Catskill Chill

Lakewood, PA

September 23 – 26

by Miles Hurley


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The seventh annual Catskill Chill Music Fesitval, coming up soon on September 23 – 25, takes a new home in the lushly green grounds of Lakewood, Pennsylvania. While the move will be something for veteran attendees to test out in action, good-looking preview footage on the fest’s website gives some cool reassurance. 

Like previous years, though, the festival will be making use of pavilion facilities for its musical performances, and cabins available for renting for the weekend-and truly: a pre-standing infrastructure for these purposes really makes for a good festival vibe, from everything from acoustics to comfort.

On their performance stages, once again the Chill will host an unbelievable lineup of music. Mike Gordon, making his debut, has a group that is something of a wonder in itself, and recent tours have proven their cohesiveness as a unit. And last year, Lettuce threw down a big and powerful headlining set, so a return from them couldn’t be more appealing.

Across the board, Chill has everything covered, from some of the best livetronica (Break Science solo and live band, Goldfish, Electon), pure funk (George Clinton headlining, Deep Banana Blackout, The Nth Power, Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan), jamgrass (Greensky Bluegrass, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, Cabinet), and much more.

Also usually a huge thing here, but this year especially, ‘tribute’ is the name of the game: Triple tribute sensation Pink Talking Fish will be throwing in some Prince and Bowie, while Miles Davis will be getting funk treatment, and Michael Jackson some collaborative dance-jam treatment. On the rise band Lespecial will show you how well they rock Primus tunes, and Elise Testone will make Led Zeppelin her own. With some 80s throwback and of course some salute to the Dead, you’ve got with just this a one-of-a-kind weekend in the ready.  

But maybe the specialty sauce to Catskill Chill’s musical lineups has always been its numerous offerings of performance crossovers and sit-ins each year, resulting in countless gems of live musical magic.

It’s no surprise, due to how immaculate the Studio 54 late-night session turned out, that topping the collaborative list again are Dopapod and Turkuaz, this year getting down with a tribute set to yacht rock-as well as backing the one and only Roosevelt Collier! This is in addition to many of tribute sets, which will find their groove between members of different bands, and a joint-jam session between fest staples Particle and The Werks.

And that’s only the planned collaborating. Don’t be surprised either to have sets from your favorites on the lineup graced with the spontaneous presence of some old or new musical friends. 

If you’re part of what they refer to as the ChillFam, then you probably know-it’s not only the smorgasbord of mind-blowing music, but really a tangible, observable, and ultimately contagious, sense of shared creativity and community that makes this festival unarguably stand out against all other music events. Thought-engaging panel-type discussions, art and craft demonstrations and classes, strong, dedicated volunteership-take it from someone who only just recently learned themselves: it’s a beautiful thing to discover.

To Submit a review or story for consideration hit us at [email protected]

Check out the Live Music News and Facebook page for updates and announcements.