Harvest Music Festival
Kicking off Fall Break, from Oct. 11 to 13, the Yonder Mountain String Band is curating its annual Harvest Music Festival near Ozark, Ark. The festival, like the Wakarusa Music Festival in June, takes place at Mulberry Mountain.
As with most music festivals, for many people, one of the most enjoyable parts is setting up camp on the festival grounds, getting to know camp neighbors, cooking food and drinking by the fire. For the not-so-outdoorsy (or for those wary of sleeping out in the crisp autumn air), the festival website includes links to nearby local hotels as well.
This year, the festival is working in cooperation with Conscious Alliance to host the Art That Feeds food drive. Anyone who donates 10 non-perishable food items will receive a free Harvest Music Festival Poster. But don’t do it for the poster — anyone can get a poster — do it for the River Valley Regional Food Bank in Fort Smith, Ark.
“It was the greatest feeling of love, fun, family and friendship that I have ever experienced,” said Cameron Weird, junior philosophy major, about the festival. “From the moment I arrived, the happiness and generosity being spread around was almost overwhelming. There is something for anyone and everyone, no matter what age or what you ‘think’ you like.
“I went into the festival with hardly any liking of bluegrass music, and yet ever since that magical weekend last October, I’ve often been found myself relaxing and tapping my toes to Yonder Mountain String Band and others like them.”
The Harvest Festival lineup includes, of course, Yonder Mountain String Band, as well as Leftover Salmon, Mickey Hart Band, North Mississippi Allstars, Joe Purdy, Sam Bush, Mountain Sprout and dozens of others.
Many of the smaller band names sound like deeply Southern colloquial phrases, the sorts of words you might hear coming from a porchwoman’s mouth deep in the woodland heart of Arkansas; names like Pert Near Sandstone, Wookiefoot, Dumpstaphunk, The Hogslop String Band and Blackfoot Gypsies appear alongside other bands like Truckstop Honeymoon, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra.
Alongside the bevy of concerts, the festival also includes group yoga sessions, belly-dancing classes, songwriting workshops and contests, and a whole host of outdoorsy adventure avenues like trail hikes to the waterfalls on mountain creek, fishing in the Mulberry River, and float trips and kayaking at Turner Bend.
For the week afterward, The Rogue on Dickson is hosting its Cool Shoes party Oct. 19, boasting “the most massive sound, lights and visuals in the local party circuit,” and armed with beats from electro-house, moombahton, hip-hop, trap, dubstep and nu disco, according to the official Cool Shoes Fayetteville Facebook page.
Also through Oct. 18 to 19, comedian Dave Waite (who looks like a chubbier David Cross, and David Cross is funny, right?) will be performing with Jason Thompson at the UARK Bowl.
Up the street at the Walton Arts Center, Oct. 18, the Majid Bekkas Gnawa Ensemble will be performing as part of a project called Caravanserai, whose aim is to “create new pathways for Americans to experience the diversity of contemporary Muslim artistic expressions,” according to the group’s website. Brahim Fribgane heads the Moroccan ensemble, and a lot of the Caravanserai YouTube footage shows hundreds of schoolchildren dancing all around the ensemble as they play in a drum circle.
Then, Oct. 19 at the WAC, the globally acclaimed Tokyo String Quartet will be performing. Based out of New York, the group just finished their recording of the Brahms Quintets: Op. 34 and Op. 115 and have been touring in support of that release.
Helen Reid, writing for Bristol Evening Post, said “There are hundreds of fine string quartets in the world, but the Tokyo is the cream.”