Photographs by Timothy Reidy
The sprawling, 100-plus-acre sculpture park of Salem Art Works is pretty much worth the price of admission all by itself, but once a year, the SAW folks throw a big rock & roll bash with a mix of Local 518 faves and regional headliners from beyond the area code.
The seventh annual SAWFest took place earlier this month, co-sponsored by WEQX-FM and LARAC. It’s a bit off the beaten path, and let’s face it, you may have missed it simply because the weekend was super-saturated with outdoor music fests – the Grey Fox Bluegrass Fest, Bellstock, the Green River Fest, the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest, the Americanarama Festival of Music and the Rosendale Street Festival, to name a few.
But the bash was a gas, offering a diverse musical mix that was headlined by Maine’s veteran rockers the Rustic Overtones, who were in a partying mood as they celebrated their 20th anniversary. Add stellar sets from the Hudson Valley’s Elijah & the Moon, Boston’s Ballroom Thieves and Saratoga’s own Wild Adriatic – as well as free overnight camping – and you had pretty damn close to an ideal summer evening under the stars.