Many years ago, Steve and I made a New Year’s Resolution to see more live music. That resolution was a wild success and live music is a very big part of our lives.
For the past several years we have enjoyed attending a number of music festivals. Back in May, we took Eleanor to her first festival, Delfest, a relatively small bluegrass festival in Cumberland, MD run by the legendary Del McCoury.
It was our first time at the family-friendly Delfest and even though Eleanor loved her first camping trip to Assateague Island, I was still a bit nervous about how everything would go. Thankfully the whole experience was incredible: great music, amazing friends, and DEl-eanor rocked it.
We are EXTREMELY lucky that the six friends with us were very generous with their time and efforts to help make the weekend as easy and enjoyable for Eleanor, and all of us. They pitched on on everything from setting up our tent before we arrived, to helping watch Eleanor, dividing meal prep duties and not making us feel bad when she woke up early. It takes a village!
While the weather was a bit cold on the first two days, it was thankfully pretty dry, and things started to warm up for the last two days of the festival.
As we had heard, Delfest was pretty doable for families. There were lots of activities (puppet making, parades, etc) for kids older than Eleanor. But the most important thing for me was that it was a good crowd. The people were very friendly and focused on having a good time, not being out of control. There were a lot of other families around, and in general there was a very safe and supportive atmosphere which made me feel comfortable having Eleanor there.
And, the music was incredible. Here are a couple of highlights:
We particularly enjoyed discovering Elephant Revival who we saw first in an intimate workshop setting and then at the medium stage. They are truly captivating and an interesting mix of bluegrass-folk-celtic influences. I highly recommend checking them out.
The Friday night headliner was the Trey Anastasio Band, who we know and love from numerous TAB and Phish tours. I was having too much fun dancing through their sets to get any good pictures, but it was a rocking good time.
We were thrilled to see Old Crowe Medicine Show again as well. We had only seen them live once before at the All Good Festival back in 2010, and they blew us away. OCMS’ set was awesome, very high energy and a nice mix of old favorites and newer songs.
Yonder Mountain String Band closed out the festival and they were also a lot of fun.
We also enjoyed Aoife O’Donovan, The Hakensaw Boys, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Greensky Bluegrass, and of course Del McCoury who seemed to sit in for a few songs with almost every act on the mainstage!
All in all it was a great experience. Eleanor continued to demonstrate her awesomeness and hopefully we will get to attend Delfest again in the future!