Situated on the beach at Paradise Lake in Hammonton, New Jersey, the artist line-up this year’s F.A.R.M. Fest was even more extensive than year’s prior as the fest planned to broaden the horizon of one’s musical tastes to a wide variety of genres while still reaching back to the roots of what comprises music: the beat, the rhythm, and the movement. The lineup was chock full of eco-conscious acts including headliner Papadosio who played two nights, Nahko and the Medicine People and many others. More than 65 bands performed over four stages during the weekend. The bill included shredding trio Consider the Source and guitar maestro Keller Williams, but it is the depth of talent showcasing emerging young bands like Jimkata, The Hornitz, The Mantras and Viral Sound that had the scene buzzing. There was also excitement for multi-talented DJ, Space Jesus, who performed a rare live band set. The best in Jam, jamtronica, trance as well as numerous renowned DJ’s including Horizon Wireless and DJ Sawka set the venue on fire. What marks the fest apart are the plethora of options one may choose to engage in when they are not attending music.
A plethora of beautiful live art was on display from artists all around the country. There were more than 10 visual artists in attendance. There were installations which were created to enrich the attendee with a wonderful creative free flowing environment. One was immersed in a world of original pieces that were specially designed to stimulate the senses and become enthralled with entertainment and wonder.
Flow performances created an amazing show that became interactive. It was intended to teach and inspire attendees to get in the spot light and share a space with other performers, provide education on fire and flow safety, and give time to interact and compete in various activities and games. Workshops instilled education and inspiration as a fundamental value one needs to acquire for the Future of Artistic and Revolutionary Minds. The fest wanted attendees to leave knowing that they learned something valuable. F.A.R.M. Fest acts as a surrogate teacher educating individuals on self-preservation and how to live a more innovative life by including lessons on permaculture, holistic medicines, flow arts, aquaculture, meditation, yoga, scientific phenomenon’s, and much more. More than a music festival, F.A.R.M. set out to change one’s life for the better! There were many workshops including Yoga, Meditation and Dance:
Tickets were very reasonably priced at only $135 for the entire festival. With the myriad of impressive musical acts and a bevy of options to facilitate one getting more proactive in broadening their perspective in life, F.A.R.M. fest was a rare and unique treat of a festival.
The two most impressive aspects of the festival were the locale and the sound. One could hear the music from the main stage while at basecamp – which is a real bonus and allows for a more musically inspired weekend. The festival had car side camping which afforded one to be comfortable and have all that one needs at their fingertips without having to lug it one iota. The campgrounds were spread among the nooks and crannies of woods and gave off a real intimate jungle vibe.
Friday July 24th
Papadosio :: Main Stage :: 10:30pm-12:00am
Papadosio is Anthony Thogmartin (guitar, vocals), Mike Healy (drummer), Rob McConnell (bass), • Billy Brouse (keys) • Sam Brouse (Keys). Singer-songwriter Anthony Thogmartin’s visionary lyrics, eclectic production, and signature guitar work are anchored by the rock solid battery of drummer Mike Healy and bassist Rob McConnell. The quintet is rounded out by brothers Billy and Sam Brouse, whose virtuosic two-headed keyboard, synth, and programming attack give the band its unmistakable complexity and intensity. The conscious minded outfit is not afraid to take a stand on important issues – whether they are political or environmental – and they share insightful and informative lyrics. During the set Thogmartin stated, “We are going to try and fit in as many requests as we can!” The band proceeded to play a varied set list from their catalog. The Asheville, North Carolina outfit are the kings of the deliberate slow burn – building up a song from simple and melodic structure into a contagious and fiery crescendo. Along with Lotus, Papadosio continues to lead the jamtronica movement.
Set List: The Eyes Have Eyes, Unparalyzer, Now That You Know, If It Wasn’t for you, Ear To Ear, New Love ½, Curve, We Are Water, And This Is What He thought, New Love 2/2
Saturday July 25th
Keller Williams :: Main Stage :: 10:30pm-12:00am
The talented troubadour had the headlining slot on Saturday night and didn’t disappoint with his unique blend of satisfying musings. Playing in support of his 20th record, “Vape”, Keller delivered a bouncy set that had all in earshot swaying to the rhythms. He is known for his outstanding original compositions that are complex and mesmerizing but the looping master is also very adept at unique takes on well-known covers. The highlight of this set was an intense take on the Grateful Dead’s “Bird Song” which eloquently segued into Phish’s “Birds of a Feather.” By the time the clock got to midnight, fervent fans were well satiated. Keller is a true auteur forging his own path and those in attendance knew they were lucky to be invited to the party.
Set List: Mental Bru, Buena, Elvis, Pepper, Kiwi, Makin it Rain, She Rolls, Bird Song of a Feather, Doin it Right, High Mighty, Naïve, Stephen, Poser trap, Tell my feet
Lespecial :: Main Stage :: 12:00am-1:30am
Lespecial is a trio consisting of Luke Bemand (bass), Jonathan Grusaukus (guitar, keys, trumpet) and Rory Dolan (drums). They are an amalgam of styles including afro-Latin rhythmic tradition, funk, hip-hop and metal. Fortuitously, their set was moved at the last minute from the Untz Stage to the Main Stage. Clearly Lespecial is an ascending band ready to blow up and their professional set at this fest only served to garner a legion of new fans impressed with the meticulous play and free-flowing jams. Amidst a sea of a large depth of sound, Bemand stands out with the bombastic beats emanating from his axe with an incendiary intensity. The highlight of the set was the bevy of surprise sit-ins by talented guests. The raucous crowd was fired up by the cover of Britney Spear’s “…Baby One More Time.” Lespecial’s strength is the ability to jump from genre to genre in smooth transition and high energy while providing the audience a fresh perspective on music by consistently challenging one to follow the varied grooves. Another highlight was the middle-eastern inspired, “Ransacked” and its infectious melodic line. Also, “Dangus Khan” was high energy while buoyed by the guest artists. Grateful to be playing the fest, Bassist Bemand stated, “It was really cool to be able to perform alongside so many influential future bass producers that I admire and have a bunch of my friends come up and rap with us, it was a great vibe.” Lespecial is poised to entertain at many more festivals this summer including Wild Woods and Mazzstock in August.
Set List: Fruit Wolf, Dance, Ransacked Yellow Medicine, Dancing Boy%, Sugaboi*> Dangus Khan+> Crusher+ Too Many Puppies, HMU, Hit Me Baby, Buggn’, Jerry was a racecar driver
% feat Jules Jennsen *feat DVS* ^feat Space Jesus, Honeycomb and Janak Tull
+ is feat sj, honeycomb and Janak
Photos by Raymond Wehrli