The final day of last weekend’s three-day Truck America Festival, held at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian may have been light in people, but it was loaded with spirit.
As a member of the Albany-based Tern Rounders, I felt very fortunate to have been invited to be one of the three Capital Region bands (along with We Are Jeneric and Sgt. Dunbar & the Hobo Banned) to participate in the festival – fortunate and a bit nervous too, not knowing what to expect from playing at a brand new music festival. Regardless, last Sunday couldn’t have been a better day for a drive down to the Catskills, with the sun beaming a summer preview.
We were anxiously anticipating what we would find there. Hundreds of people? Big amphitheater stages? Crowds so big they ran out of food?
Well, not quite. The inaugural Truck America Festival, put on by a group of British music lovers that have hosted a successful festival in the U.K. for 13 years, probably needs a few more years to take roots and blossom America-style.
The music was offered in two separate venues with a perfectly timed schedule that allowed listeners to move from one stage to the next without missing any band entirely. The Main Stage was under a large airy outdoor tent decorated with large round paper lanterns. The Roadhouse Stage was at the far end of a long, narrow, cabin-like room with high arched ceiling and great acoustics. Both settings offered their own unique environment but were a size that still allowed for very intimate listening experiences.
The remaining festival grounds allowed for playing Frisbee on an expansive lawn, swimming, camping or just walking about a scenic valley setting in the Catskills. Festival-goers were also offered short films such as “How to Fold a Flag” and various workshops (yoga, knitting, weaving, costume making) throughout the weekend.
Tern Rounders played a 30-minute, mid-afternoon set in the Roadhouse, which was attended by about a dozen people. But, despite the low turnout (which festival organizers swear was due to people still sleeping in their tents after staying up until 4am the previous night), those that were there were real music listeners. The handful of folks in the crowd listened intently and really appreciated what we had to offer. This audience lived and breathed music in their souls. So, that was truly special.
And…. festival attendees included Michael Lang, founder of the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Festival. I take that as a very good sign for the 2nd annual Truck America Festival. Don’t you?
Review and photographs by Kim Noyes