Pasture Palooza Review 2015
July 30-Aug 2, 2015, Berryville, VA
written by Caiti Deane
photos by Roger Gupta
Driving up to the venue, you can see where this wonderful Summer festival gets its name- it is a property surrounded by trees and woodland, with a spread of inviting green grass in the center- a space perfect for dancing your heart out at this intimate event. If you are looking for a superb time with great folks at a well-organized grassroots festival, you absolutely must mark down Pasture Palooza for next year!
Everything about Pasture Palooza 6 was on-point. From the moment you entered the property, you were assisted with directions, parking, programs, as well as any additional questions you may have. The staff was really well informed which made it stress free for an attendee. I decided to set up camp by my car along a tree-line at the edge of the property, but there was ample opportunity for camping spots that catered to personal preference. This could mean in the woods for those looking to escape August’s heat, or for those seeking a closer set up to the music, there was pasture space behind the vendors. However- you could be anywhere in the venue and have your destination relatively close by- any place you needed to be was less than a few minutes’ walk away- which was awesome compared to some of the longer treks I have had to make to and from camp at larger festivals this season.
Pasture Palooza is an annual festival, and it is now in its sixth year! However, they decided to remain a small festival capping the ticket sales at just one thousand- giving the attendees the chance to see names like Tipper, Kung Fu, and The Mantras in a much smaller crowd.
Friday was a hot one, but a good day for sure! Acts like Threesound, The Shack Band, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, and Kung Fu performed for the people of the festival. The Shack band played a cover of “Bittersweet Symphony” that stole my heart and became a particularly memorable moment a long and sunny Friday. It was my first time really sitting down and intently listening to many of the performers as I tried to stay sitting in the shade to avoid the heat, but it offered a new and more attentive experience listening to the music.
Conveniently located next to the main stages, the art gallery at Pasture Palooza was host to several incredibly talented artists. The walls were filled with masterpieces taking you on a visual journey- everyone’s unique style worked wonderfully together- the art gallery was surely a spot at the Palooza you could lose a lot of time, captivated by all of the pieces. One viewer remarked to me that she especially loved the art gallery because it introduced her to so many different styles. “Just when you think you know what type of artwork you’re into, another artist unfolds and your mind expands a bit more!”
The artists worked relentlessly throughout the duration of the event, even in the hottest hours of the day painters could be spotted out in front of the stage working on their latest piece, heroically dedicated to putting mental imagery to canvas.
Saturday was a bit cooler than the previous days, a light breeze blew gently over the pasture providing a delightful burst of coolness every so often. Saturday’s acts included Greg & Candice, Dale & the ZDubs, Reckless Island, Major & the Monbacks, The Fritz, The Heavy Pets, The Mantras, and Tipper. The day had had one great performance after another. Dale and the Zdubs, a self described reggae rock band, had a set that was fast paced and super danceable, drawing out a pretty good crowd despite the midday heat! I particularly enjoyed their set for their ability to keep things high energy. Reckless Island played a cover of “Fire on the Mountain”, they were also super fun and kept attendees out in the open, dancing and head-bobbing to their tunes. The Fritz provided the festival with another exciting set, their music was joyful with a little funk thrown into their sound. As the chill of the night set in the performances heated up! The Mantras played an awesome set- they have a style of music that I would describe as adventurous. I love their stage presence and they know how to keep a crowd grooving. Everyone at the festival was excited to see them play! Tipper was the headlining act for Saturday. His music was definitely a change of pace from the preceding acts, but it was stupendous! I danced my heart out- alongside everyone else in the biggest crowd at the event.
The fireside stage was one of the most magical spots on the property, after main stage music had shut down for the night, attendees made their way over to the fireside stage to enjoy some late night tunes. The fire was encircled by campers looking to keep warm and dance to the singer’s songs. A renegade set was even composed of musical souls who wanted to keep the music going after the Hackensaw Boys had finished their act.
Sunday still had music in the air as campers packed up their belongings. I made my way over to the hillside stage to listen awhile. It was a little stage with a pretty big sound. Dalton Dash eased into Sunday with a tranquil set. People and pups alike lounged on the hillside in the shade of the woods, enjoying the music and reflecting on the weekend.
Pasture Palooza had everything going for it, a great little venue, an awesome lineup, delicious food, cool vendors, a warm and happy crowd, and good organization. I had a stellar time every minute I was at the event. If you are seeking some truly special moments, make the next Pasture Palooza a priority on your festival lineup!