by Robert Bell
HARVEST MUSIC FESTIVAL
Noon. Mulberry Mountain. $74-$350.
Can one draw any conclusions about the nature of a festival's audience based on the FAQs listed on its website? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Either way, this tickled my funny bone: "NO illegal drugs, weapons, fireworks or NITROUS TANKS are allowed on the festival grounds. Violators will be ejected from the facility and subject to prosecution under local, state and federal laws. We're serious folks."
To be fair, the same admonition is listed on the website for Wakarusa, which is also hosted at Mulberry Mountain, so maybe it's just a holdover and doesn't apply to this festival as much as it would to, say, a Ween concert. But regardless, if typing in all-caps is the written equivalent of yelling, the message screams: "Dudes, NO NITROUS TANKS! OK? For seriously!"
Other things they had to yell include: NO PETS; NO GLASS; NO LASER POINTERS. Those are some solid recommendations, though. I know that if I was ripped on nitrous, a bong-smoking dog with a laser pointer would really freak me out.
Anyways, if you like your bluegrass with a heaping helping of jam-tastic noodling, The Harvest Music Festival is your ticket. Although given the gorgeous setting at Mulberry Mountain, it almost doesn't matter what kind of music you like. The Yonder Mountain String Band curates this annual event and plays Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Split Lip Rayfield and Railroad Earth play Thursday night, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones play Saturday night and dozens more bands play through Sunday night.