Monday, August 11th, 2014

Article by Danny Coleman

Photos by Kimberly Annette ©2013 (photos from 2013 Peach Fest)

Montage Mountain, on the outskirts of Scranton, PA will come alive from August 14 through 17; as the 3rd Annual Peach Music Festival sets up residency for four days of food, music, camping and a sure good time.

Peach Fest” as it’s known, has attracted throngs of fans since its inception and is the first Allman Brothers Band (ABB) inspired festival in the Northeastern region of Pennsylvania ( ABB not only has influenced Peach Fest but also generations of fans.
ABB formed in the state of Florida in 1969, by brothers Gregg and Duane Allman. Current original members, Drummer Butch Trucks and drummer Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, were also part of this foundation which took the blues and turned it on its ear. Combining great slide guitar with rock riffs and duel drummers, the brothers put forth a stage product that was unmatched. Relocating to Macon, Georgia shortly after they began, placed them down the path to mega-stardom; in the process, establishing the bar and influence for all southern rock bands to come.

Having little success with their first two studio albums, 1971’s live album At Fillmore East catapulted the group into what has now become legendary status. Featuring lengthy versions of some of their most-recognizable tunes (“Whipping Post,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”), the album was considered an “artistic and commercial breakthrough.” Not long after success began, tragedy struck as founder and guitarist Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident. In Duane’s memory, the band rallied together and completed the 1972 release Eat a Peach; the feel of the album and overwhelming support of their fans helped entrench the group’s popularity and their place in rock music history.

Sadly, tragedy struck again when original bassist Berry Oakley passed away later in that same year. After multiple personnel changes and internal struggles, the group disbanded and reformed twice between 1976 and 1982. Reforming towards the end Duane_Berry_Gravesite_H5A1032of the 1990’s, with once again, new personnel; they found some consistency in the first decade of the 2000’s when current members, guitarist Warren Haynes, bassist Oteil Burbridge and guitarist Derek Trucks (Butch’s nephew) joined the lineup. The group has toured relentlessly and their run of multiple shows at the Beacon Theater in New York City every March has become unmatched by many, if any other performer(s).

Oddly enough, it’s this cast of currents which have possibly sealed the band’s fate; making this year’s Peach Festival a memorable one. Depending on who you talk to, this could either be their last hurrah or just a tease. Burbridge and Haynes have announced their intentions to depart from the unit at the end of this calendar year; Haynes busy with Gov’t Mule and more side projects than even he could’ve ever imagined and Burbridge to pursue other projects. The success of  the Tedeschi Trucks Band has Derek very occupied and he too announced his departure; is this why Gregg Allman says the “Band will retire” at the end of this year?

Only time will tell but one thing is certain; this year’s festival is going to be one for the ages. With ABB headlining both Saturday August 16 and Sunday August 17 and returning acts like Bob Weir and Rat Dog, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, and acts such as Joan Osborne’s Trigger Hippy, Blackberry Smoke, Victor Wooten and the timeless George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic joining the aforementioned Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks and more than thirty others; this year’s festival is a force to reckon with.

Opening the gates on Thursday morning August 14 at 10 a.m. EST, Montage will be welcoming scores of music lovers from all over the globe. They’ll be finding their parking, pitching campsites like homesteaders of a bygone era, meeting new neighbors and making friends over the course of the festival which brings people together through sound.

Ticket prices are varied, ranging from $150 for a four-day general admission (“GA”) pass to $250 for a four-day reserved pass and based on the amount that one is willing to pay; a $500 VIP pass/package.  It should be noted that at the time of this publishing, the $250 reserved passes which include entrance to the festival and a guaranteed seat in the 100 level for the major headlining acts; are sold out. The general admission passes include entrance to the festival and nothing more; camping permits are sold separately with a “GA” ticket.
The VIP passes are pricey at $500 (that’s only $125 a day for those trying to justify) but there is a laundry list of perks which come along with them. VIP pass holders gain entrance to the festival, private check-in, access to the VIP Club, reserved seating in the first 30 rows of the 100 level during all headliners, an artist VIP viewing area close to the main stage, access to a VIP second stage viewing area, free massages and cushioned seating in the VIP Club, a catered dinner on Friday and Saturday evening along with breakfast on Sunday morning, complimentary water and sports drinks, a festival laminate, T-shirt, limited edition poster and (this is a biggie for many, listen up ladies) private restrooms. Now, again, for those trying to justify the cost, with more than forty bands, at $125 a day VIP cost; that comes out to slightly more than $3 a band; a bargain in anybody’s basement! _h5a7528

Will this year’s “3rd Annual Peach Music Festival” outdo the previous others? Will this be the last one that the Allman Brothers Band will attend? Will the ABB truly “retire” at the end of 2014 and if so; will it reform as it’s done in the past? The answers to these and many other questions like, “Why didn’t we buy a VIP pass? I really would like a massage and a private bathroom,” are sure to be answered, at least in part, over these upcoming four days on a mountain in Scranton, PA.








The 3rd Annual Peach Music Festival Takes Place This Week!
4.5Overall RR Peruser Rating
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

Leave a Reply