Frendly Gathering aims for biggest, best yet
WINDHAM — Professional snowboarder Danny Davis said he's hoping to put on the biggest and best Frendly Gathering yet.
"We'll continue to just try to make the best party we can for our friends. That's what it started as and is," he said. "We have a lot of people on Facebook we feel are like our friends now. When we're booking things and doing things, we're thinking of them. We don't want to disappoint them, just like anyone wouldn't want to disappoint their friends."
The sixth annual Frendly Gathering Music Festival is scheduled for June 23 to 25. The name "frendly" refers to there being no "I" in it. To keep the event intimate, ticket sales are capped at 3,500 people and can be purchased at frendlygathering.com.
The Frendly Gathering began as a way for Davis and fellow snowboarder friends to meet up after the winter season. The first festival was held in California but then it was moved to Timber Ridge, otherwise known as the backside of Magic Mountain. The move was inspired by the roots of the founders. Davis and Jack Mitrani grew up in Vermont and attended Stratton Mountain School.
Now, Davis looks at the event as a kick-off camping trip to start the summer season.
"It's really turned into a gathering of our friends. Whether they're snowboarders or not has nothing to do with it," he said. "So it's an expensive party but it's an amazing one. It's become something we look forward to every year."
Music, food, skateboarding, dancing and yoga are part of the festivities. Dodgeball and stargazing are two activities added for this year.
Davis and his crew arrived in Vermont earlier this month. They had a party in Burlington on June 8 with a concert featuring Twiddle, a fan favorite at the festival and Vermont-based band. Other groups performed with Twiddle to form a "Frendly super band."
"I'm stoked to be back and can't wait to get down to southern Vermont and get working on the farm," Davis said, when highlighting the importance of holding the event, "Southern Vermont sort of needs it in a way. It's an event southern Vermont doesn't really have. It's kind of our duty we feel and we love it."
On the list of things to do: build a new sturdy stage, make sure all the other structures are in tact, weed whack all the overgrown grass and maintain the skate ramp. The process is expected to take a couple weeks to complete.
The festival tends to bring in snowboarders and skiers from New England but also music enthusiasts from Boston, Mass., and Albany, N.Y. Attendees even come from as far as Colorado, Davis said.
"It's definitely a happening place," he said. "You guys didn't have the best winter so I'm glad we could bring something fun."
New for this year is a Twiddle campfire show on Thursday. Davis described it as being "a little more acoustic" in style. But the band will be performing a couple sets throughout the weekend.
Last year, Twiddle marched from the top of the mountain down to a pond to perform a set. The band has been a part of the festival since its inception.
The festival will feature other Vermont-based acts such as Madaila, The High Breaks, Mal Maiz, DJ Disco Phantom, Tommy Alexander and Into the Mystic, a Van Morrison tribute band. This year's lineup will also include Big Gigantic, Monophonics, Moon Hooch, GIVERS, The Ballroom Thieves, LYNX and The Servants of Song, Sinkane, Cabinet, Son Little, Eminence Ensemble,Helado Negro, Mariachi Flor Del Toloache, Kitchen Dwellers, Natural Child, The Smooths, The Congress, Canyon Collected and Upstate Rundown.
"We have a ton of new bands we haven't seen before," said Davis. "We have some young talent that's pretty rad."
The Jaden Carlson Band is headed by "a young little virtuoso, who's pretty tight with the Twiddle boys," he said.
Contact Chris Mays at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.
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