So who the hell is hungry for some jam?!
I’m not talking about blueberry or raspberry jam. Oh no. I’m talking about MOUNTAIN JAM! There are two important ingredients that make the greatest music festivals: a badass blend of music and an epic backdrop. And the Mountain Jam music festival has brought its fans just that. New York is certainly no stranger to rip-roaring music festivals resonating loudly and proudly throughout the Hudson Valley; does a better natural amphitheater even exist?
HOWEVER, Hunter Mountain has just released a statement on Facebook that the now three-day Mountain Jam festival will not be returning to its slopes this summer. This provocative announcement has left many followers wondering, “What happens next?”
When Mountain Jam made its first debut in 2005 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Radio Woodstock it drew a crowd of three thousand people. The initial one-day event left the people asking for more, so legendary musician Warren Haynes (The Allman Brothers) and Gary Chetkof (President/Owner of Radio Woodstock) answered their calls and made the executive decision to host the event annually.
Erected against the silhouette of the Catskill mountains, Mountain Jam’s enormous summer stages have hosted the hottest names in music. For the past 14 years, fans and friends of the festival have gathered at Hunter Mountain to move and groove to the smooth sounds of performers like The Allman Brothers, Dispatch, Tom Petty, The Steve Miller Band, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Phil Lesh & Bob Weir (just to name a few). Even Rip Van Winkle couldn’t sleep through this one.
There has been a lot of speculation regarding the relocation of Mountain Jam. While the festival is legendary in nature and was universally loved at a time, the past few years have seen some major changes. Concert-goers in 2018 had to think twice before sparking up their joints, with 28 people leaving in handcuffs. All but four were drug-related. (Saving the festival from those cold blooded Mary Jane killers.) Most fans have been upset with the changes made to the festival's roster, stating that the vibe has been moving from feel-good jam bands and alternative rockers to the generic mainstream headliners they see at every other music festival. The rest chalk it up to their new sponsor, Live Nation, taking over for Townsquare Media, which many hope will be bringing this event back to its original roots.