This 3rd-year in-the-making annual festival, started as a tribute to a lost son, benefiting mental health awareness. It has evolved into a fantastic camping/music festival.
This festival will be on my schedule next year.
Two alternating stages provided for almost continuous music, although that left you with only one option for music at a time. Hats off to Shannon Vetter, Petefest Music Director, for taking some bold bookings, namely The Rebirth Brass Band and GRLwood. Those groups, combined with a bunch of good Bluegrass bands, rounded out a great 3 days of music.
The weather gods performed well, delivering nearly perfect weather. There was plenty a camping space, and fairly flat areas. The venue was not far and cart drivers were constantly offering free rides, Free water and showers were readily available. A fire pit roared in the campground Saturday night.
The people, in one word, were HOSPITABLE. In caps because it was tangible. Every person, every volunteer, every vendor was so friendly. I felt like I knew half of the people by weekends end.
The Rebirth Brass Band delivered. I suspect less than a 10th of the crowd had ever seen them (or any New Orleans Brass Band) but the crowd dancing in front of that show dwarfed all other shows.
GRLwood. First sounds felt like nonsensical screaming Punk rock. I almost walked away. Fortunately, there were no options. Boy am I glad I stayed. The talent became clear. The brilliance shined. This duo (guitar/vocals and percussionist). They bill themselves as Two Kentucky-Fried Queerdo's, and had songs like "Bisexual", and "I hate My Mom". They introduced one song..."This song is about loving yourself. It's called Masterbation". They were openly angry bisexual women with a lot of well done screaming, and they were brilliant. What a show!
Marbin (Progressive jazz-rock) was a collective of brilliant musicians. Everette Benton Jr is a world-class percussionist - one of the finest.
Also of note: During the night shows, Cirquelouis performed trapese-esque shows next to the main stage. This visual beauty added to the already dreaming venue.
One more thing: The Pete Foundation is a community of vested individuals on a mission to empower today’s youth in their pursuit of a happy, mentally healthy life, free from the internal conflict and confusion brought on by depression and anxiety. Learn more here... https://www.thepetefoundation.org/