WHAT // The Get Down in Pumpkintown
WHEN // Friday, June 17, noon – Sunday, June 19, 9:30 p.m.
WHERE // 145 Cody Drive, Marietta
TICKETS // $40
INFO // getdownpumpkintown.com
The Get Down in Pumpkintown festival, which kicks off this Friday at noon in Marietta, has always had a solid lineup of local musical talent. After all, that was the festival’s original purpose when landowner Brad Richard founded the three-day event six years ago: to bring together the Upstate’s most prominent and popular bands. But for this year’s show, the net was a cast a little wider, and the lineup is all the better for it.
In addition to names that are familiar to Upstate music fans — like the Craig Sorrells Project, Four 14, The Bad Popes and Kelly Jo — there are some regional bands on the bill that are playing the Get Down for the first time, thanks to talent booker Monty Craig, a Greenville guitarist who’s playing the festival with his own band, The Carousers.
“We just sat down and wrote a list of all the bands we wanted to have, and went from there,” Craig says of the lineup, which will feature nearly 20 bands over three days. “I think it’s going to be pretty fun. I’m really excited about this band called Molasses. I’ve wanted to have them at the festival for a long time. They’re a great, really funky instrumental band.”
Two of the bigger names on the bill are the Atlanta “space-funk” group Dank and Asheville’s Jon Stickley Trio, an acoustic ensemble that combines bluegrass-style virtuosity with stylistic flourishes from electronic dance music. “Dank’s keyboard player, Matt Henderson, is from Greenville, so he’s friends with the Greenville music family,” Craig says. “And the Jon Stickley Trio, I’ve been keeping up with them and I know they’ve been playing a lot and getting a lot of recognition, so I’m looking forward to hearing them play.”
In the past, Kyle Rowland, singer and guitarist for Greenville’s self-styled “friendly neighborhood jam band” Four 14, took care of the booking for the festival, but he’s impressed with what Craig has done with this year’s lineup. “It’s a combination of acts that have been there three and four times, and then bands that were outside of our comfort zone a little, acts that had never been here before” he says.
In addition to the bands, festivalgoers can enjoy free camping, swimming, several different food and drink vendors, yoga and meditation by Joan from Joyful Health Company, tai chi, drum circles, a kids’ area and various arts and crafts vendors.
“The idea behind this festival, or at least the way I’ve always seen it, is that it’s just about people from the Upstate coming together and taking a few days and let’s just all have a little party,” Rowland says. “We’ve got some tricks up our sleeves for this year, but I’m not going to tell you what they are.”