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Friday, August 17

Festival Preview: Jomeokee - Sept 14-16, 2012 - Pinnacle, NC

 Nestled in the desolation of the Jomeokee Campgrounds of Pinnacle, NC lies a natural amphitheater that has seen the likes of a series of climatic musical experiences throughout the years. The first of which was the widely recognized Smilefest back in 1996. Throughout the years, the festival saw many crystallized moments and highlights. One of which was the incredibly moving communal vibe brought forth by John Hartford’s passing back in 2001. Those who had attended his funeral (which was very close to the Jomeokee grounds) all headed to the festival afterward to catch David Grisman play a tribute for Hartford with Vassar Clements sitting in. Around 2004, Smilefest saw its finest year yet with YMSB at the top of the line-up. Amidst Dave and the boys bringing the heat, they were preceded in the same night by Burning Spear and Galactic, thus weaving a thread of newly found appreciation for the festival through the tapestry of a very, VERY pleased crowd. Other than this peak night, various other “2nd tier” bands played, such as Derek Trucks Band, Keller, and UM. All of which played sets that I still hear talked about today, specifically DTB, who, at the time, were providing some of the most eclectic improvisational music the festival had ever seen. 
 With a combination of blues, gospel, Indian classical, and funk, they entranced fans with a beautifully disciplined set that brought a new essence of music to the festival. In 2009, the sister festival of Smilefest, Head Jamz, was held in Adams, TN. The festival has always been very similar to Smilefest, providing similar music, activities, and sharing the same family-friendly environment. Now, as both festivals have reached a new fan base and appreciation, they have both joined together to bring to us the first annual Jomeokee Music and Arts Festival. As one could infer from the name, it will be held at Jomeokee Campgrounds, panning over the weekend of September 14th through the 16th. Providing an area for family camping and children, a plethora of activities, workshop stages with headlining musicians, a series of campfire jams and drum circles, and a breathtaking view of Pilot Mountain, Jomeokee is ensured to be a memory inscribed on the communal heart of the attendees who will be experiencing the spiritual fireworks of such a great milestone on the time-line of musical history.   
By: Tyler Easterday
 © Phish and The Dead - a Grateful Music Publication