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Thursday, June 30

Merryland Festival Preview; Why this day of music is a no-brainer.

Merryland Festival Preview; Why this day of music is a no-brainer.

Words:Randy Harris
Photos:Jordan August

Merryland Festival Preview
Earlier this year, after almost 20 installments, All Good Presents announced the retirement of its flagship All Good Music Festival, but not without the promise of a new adventure to be announced. It was not long before they revealed to us the magical  celebration of music to be hosted at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. We now know that event to be the highly anticipated Merryland Festival, set to take place in just over a week on July 9 & 10, 2016.
Many of you know Merriweather Post Pavilion very well as a regular and favorite stop on Grateful Dead and Phish tours, as well as last year’s Dear Jerry celebration and numerous other nationally renowned artists. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, LedZeppelin and The Who are just a few among the many voices that still seem to echo throughout the woods.
As usual, All Good Presents has put together an absolutely stellar lineup for this event. Saturday features two headlining sets from the String Cheese Incident, while Sunday’s headlining slot will be split between Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminalsand Grace Potter. Saturday’s lineup also includes Lotus, Stephen Marley, Yonder Mountain String Band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Protoje, TAUK and ELM. Sunday’s lineup fills out with Greensky Bluegrass, Shakey Graves, Nahko & Medicine For The People, Langhorne Slim & The Law, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Turkuaz and Cris Jacobs Band. A little something for everyone in there, representing bluegrass, reggae, rock, fusion, funk and more!

All Good Presents did not stop there, however. On Friday, July 8, two Kick-Off concerts will be taking place: Papadosiow/ELM at Ram’s Head Live! (Baltimore) and Soul Rebels w/People’s Blues of Richmond at 9:30 Club (Washington, DC). Festival ticket holders have the option to add on one of these Kick-Off concerts to get their feet moving before the main festival. On top of that, Ram’s Head Live! will also be hosting a Late-Night Concert on Saturday, July 9, hosted by Kung Fu and featuring a number of special guests.

But let’s be honest, there are tons of great festivals out there with great lineups. What really makes an All Good Presents event special, however, are the people. I was fortunate to attend last year’s All Good Festival, which was taking place at a brand new site, a farm located in the rolling hills of West Virginia. Immediately upon entering the festival grounds, I felt welcomed by all those around me. I felt safe and secure at all times, never worrying about my belongings in the campsite. In the stage areas, everyone moved and grooved as one, united under the power of music. I even got to meet the owner of the farm, and he told me that the crowd was much tamer than he had ever expected. “Everyone’s so nice,” he said. “The whole town had concerns about the lack of sufficient security, but from what I’ve seen, there is really no need.” I have no doubt that this community vibe will flood the gates of Merriweather Post Pavilion next weekend.
Also, I am very impressed with All Good Presents’ desire to include local representation in the lineup. Baltimore will be well represented at Merryland, which features hometown favorites such as Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, ELM and Cris Jacobs Band. I hope that those of you who are travelling from outside the region will take the time to check all of these guys out. There is a wealth of talent here in the Baltimore-DC area, and those three bands are sure to represent us strongly.

Tickets are still on sale for as low as $125 for a two-day pass ($75 for single day) at Get yours today, and we’ll see you at MPP for the ultimate ragerof the summer!
Words by Randy Harris
Photos by Jordan August

Kick-Off Concert
Friday, July 8
Ram’s Head Live!

Kick-Off Concert
Soul Rebels
w/People’s Blues of Richmond
Friday, July 8
9:30 Club

Late-Night Concert
Hosted By Kung Fu
w/Guest Appearances By Karl Denson
And More!
Saturday, July 9
Ram’s Head Live!

Saturday, July 9
String Cheese Incident (2 Sets)
Stephen “Ragga” Marley
Yonder Mountain String Band
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe

Sunday, July 10
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
Grace Potter
Greensky Bluegrass
Shakey Graves
Nahko & Medicine For The People
Langhorne Slim & The Law
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
Cris Jacobs Band