Written by Matt Way
Photography by Matt Way
I have personally covered Groverfest Music Festival for the last several years. It is one of my all-time favorites on the east coast and in North Carolina. Lots of love, caring, heart, sweat and tears have gone into this amazing festival over the last 12 years. It has different meanings to us all. Groverfest Music Festival is a one of a kind event that you just can’t find anywhere else.
Groverfest Music Festival 2018. Groverfest reached its 12th year this year! The two-day festival was nothing short of epic. Going to a festival with great musical acts from all over the east coast like: The Mantras, Duk-Tan, Coddle Creek, Tennesee Jed, Backyard Dirt, and JUJU GURU you just can’t go wrong. It’s easy to get lost in all the awesome sauce being dished out by each musical performance as well as the live art and crafts being set up by the vendors and live artist. It’s honestly all just magical. Even the workshops are interesting. By the time the gate opened people were filling the field anxious for the great music to come.
One of my favorite things to see every year is the various arts from all the different vendors and artist. The artist that stood out the most to me was Eric Wattine. His abstract style is one of a kind and it just is totally epic.
Another thing I love is the vendors. I am one myself but I love seeing the others. My favorite this year was Headless Buddha I love their wire wraps and just everything they put out. It’s ran by the amazing talented Hannah Frei &. My other favorite vendor was Corn Dog Dyes. The style Chuck Brine goes for is so different from most other tye dye artist. The designs on the front of your shirt are completely different from the designs in the back. He said, “I love to give someone something to look at as they are talking to you, but when you walk away I want them to see something completely different.” It shows in his one of a kind work.
Groverfest Music Festival host Travis Weddington of Duk-Tan, and Travis and Lauren Hedrick, have an amazing almost unstoppable team of people who help put this amazing event together. Even down to the stage lights from High Five Productions everything was amazing and professionally done. Groverfest had amazing sponsors as well. Scott Grether of Velvet Productions was among one of the many.
Libby Montgomery Back started things off amazingly. It was this young singer/guitar players first time performing. It is always nice seeing new talent come out and perform for the first time. Sometimes you just know they are going to get somewhere. Following Libby Montgomery was a great NC band out of the Charlotte area named Backyard Dirt. This 8-piece band does nothing short of blowing people away and totally set the tone for the rest of the festival.
Duk-Tan, Groverfest veterans had a very interesting performance the first night. It started with some really cool jams into a song named Jivus and led into an interesting improvised jam about their love for puppies. Not much time passed and the late-night stage was lit up with a super heady and personal Yesterday’s Gravy set, their first set in a year.
Saturday’s music was just as amazing as Friday. Great acts like Moose And Friends, Tennessee Jed, The Marcus Horth Band, and The Codiac Brotherhood played throughout the day among several other local and national acts and led to the late night headliners The Mantras, and Coddle Creek..
The Mantras set was one of the best of the weekend. They started off with great jams like Watersong, Paindrain, Knot suite and several others and several other amazing jams. Their version of Moonage Daydream was amazing. The transitions from song to song were almost seamless and flowed beautifully with one another. The people were in aw by the end of the night by the time the set ended everyone made their way to the late-night stage for Duk-Tan, and Coddle Creek.
Groverfest has and always will hold a special place with its attendees. One of the coolest aspects to this festival was being able to shoot with living legend and Grateful Dead photographer, Robbi Cohn. It was a rare and exciting experience to be able to work with a legend in the photography scene and an honor. Groverfest is a one of a kind event that leaves everyone wanting more. We can’t wait to be back for next year.