Athol Daily News – ‘Everybody has a rhythm’: ‘Great listeners’ validate performers and their music

Harmony Cardenas

GREENFIELD — Longtime festivalgoers and first-time attendees alike danced and lounged jointly at the 3-day Inexperienced River Festival, now in its 35th year.

“The Eco-friendly River audio competition has the local community rediscovering alone each individual calendar year,” reported Whately resident Tony Vacca, longtime festival attendee and previously a highlighted performer.

While some return for the community, several festivalgoers go to for the “spectacular audio,” Vacca claimed. The event attracts attendees from throughout the Northeast and outside of.


Lake Street Dive was the headliner on Saturday, but there have been 18 other bands that listeners loved through the hot working day.

“Lake Street Dive is my favored band,” said Chi Lin, who traveled to Greenfield from Haverhill for the festival.

Lin and other festivalgoers received a mass textual content from organizers alerting them that Lake Street Dive would carry out an intimate acoustic pop-up established at the festival’s surprise phase at East Branch Studio.

The band executed acoustic versions of three music. The musicians played on a melodica, tambourine, guitar and an upright bass when singing into 1 microphone.

“I love this festival,” Rachael Price, Lake Road Dive’s direct singer, explained in an interview next the pop-up functionality. “I feel at household in this spot. It is been a whilst considering the fact that we performed in this article. It’s superior to be back again.”

Musicians all over the weekend emphasized a sensation of belonging, and the extent of crowd assistance at the Inexperienced River Competition.

For case in point, pursuing a established by singer-songwriter Katie Pruitt, who lives in Nashville, five LGBTQ young adults swarmed to meet her. Pruitt, who produced her title in the new music business with her 2020 album “Expectations,” generally tells tales in her songs of her encounter as a lesbian, and her music’s themes stand out for lots of more youthful listeners.

“I went to a large amount of festivals as a kid, but there have been often lacking storylines,” she explained. “I am giving youthful queer people today electrical power. I hope they truly feel observed and represented from my effectiveness.”

Pruitt claimed she felt comfy sharing these storylines with her audience at the Inexperienced River Pageant.

“Sometimes when I sing about my queerness, it doesn’t always really feel safe,” she continued. “As shortly as I arrived out on stage, it was rapid — I understood these had been my individuals.”

Equally, Amy Alvey of Golden Shoals famous in an interview that she has considered a good deal about performing alongside guys considering that the U.S. Supreme Court’s determination on Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade, the scenario that regarded a constitutional correct to abortion. She said it “has often been a boy’s club in this tunes scene.”

“They are terrific listeners and are conscious of using up room,” Alvey said, “but they will never recognize what I go by way of.”

The Green River Festival’s audience, she reported, confirmed her how a lot the performers’ songs is appreciated.

“It was validating to play in a place like this,” Alvey discussed. “Music has been so undervalued. Individuals are inundated with music, and everyone is supplying it away for absolutely free. Participating in at this competition reveals that persons nonetheless treatment.”

Still other musicians spoke to the competition permitting them to bring their new music to a larger sized phase. Northampton punk band Prune was the previous act to perform at the Artifact Cider Stage on Saturday, with guitarist Izzy Hagerup stating the Inexperienced River Competition marked the band’s biggest functionality nonetheless.

“The competition permitted me to truly feel like a rock star,” Hagerup stated. “People who would in no way appear see us acquired to see our clearly show and beloved our music.”

Art activities

The Art Garden, a competition staple normally primarily based in Shelburne Falls, reprised its volunteer-fueled intergenerational craftmaking occasion in the shade of a barn and tent.

In accordance to administrators Jane Beatrice Wegscheider and Laura Iveson, around 35 volunteers set up a total “menu of activities” for festivalgoers of all ages to delight in. The selection of combined media arts and crafts stations existing provided woolworking, crown-making and painting.

“We see a large amount of people consider resources and use them for matters we’ve by no means really listened to of and we’re all for that,” Iveson claimed.

A person occasion included kids earning two-dimensional animals out of cardboard. The selection of bugs, chickens, fish and horses was then paraded all over the park at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, with the band Cha Wa adhering to powering them.

“It’s a great mixture of the arts,” Iveson mentioned of obtaining the Artwork Backyard in tandem with a audio competition.

Wegscheider has observed that “some people will spend their total time” at the festival taking part in Artwork Backyard garden functions. Some others, she claimed, have held on to former festivals’ crafts for decades in their homes.

“We’re a entire neighborhood with every single other,” Wegscheider reported. “We’re impressed by each other.”

Lined up along with an array of other craft and seller tents, Pittsfield-based mostly Daisy Stone Studio also prided them selves in how they married their creations with Eco-friendly River Fest. The studio offered hand-woven flower crowns for attendees, coherent with what one might imagine when imagining the environment of a large out of doors tunes competition.

“When an individual comes to the booth, it is just magical,” founder Susie Hanna claimed. “They put the crown on and they just mild up. We’re giving them a gift, but they are supplying us a gift as effectively.”

Like the Artwork Garden’s guests, patrons of Daisy Stone Studio sometimes cherish their items lengthy-phrase, Hanna said.

“Some folks save their crowns year-round,” she said, owning observed “familiar faces” return and voice their appreciation. “It’s incredibly heartwarming.”

Hanna has even noticed her creations on-stage at the festival.

“Sometimes, musicians have on the crown on stage, which is truly awesome,” Hanna.

Perhaps the most grand exhibit of visible artwork resided within just the Fairgrounds’ roundhouse, which organizer Dawn Barrett remodeled into an art gallery. She curated functions from previous purchasers, close friends and household to turn a room that was in “really rough” problem into a ideal environment to get pleasure from art and regionally-sourced refreshments as part of the festival’s VIP lounge.

“I think it is historic,” she stated of the roundhouse, appreciative in spite of the “layer of dust” she was to begin with satisfied with. “I feel it’s fantastic. I want to see it applied more usually.”

Closing ideas

Michael Nelson, president of the Franklin County Agricultural Modern society that manages the fairgrounds, stated Sunday afternoon that attendees’ enthusiasm to enjoy themselves even with 90-degree temperatures has aided cultivate “a genuinely fantastic surroundings to be in.” Now in its second calendar year remaining held at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, he said, the Eco-friendly River Pageant has thrived in the new venue and “everybody has a rhythm.”

“It was a very good initial occasion and this one’s demonstrated to be even far better than at any time,” Nelson explained.

As the 2022 Green River Pageant concludes, Nelson appears to be like ahead to continuing the tradition at the Fairgrounds heading forward.

“I hope this is a begin of lots of decades to arrive due to the fact they’re these types of pleasurable and these types of fantastic persons,” he stated of the festival staff.

Make contact with Bella Levavi at [email protected] or 413-930-4579. Attain Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or [email protected].

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