Words & Photos: Avert Guldemond
Now a two-year veteran of the festival following status, I am beginning to understand the draw for many summer music goers across the globe. What could be better than combining all the best of the sunny months into a condensed block of awesome? You get camping, seemingly a three-day soundtrack, and friends from all life's adventures in one place. Everyone is smiling, sipping, smoking, and singing as if in complete harmony with their surroundings. Add the old ski resort setting, food and a blanket, and have a seat and enjoy the sunshine. Welcome to the Frendly Gathering 2012.
Hitting Vermont with a musical line-up far overdue for a state who seen the worst this year, and come back stronger than ever, The FREND's knocked it out of the park. Nearly 35 acts on five different stages set throughout the resort kept the crowds active all weekend, soaking up the backwoods vibe as they hiked old trails to the next venue. Shows alternated between the Main Stage at the base and the Wooden Tee -Pee stage mid mountain during the day. As the night crept in, we climbed higher to the hidden DJ Nest. An Ewok-ish tree fort nestled in the trees, DJ's rocking all night long, and the stars above, natural as nature's club lights.
Never would I have expected to find all my closest friends in attendance, but the connections I made with old friends, industry fellow, and other random was like nothing I've experienced in years. From finding Ali Tamaca, someone I had never met but had always heard about from those Western Mass boys, to skating with the Technine Thuggalo from Last Call that won the wall ride, who then hooked it on food the rest of the night from the vendor he worked for. This type of shenanigans continued all weekend. Bumping into someone from San Diego, skating the ramp with Ian Kirk, catching up with Liam Griffin, and beers in the camper with Joe Carter. In my head, I started to understand what the FREND's were up to, simply "gathering" all the best from the past and the present to mingle and catch up. Genius.
Thinking back on how good this weekend was, I will undoubtedly be in attendance again next year. Much praise and many thanks go out to the FREND's Crew and all of the associated for holding such a great event. If you want to get back to the way the world should be, check out the Frendly Gathering next year.