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It's Almost Time for Disc Jam 2018! - UPDATED WITH SCHEDULE!

5/8 - UPDATE!!! THE SCHEDULE IS AVAILABLE! (see the bottom of this post!)

I can't begin to explain how much I am eagerly awaiting Disc Jam this year.

When I found myself really, truly delving into the jam scene, it was for a lot of reasons. I was exploring music I already had a deep love for, I was exploring bands that my husband admired and helped to shape him, I was branching out in my music tastes out of my own curiosity about what I was missing, I was seeking a far more detailed understanding of the players who could go beyond a simple song and instead weave a whole story on the spot, but mostly I was seeking something much deeper for myself. I was seeking a peace that I desperately needed and just wasn't finding anywhere. 

I have always felt deeply connected to the music that I loved and while I have been writing about music for 8 years, I lost much of the connection that I used to feel. My love for the music remains strong, but as stupid as it feels to put this in words - I didn't feel the love come back to me. When I started to look deeper and explore what else was out there that could do that thing where it reaches deep into your soul and makes your hair stand up on your arms, I found myself here. The thing is that I didn't realize I was here. Not until that first real festival experience. That was Disc Jam, last year.

Mind you, I have been to festivals, but I never did the whole weekend, camp, meet people and share food and life and nature, and really get into the experience. I honestly thought I would hate it and scoffed at it for a long time. I'm not really that "outdoorsy" - or so I thought. I'm severely allergic to mosquitoes, terrified of spiders, I don't like my body enough to wear summery clothes in the hot sun, and the thought of sleeping in a tent brought me nightmares of back when I was a girl scout. However, I wanted to do it. I wanted to experience it, and then I wanted to write about it. Disc Jam gave me that opportunity, and it changed my life. At least - it changed a lot of my perceptions of life.

The festival showed me that the "festival family" atmosphere was a real thing. That yes, I was going to sit and share food and conversation with people I never met who would feel like best friends the day we left. That experience is real. It actually happens. I don't know how, but there is some sort of magic in the air when music and peaceful people align. They also showed me how flawlessly a festival can be pulled off. I have paid a lot of money to go to big arenas and seen huge name concerts who could not get their shit together anywhere near as well as the Disc Jam folks did. I am not exaggerating. I was and remain incredibly impressed with the professionalism while still remaining casual and effortless.

All my rambling aside now - lets get to the good stuff. The 8th annual Disc Jam Festival is happening, and we will be there to bring you all the good stuff as it happens. We have been playing around with Facebook live lately in preparation for this festival, and we have some plans to send you some videos from the A Perfect Mess press compound this year. I am not revealing too much, but keep your eyes here and our social media platforms for details!

Let's get down to what's in store this year:

The musical lineup this year is nothing short of stellar with the likes of Kung Fu, Galactic, The Motet, Lotus, Beats Antique, Moon Hooch, Aqueus, Ghost Light, The Nth Power, Consider the Source, West End Blend, Space Bacon, Electron (featuring members of JRAD, Lotus, and the Disco Biscuits), not to mention we get every member of Twiddle NOT being Twiddle, most of the members of Dopapod not being Dopapod, and a few members of the Disco Biscuits doing their own thing as well.  I mean, there are over 100 musical artists this year. The music never actually has to stop. That is incredible! I was not sure last year could be topped, but with this was. It's amazing to me that a festival with this kind of line-up still manages to maintain that small festival feel.

I am patiently (not really) awaiting the schedule. I never in my life before Disc Jam spent so much time anticipating a schedule of acts at a festival being released, but now I find myself staring at my e-mail waiting for the update. These folks do it right. There are three sets of stages at the festival with a little something for everyone. The music never actually stops here. It never stops! There is always something happening a short walk away from wherever you are, and usually a friendly face to walk with you. The main stage is actually two side-by-side stages which switch back and forth seamlessly so the you never really have to stop with your own personal get-down.

The Tent Stage this year is set to be the place to be. I am referring to all this chatter about some insane acoustic jams that are to be taking place there. What am I talking about? Thursday night is to be some amazing sounds from Dopapod’s Rob Compa and Aqueus’s Mike Gantzer doing their acoustic grooves. Two of the scenes most noted guitarists, coming together to do what they do? Sign me up. That’s not all. Sit tight for all four members of Twiddle doing independent and jointed projects late into the night as well. Brook Jordan and Ryan Dempsey will be doing rare solo sets, and Gubbulidis with Mihali and Gubb will be doing their take on those tunes we know. But let's be real here. This is all four members of Twiddle in one place. Can we take bets on what will happen? I can't even begin to describe how excited I am for this. Twiddle is the band that pulled me, kicking and screaming, into the jam scene. This is getting to watch them probably pull some crazy improv.

Friday night at the Tent Stage is set to be just as crazy with DJ Logic and Friends – those friends including two members of Dopapod, five members of Turkuaz, and two members of The Disco Biscuits – take over with some equally crazy jams and a much talked about rare acoustic Jon “The Barber” Gutwillig performance. This is getting a LOT of talk on all the jam forums. Now, I am a huge Dopapod fan and Twiddle - well, I just told you about that. I can't get enough Turkuaz. BUT, I am not really familiar with The Disco Biscuits. Still,  I am looking forward to checking out what is going on and you know I will give a full report. The one thing I can say so far is EVERYONE is talking...! Lots and lots and LOTS of chatter! That buzz is really fun!

Then there is the Woods Stage. This is your late night dance spot! There is set to be a takeover every night by some of the East Coasts hottest promoters doing some crazy themed electronic dance sets, keeping that blood flowing and that body moving until the sun comes up. Rezinate, NV Concepts, and Sermon will be on hand to get the work done. It doesn't end there though, as there is a nightly Silent Disco hosted by The Wook of Wallstreet to bring you right into the daylight. Strap on those headsets and shake that groove thing! I never experienced a silent disco until about four years ago when I went to a small festival called Hulavom not far from where I live in NJ. My husband was playing and after his set, they set up for the silent disco and I was seriously like "Whaaaaaaaat is this?!" People are all dancing and wearing headsets. They are having the best time ever, and I have NO IDEA what they are listening to. This is crazy! Naturally, I have to try it now.

The Disc Jam Flow Tribe will be on hand as always to bring you the best in hoopers, freestyle dancers, fire artists, acro yogis, and more! In addition to their enhancement of all the musical stylings with their dance and movements, they will be hosting workshops as well and I am honestly thinking about taking them up on one. I am fascinated watching these folks move! There will also be morning yoga which I will absolutely be there for. I work three jobs. This body needs some yoga love in a big, bad way.

Speaking of morning, I think my favorite aspect of Disc Jam is the morning wake-up sets from Bearly Dead. There is something about sitting and having coffee on this absolutely gorgeous farmland while the sounds of the Grateful Dead drift across the fields. It's something I am really, really looking forward to this year! 

Before I send you all on your merry way to get your tickets to Disc Jam 2018, let's talk real quick about doing something good while you are there to get your groove on. There is an amazing organization called Strangers Helping Strangers that will be in attendance this year. When you come to the festival this year, how about bringing a few things to make a world of difference in someone’s lives? This group has made it a mission since 1997 to bring necessities and food to the areas that concerts and festivals come to set up. The will be on hand at Disc Jam collecting on behalf of the Stephentown Emergency Food Pantry. They are collecting non-perishable food and toiletry items. When you are packing up your camping gear and coolers this year, please think about grabbing a few extra items at the store for these incredible folks to bring to those in need in the Stephentown community. Small acts of kindness make a huge difference.

That is why we all get together at festivals, isn’t it? We want to come together in friendship and a love of music and beauty to remember what this life is all about - Being kind to one another, giving back to our environment, and dancing until we can’t dance anymore! I know that is my plan. Will it be yours? I hope to see you at Disc Jam!



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