout the day you could find the artists roaming the grounds, hanging out with friends, watching sets of music and greeting fans. This is the type of place where everyone feels comfortable, and the artists spend as much time out in the crowd as they do tucked away behind the fences of separation. There were sit ins like when Emily Clark jumped out of the audience to join Jelly Bread, and when Andy Dunnigan (The Lil Smokies dobro player) jumped in to mix it up with Leftover Salmon. Music went late with the Kitchen Dwellers playing on Friday night until after 3:00 AM and then the fields proceeded to ring out to sunrise with campsite pickin' parties.

If you wanted to fill your day with activities other than music, there is world class fly fishing, hot springs and one of the countries premiere bike parks within a 45 minute drive of the festival grounds. So you could easily pursue other passions and still make it back in time for the evening’s music lineup.

It really is hard to beat Montana in the summertime, and with the addition of great music festivals like Silvercloud Campout not sure you should even try. This event continues to grow, as this year they doubled their attendance from last year. Yet, no matter how far the word reaches of the festival it will always continue to be put on by a family of music lovers, on their farm and filled with people they consider friends. Which in my most humble of opinions is exactly how it should be.

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