I truly love Catskill Chill music festival and everything about it! To get the most out of your experience at Camp Minglewood, one must fully let go and be free. Specifically, because for four days you will be out of contact with everyone you know who is not lucky enough to be at Catskill. In this area of New York there is absolutely no cell phone reception, so you must be prepared to be thrown off the grid for a weekend. Catskill Chill music festival occurs yearly towards the end of the festival season on the east coast, and is one of the largest September festivals. It has some of the most beautiful scenery, including a gorgeous lake, cabins, and great camp atmosphere.
Catskill Chill actually takes place on an over night camp ground not to far from where I used to go to camping as a kid. I was in a music cabin shack like thing at Catskill, relaxing, when I noticed in the cabin with me was the guitarist of Lettuce and some of his buddies. The guitarist then informed me that he learned to play his instrument in the very shack we were sitting in. He was a former camper at camp Minglewood. That was a magical moment. Many other artists that play Catskill every year also attended overnight camp there as a youth and mastered their instruments at this performing arts camp.
Along with all of the outstanding music, vending, and festy food, come some unique challenges. One challenge that must be kept in mind when packing for this amazing and fun festival is the fall season brings fall elements and weather. Up in Hancock, New York the weather is bi-polar. If you decide to go to Catskill make sure you’re prepared for heavy rain and winds by bringing a tarp, and something heavy to hold your tent down. Also bring a raincoat and a positive attitude regardless of what the weather may bring. If you prefer to not dance in wet shoes and socks like I did, boots are a necessity. Rubber rain boots will prevent your socks from soaking. There were many hazards that we all encountered throughout the weekend due to a combination of domino style fallen port-potties, hail storms, and raging winds that ripped some small camp sites apart. Apparently these storms were not new to Catskill Chill and the festival endured a storm every year at least once during the weekend. It only makes sense that during the beginning of September, storms are prevalent on the east coast, it is after all hurricane season. Pack for this!
Catskill’s lineups, and every single headliner threw down at the festival and was completely epic. A young band known as “Pigeons Playing Ping Pong” threw down like some old professional musicians. In the past at “Stirfry
Music Revival” a weekend before Catskill I watched Pigeons cover You Enjoy My Self. That was not the only cover Pigeons did but it was my favorite. Another thing I love about “ Pigeons Playing Ping Pong” is not only do they kill it covering our favorite music as a younger generation of the jam scene, they also definitely get into some electro dance jazztronica fusion in there jams, similar to the Disco Biscuits, which young dancing audiences can never get enough of.
This summer Catskill had Lettuce perform once again, as well as Soul Live. Break science destroyed it, of course, as expected. The Heavy Pets had an amazing set and filled with funky rhythms. I have to say being a Philadelphia music fan and loving the Disco Biscuits, I was confused to see every member of the Disco Biscuits playing on stage at different times, and yet no Disco Biscuit headliner. For example the drummer of the Biscuits, Allen, played first night as “Dr. Fameus” and killed it sweating his face off, while Conspirator played on the second to last night with keyboardist Aaron Magner and Bassist Marc Brownstien. Even the guitarist of the Disco Biscuits, Barber, or Jon Gutwillig was there playing the closing act of the festival with his super group “Kick Rocks” this group has only performed live once before Catskill and that was at Camp Bisco.
Catskill Chill is a music festival I will never forget. I know my time there would have been a lot more fun had I come more prepared, however now I know, and at least I survived. I know for a fact I will return to Catskill Chill
for years to come. I am certainly in love with that entire camp ground. Anyone who hasn’t given this fest a try should go completely prepared and see how amazing it can truly be. I guarantee you will be hooked.!
Yay Catskill Chill!