I first heard of it through a friend who said want to take a ride up to this festival called Catskill Chill to see Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds with Umphrey's headlining that night? Those 2 bands are a no-brainer so I of course said yes and we set off. After a 2 hour ride from outside NYC we arrived at camp. I say camp as the setting is an actual kids summer camp compete with cabins, ball fields, swimming pool and lake. This is the same camp that is the setting for the movies Dirty Dancing and Jason.
Arriving and checking in was easy as there was little line and friendly volunteers at the gate. After the car search we parked and walked about 1/4 mile to the campgrounds and music area. The downside is that there is no car camping but as a small festival the walk isn't very far at all.
The concert grounds are well set up with the 2 main stages a short 50 yard walk apart. They are adding more stages this year but I have no doubt that it will still be close proximity. You can watch a set at the main stage, stroll over to the side stage and get a good spot without fighting. This is a far cry from the larger festivals where you need to camp out at your spot 2 acts before to get up close for your favorite band. With a smaller number of stages you also don't have to miss out on acts.
If you choose to wander the grounds instead of watching a set there are other activities as well. There are open mic sessions throughout the weekend and yoga sessions. The vendors have all the usual goods and services that would be expected and the food is excellent!! If you are walking around late night keep your eyes and ears open. Fikus has held a jam in their cabin the past 2 years, Cosmal had one last year, and I've stumbled upon several others in my travels.
Musically they know how to bring the heat!!! For the Saturday we went in 2011 we saw The Heavy Pets, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, Shwizz, Fikus, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Zach Deputy, Umphreys Mcgee, and Dumpstaphunk. I also got a chance to meet the original DJ Jazzy Jay from Fresh Prince of Bel Aire!! The 2012 version also had a killer lineup. Highlights included Yonder Mountain String Band headlining, Other big names were Lotus, Particle, EOTO, Conspirator, JGB with Melvin Seals, Lettuce, Soulive, Break Science, Kung Fu, Jennifer Hartswick Band, Break Science, Fikus, Shwizz, and more.
This year's lineup continues to bring it! Headlining are the Meter Men featuring Page McConnell from Phish. Lettuce, Lotus, Galactic, Conspirator, Particle, Tea Leaf Green, Dopapod, Kung Fu, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, Alan Evans Trio, Eric Krasno Band, Consider the Source, Fikus, Shwizz, Solaris, Cosmal and The Brummy Brothers. There are more but for a festival that is 5,000 people at full capicity it is a very impressive lineup of bands!
They have RV parking available and had cabin rentals available. More telling then anything I can write about this amazing festival is that fact that they sold out in 2 hours well before the lineup was released. Once you spend a weekend at the Chill you will want to return every year.
They have a VIP option available which includes:
Elevated and newly expanded VIP Viewing Lounge at the platform, at the Main Stage
Private VIP cash bar at the Main Stage featuring discounted beverages and complimentary snacks
VIP Mimosa Brunch in the VIP Viewing Lounge Saturday and Sunday
Picturesque Lakeside VIP Camping, a short stroll from the Main Stage
Swift VIP Festival Entrance
VIP Parking in the nearest lot to the main stage
Golf Cart Shuttle Service to whisk you and your gear to your campsite or cabin upon arrival on Friday, and for your departure on Monday (9:00 AM to Midnight on Friday and 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Monday .
2013 Catskill Chill Commemorative T-Shirt
2013 Catskill Chill Commemorative Poster
Commemorative VIP Laminate
Catskill Chill Music Festival 2013 Artist Lineup:
The Meter Men featuring Zigaboo Modeliste, Leo Nocentelli and George Porter, Jr. with special guest Page McConnell
Tea Leaf Green
The Motet – Funk is Dead
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
Eric Krasno Band
Alan Evans Trio
Cabinet & Cabinet Dead Set
Consider the Source Acoustic
Damn Right with DJ Logic
Shmeeans & The Expanded Consciousness
Brock Butler Acoustic
Tom Hamilton & Friends
The Primate Fiasco
Cosmic Dust Bunnies
The Big Takeover
Blueboy Productions (DJ Set)
The Brummy Brothers
Hope to see everyone there!