Written by: Amy Renner
Photography by: Filip Zalewski
People from far away states and Burlington locals gathered at Waterfront Park this past weekend for Twiddle’s Tumble Down Music Festival, and as promised, there was top tier music and fun to be had! The sun was bright as people danced the weekend away to Vermont’s home grown jam band, and as a first timer at a Twiddle show, I was blown away.
The weekend was kicked off early starting Thursday night with Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band at Waterfront Park. The show opened with Uncle John’s Band, and the crowd was spinning joyfully with the sun setting behind their backs. With Phil Lesh on bass, Grahame Lesh and Ross James on guitar, Alex Koford on drums, and Jason Crosby on keys, a night of Grateful Dead music was the perfect way to pregame. And once you get on the bus, it’s hard to get off so, many fans found themselves at Club Metronome, which is upstairs at the infamous Nectar’s, after the show for Dead Set. The club was crowded with fans, filled with friendly energy, and plenty of continued Jerry Garcia influenced jams led by Vermont locals.
Friday delivered gorgeous weather, and despite a brief evacuation due to a storm coming in on the waterfront, the crowd remained upbeat and excited to get on with the grooves. The security was kind and there were vendors to suite all of your purchasing needs – whether it be delicious munchies, craft beer, artisan clothing, jewelry, or a general health need, there was a vendor there for everyone. Backstage was filled with fun times amongst the hardworking staff, publicists, and band members; the most fun, though, was had by the dogs who were living like royalty running around and getting plenty of attention from by passers like myself. Pappy and Friends got the evening going with their country pickin’ string quartet, and that vibe swayed us right into a dub-reggae set by Matisyahu. The sun finally set and we were told we had a surprise guest – Bernie Sanders! Bernie gave a short but powerful speech, and introduced “Vermont’s favorite band” Twiddle. The sounds of people applauding could likely be heard throughout the town as the park lit up surged by the hype of Bernie’s introduction, and eccentric jams. It was truly a delight to be immersed in the front row with Friends who were singing along with bliss in their eyes and love in their hearts.
Saturday was just as beautiful as Friday – there are no words for just how lovely the view of the sun glistening on Lake Champlain was the entire weekend. People crowded along the rocks taking in the view, sipping beer, and listening to music. Despite another weather evacuation, the crowd ceased to seem phased by it, as they patiently waited to get the show back on the road. The gates reopened, a rainbow appeared, and Brandon “Taz”, guitar prodigy, started rocking the side stage. It was a tasty appetizer that got us all ready for a fierce set by Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. These guys really know how to get a group of people dancing, and their enthusiasm on stage is undeniably transmitted onto the fans, with hips rocking and feet stomping. Twiddle closed out the festival with a set that reminded us why we came to Tumble Down – we came to see a band that evokes a feeling amongst their fans that is intangible. Twiddle seduced seasoned fans, and new comers like myself, with their one of a kind music style, varying in style from reggae, rock, jazz, and blues. I would absolutely be in attendance to a Twiddle festival again, especially at a venue as pristine and cherished as Waterfront Park.
View the full photo album here.