Holler Fest ’08 represented a quantum leap over ’07, in terms of number of days (three), number of bands (22), and number of attendees (over 500). But it still offered the same unique mix of down-home friendliness, quality music, and beautiful natural surroundings.
Friday night, folks were tapping their toes for Orpheum Bell, or up on their toes for Billy Mack and the Juke Joint Johnnies. Saturday night saw attendance peak for Joe Reilly, Mutual Kumquat, Dick Siegel, and Billy King & the Cheddar Bunnies. Morning sets on Saturday brought the sweet sounds of Natalie Mae and Gretchen Witt. Afternoon audiences were delighted by popular Ann Arbor divas Anna Ash (with the Family Tree,) and Charlene Kaye with her band. Andru Bemis hitchhiked over from western Michigan bringing his lonely banjo sound. Perennial favorites The Raisin Pickers offered up their traditional folk and “newgrass” sound to the midday crowd. Campers woke up Sunday morning to the soothing lilt of Nutshell or the sweet and smart songs of Annie and Rod Capps.
Intimate acoustic sets in the stone cabin were a surprise highlight throughout the weekend; those so inclined also picked and strummed into the wee hours, either at the cabin or around the bonfire.
The new solar shower was declared ‘smokin’, thanks to a warm and sunny weekend. Steamy days gave way to mild and mellow nights as folks strolled from the main stage to the cabin via the Tiki Torch lit path.
Another new and very popular addition to the festivities was Silvio’s Organic Pizza, serving up his unique and delicious pizza slices each day of the Fest. Silvio will return in ’09!
Other new activities for ’08 included crafts and face painting in the Kid’s Tent; Joe Reilly’s sing-a-long for kids, guided nature walks, yoga classes Saturday and Sunday, and a spontaneous African Dance class accompanied by any Fest-goer with a drum!
Margaret Shaw, local artisan extraordinaire, provided an inviting presence and a visual feast in her booth full of folk art. The “Good Things to Know About” tent offered information from local groups doing good things!
Plenty of new things to do, and plenty of time to sit back on the Holler Hill and soak up the good music, good food, good friends and good times! Come back in ’09!