We spoke with a number of artists who performed at this year’s Catskill Chill Music Festival to hear what they had to say about the festival and their experience firsthand. We asked the artists what their favorite part of the festival was, a highlight from their set, what band they enjoyed watching and what the Catskill Chill means to them. Check it out!
Catskill Chill has quickly become one of the best events in the Northeast if not the entire country. It balances the line of intimate and influential with an emphasis on the patrons and artists equally. I didn’t get to catch a lot of other bands because we had other shows that weekend, but from what I saw, the Meter Men were really great. My favorite moment of our set was playing Papadosio’s ‘Find Your Cloud’. I’ve always really loved how that song has basically 4 or 5 minutes of building energy before it finally peaks. As a band, Catskill Chill feels like something we’re a part of and feel truly connected with. We’ve played it three years in a row now, and the property is where we had our first festival set ever back in ‘08 I believe. Overall, It’s one of my favorite events to play all year and I hope to play it again and again.
Eli Winderman (Dopapod)
As cheesy as this may sound, Catskill Chill truly embodied the second word of the name. From the people who greeted us at artist check-in to all the smiling faces around the festival to the British bloke who shuttled us to the dining hall, everything and everyone was really chill! The hang in the artist greenroom house was really great and welcoming. There really was a sense of community between the artists that you don’t find at many festivals. I’m also a sucker for festivals that take place at summer camps since I was a camper and counselor at one such camp for five years, so that made the festival extra special for me!
For me, the favorite part of our set was when I started singing the opening lyrics to our original song, ‘It’s Hard.’ It’s a slower, bluesy type of song that’s a sharp departure from the rest of our set stylistically and tempo-wise. I loved watching the crowd, who was amped up to see a crazy funk rock show, get pleasantly surprised to see us do a slow, soulful song but still bring the same energy and fire to it. Actually, scratch that. My favorite part of the set was at the end of our rendition of The Band’s ‘The Shape I’m In’ when we all start jumping up and down together as a band after Craig’s soaring guitar solo. Getting the already-crazed crowd to jump up and down with us and seeing the joy on their faces was really something else.
I really dug Sister Sparrow’s set. Arleigh is such an explosive performer and I loved watching her and her brother rock out. His harmonica solo at the end of their set (when he brought us all to church) was absolutely amazing. I can’t wait for Turkuaz to open for them at Irving Plaza 11/22!
Catskill Chill was one of the most important gigs we’ve had this summer. At every single show and festival we’ve played since then, at least a handful of people have showed up who saw us at the Chill and needed to see us again. The love we felt that night continues to radiate on us from all the amazing Chillers who continue to come rock with us. I think I can speak for the whole band when I say that we definitely look forward to returning to Catskill Chill next year.
Josh Schwartz (Turkuaz)
The reason I believe the Catskill Chill is so unique is it’s location and layout. Many festivals of the same size are limited in space, which means that often times when one band is playing, another band is setting up and sound checking right next to them. While this kind of thinking keeps audiences in the same spot, it also means that bands are doing their setup and sound checks in front of an audience, which I really don’t think is ideal for both performers, the audience and the overall showmanship of any event. Catskill chill is great from a performers perspective because all the stages are isolated from one another, giving the bands a very relaxed setup and sound check. In addition, the performance times are staggered just right so that it makes people explore the grounds, meet more people and put themselves into the action a lot more than any event of the similar size. It is a true gem.
Ben Combe (Particle)
I think the festival is awesome the past two years I’ve been lucky enough to play it. Great setup, stages, staff, bands, and such a cool vibe pervades throughout. My favorite part of KF was our friends joining us to jam on percussion. Plus the crowd was pumping and keeping us up at 2:30 in the morning. Favorite part of Z3 was everyone singing Titties and Beer. I didn’t get to see too much, but Lettuce blows me away every time. The Catksill Chill means its time to chill with all my friends and fans!
Tim Palmieri (Kung Fu/The Z3)
The Chill is one of my favorite festivals ever! Dave, Larry, & Josh are old friends & absolutely throw one of the most comfortable, & together festivals out there! They book great bands, & make it the way they wanted festivals to be when they’re actually attending one!
My favorite part of our set was during one of the stories Al tells during the segue between tunes. Pretty sure it was after the 1st tune & Al said “how y’all feelin?” Then they turned up the house lights & I was blown away how many smiling faces there were! There’s nothing like playing to a few thousand smiling faces!
The Z3 kinda blew my mind! I’ve definitely been digging Zappa a lot lately & Tim Palmieri is one of the baddest guitar players out there right now! I always love seeing Beau play, & Bill was straight up killin! All good friends, who meant business & brought the funk out in Zappa music! Those cats were really amazing!
For me personally, it’s a very cosmic thing. I went to summer camp there as a kid & actually started playing guitar there! So, it just feels like a full circle thing to go back to where it all began for me w/ a band like the Alan Evans Trio! It’s really an awesome feeling!
Danny Mayer (Alan Evans Trio)
It was a cool and unique place to have a festival. Wish I could have went to summer camp there when I was a kid. My favorite part of our set was jamming with George Porter. I really enjoyed seeing The Meter Men. It was cool to be at a site that was set up to promote music and theater for kids. You could feel the history.
Ben Ellman (Galactic)
It was an incredible festival! The best one we’ve been to no doubt! The band lineup and vibe was amazing! It was a very cool setup, and location was great! Probably the best set I got to see was lettuce! They were killing! Also the Meter Men and Dopapods set was unreal! It was such an honor to sit in with legends from the original meters and Phish!
Bobby Paltauf (14-year-old guitar prodigy)
It is clear that the Catskill Chill is not just special for the the fans, but the musicians alike. It is loved by everyone and something many bands look forward to every year. We can’t wait to return next year for another amazing time at the Catskill Chill. Thanks to everyone involved in making this year and success and we will see you in September. #AllLoveAllTheTime
Check out our review of the Catskill Chill Festival here.