Hot August Music Festival
Oregon Ridge Park, Cockeysville, MD
August 20, 2016
Hot is definitely one way to describe August 20, 2016, but I prefer to think about more than just the weather; more even than just the music, which was beyond incredible. LITZ brought a raging set of funk and rock & roll to commence the festivities, bringing their usual powerful energy to the Main Stage. Eastman String Band opened up the Professional Vision stage and kicked off the bluegrass vibe for the day. The Revivalists picked up where LITZ left off and completely rocked the Main Stage. Samantha Fish brought her trio to the Professional Vision stage and melted the hearts of everyone in the crowd. Leftover Salmon, the jamgrass veterans from Boulder, CO, contributed an epic mix of bluegrass and “Cajun slamgrass” as the announcer described it. Cabinet blew us all away with their beautiful vocal harmonies and melodic take on bluegrass music. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead brought us down memory lane, with a twist of course, as a full set of their take on the music of the Grateful Dead echoed throughout the park. Railroad Earth closed down the Professional Vision stage, providing a beautiful soundtrack to the sun setting behind them. Finally, Thievery Corporation tore the roof off of the Main Stage as they headlined with their soulful blend of rock, reggae and electronic music.
And yet, what I will remember most about Hot August Music Festival is the atmosphere. Having now completed its 24th annual installment, Hot August Music Festival has developed an extremely devoted audience. Even many of their volunteers and workers have been on staff every year since its humble beginnings. Hot August manages to provide the music we all love, while still keeping a family friendly atmosphere, and that is exactly why it has stood the test of time. While there are undoubtedly perks to the full weekend camping festivals that force its attendees to be completely entrenched in the festival experience, there is a certain level of maturity and professionalism in a festival that strives to make its event a comfortable and enjoyable experience for patrons of all ages. Hot August Music Festival has definitely reached this achievement, and, perhaps most importantly, they have not allowed this process to affect their reputation for booking some of the most premier live bands on the scene. See below for full photo galleries of each band!
Eastman String Band