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.
Crowds over ten thousand strong have brought millions of dollars in revenue to Greene County and surrounding areas; having a colossal economic impact, according to the Greene County Tourism Marketing Manager, Heather Bagshaw. So why after all these years is Mountain Jam not returning to Hunter Mountain? Are they becoming a Ghost-of-Festival-Past? Will they be returning this summer at all?
Fret not, friends, Mountain Jam will indefinitely be making its annual debut. While the new location of the festival has yet to be announced, here at Hudson Valley Happenings we’ll be sure to keep you informed on the news regarding the issue. We’re excited to see what Mountain Jam and the new owners have it store for us.
BREAKING NEWS - 02/6/2019 @ 12:30 p.m.
This just in, folks! Mountain Jam has partnered up with Live Nation and announced that their new venue will be in Bethel Woods! Sound familiar? That’s because it is. Bethel Woods is the “Taj Mahal” of music venues that hosted the legendary 1969 Woodstock music festival with over 400,000 people in attendance.
Mountain Jam founder Gary Chetkof has promised fans that the festival will return to its roots, responding to criticism that last years bands (like Alt-J and Jack Johnson) roster took a turn for the worse. Willie Nelson, Gov’t Mule, The Avett Brothers, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Amy Helm, Marco Benevento are said to be among the headliners this year! Jam band fans can finally take a sigh of relief knowing that this years lineup will NOT include the Black Eyed Peas, Nickelback, or Kanye West.
Tickets will be on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. at www.MountainJam.com. From the sounds of it, the integrity of the festival will be restored after learning much from the years past. You won’t want to miss it.
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