Northwest String Summit 2017 is Upon Us!

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What's up, festi-friends?!  I hope this summer has been a good one so far and that you have caught a festival or two, or three or four (I'm jelly).  Mine has been pretty good, but it's about to be upgraded to great because I'm headed to Horning's Hideout for Northwest String Summit, or 'Strummit,' as the cool kids say.  

Going on this July 13th - 16th in North Plains, Oregon, String Summit 2017 is going to be the best festival ever!  How do I know that you ask?  Because it always is!  I mean, come on, a tent city in the woods centered around music, love and community in a beautiful Oregon forest?  How can it not be?

I had the pleasure of speaking with the founder of Strummit, Skye McDonald, who told me that putting on String Summit is his full-time job and that he spends the entire year preparing for the festival.  Does he get to sit back and relax and enjoy the music once it all starts?  Nope; that's when it kicks into high gear.  You are more likely to see him on a go-cart with a radio to his mouth trying to get from one stage to another.   However, Skye explained it was is definitely a labor of love when he said, "When I see the joy on the faces of the artists and the fans.  That's what it's all about for me."

When it comes to festival-grounds, Horning's Hideout is hard to beat.  It's located amongst a 150-acre wilderness area that lies just 25 miles west of Portland and the words "enchanted" and "magical" are most common when you hear people describing Horning's.  There is a love vibe that seems to permeate throughout the entire place; to no surprise, the venue is often used for weddings. 

I, personally, have had some of the best nights of my life at Strummit, seeing shows then playing music all night long in the campground.  Oh yeah, there is a lot of jamming at this festival, so bring your instrument.  And pay close attention to who you ar playing with because Skye said he spoke to a few artists who plan on popping up in campground jams.  

String Summit always has the best lineup of musical acts (I say that a lot I know, but I really mean it this time).  But that is just a small piece of the fun happenings that take place in those woods.  One can take Yoga and Mindfulness Classes, or go to a Dobro workshop with Anders Beck of all people, or Banjer (cool backcountry name for the banjo) Class with Danny Barnes.  I'm definitely going to the dance class taught by Todd Snider; Lord knows I could use some new moves.  There will be plenty of other casual concerts where artists will play and also take questions from the audience.
String Summit prides itself on being the most family friendly festival or "family forward," as Skye puts it.  "We wanted to create a festival within the festival made for children.  Music can turn kids on, and it can happen near the main stage, but we wanted to have a place especially for them."  Rest assured, there will be music and dance workshops, arts and crafts, and many other fun things for the little flower children to get into.
One of my favorite parts about String Summit has the band competition.  Bands from all over the country apply to battle it out on the main stage.  This has been a real springboard for many up and coming bands like The Lil' Smokies (who have since toured with Yonder since winning the competition and are also kicking off the music for the weekend this year at Strummit).  Then it's two nights of Greensky Bluegrass and three, count em, three nights of Yonder Mountain String Band!  There are some new faces this year such as The DelMcCoury Band, Turquaz, California Honeydrops and JJ Grey & Mofro.  Should be fun!
Well festi-fam, It's time to head to the woods.  I'll keep you updated on all the stringed action.  Peace, love and Banjos to all.