Need some tips on enjoying this weekend’s Granite State Music Festival? We’ve got them!
From left, Nicole Vernon and her husband Jeremiah, dance with friends Ben Leoni and Jon Duchette, while Jennifer Bundy, dances with a hula hoop during the Assembly of Dust performance at the Granite State Music Festival. The two-day festival took place Saturday and Sunday at Concord's Kiwanis Park. (John Tully/ Monitor Staff)
Unless you’re a giant stick in the mud, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have fun at the Granite State Music Festival. With a jam-packed line-up of music, plus food, beer and community flavor – minus the hassles of big-city concerts – it’s the kind of event you can enjoy without effort.
But if you want to get the most out of the festival – if you’re one of those people who take fun seriously – there are a few things you should know.
∎ First things first, get your tickets early. Unlike last year, ticket sales for each day are being capped at 800. If the good weather holds, festival director Scott Solsky is optimistic tickets will sell out. Grab your tickets ($40 for both days; $20 for just Saturday; $25 for just Sunday) at granite
∎ Bring lawn chairs and blankets to get comfy during the concerts. If you want to bring food, go for it, but there will also be plenty of good stuff on hand, including ice cream, burgers, veggie burgers and hot dogs from Arnie’s, iced coffee from True Brew Barista and a beer garden by New Hampshire Distributors. Oh, and bring your own water bottle, which you can refill at water stations instead of shelling out big bucks for bottled water. No glass containers please.
∎ Consider walking. Parking is cheap ($5 for the weekend, $3 for one day) and fairly plentiful at Kiwanis Waterfront Park, but event organizers are encouraging people to walk, carpool or ride bikes, in the “green” spirit of the festival.
Now about all those bands. Not sure what to expect? Here’s a little guide:
∎ If you like Radiohead, you’ll love the Tan Vampires. “They have really inspiring but sometimes dark lyrics,” said Solsky, a professional musician who teaches at Shaker Road School and will play with a couple of the bands. “Their music can also be very ambient.”
∎ If you like Erykah Badu, you’ll love Mica’s Groove Train.
∎ If you like Joan Baez, you’ll love Katie Rose. Her music tends to have political undertones, Solsky said.
∎ If you like Elvis Costello, you’ll love Lowman. “The singer’s voice is really similar to Elvis Costello’s, and they’ve got really great songwriting,” Solsky said.
∎ If you like Phish, you’ll love Flabbergaster. “They have kind of a unique sound. They’re definitely a jam band,” Solsky said.
∎ If you like Stevie Wonder, you’ll love Richard James and the Name Changers. They’ve got a groovy horn section.