The Manifestivus 2016

On the last weekend of July, I attended my first Manifestivus. Hopefully it wasn’t my last one either. The Manifestivus takes a place on the Pranksy farm in scenic Cabot, Vermont. I tend to get around, but I never thought I would’ve attended such a small and charming music festival in rural Vermont. I have some close friends in Vermont and before my planned visit they asked me if I wanted to go to a low-key music festival. I couldn’t resist, so I stuck around for a few extra week. Woe is me.

These days music festivals are all the rage with the young kids. They are getting bigger and bigger year after year. I love going to music festivals, but I tend to get annoyed by the drunken hordes. This is simply because I’m getting old. I was a part of the drunken horde in my younger days.

Turns out The Manifestivus is not the giant overcrowded music festival that Coachella or Bonnaroo have become. People go to The Manifestivus because of the low-key environment. You can bring your kids. I wouldn’t bring kids to Bonnaroo. The Manifestivus doesn’t pull in super-mega-pop-star acts those other guys do, but they do bring some seriously talented touring acts. This year the big act they brought in was Talib Kweli and he put on a great show. I’m sure he pulled in some fans that would not normally drive all the way to Cabot for a homegrown music fest.

This year the festival was primarily a Hip Hop and Reggae festival. There were two stages with really spectacular sound and lighting. The main stage was fairly tall and we could see the stage from our camp site. The “small” stage was called the Backwoods Stage, it was a lot more intimate back there. The experience the show-goers get feels a lot more inclusive because the stage is much shorter. The sound and lights were still fantastic back there.

The farm even had a great little swimming hole off in the woods. On a hot summer day in Vermont you better believe that there was some swimming. If the festival were much bigger, you can bet the swimming hole would become a complete shit-show.

During the festival, carpenters were crafting a large wood sculpture with the intent to set it on fire and become a massive bonfire. This year they made wooden turtle and the bonfire was amazingly hot.

I would definitely head back again. It was an incredible experience and it was just my style.

The Lineup:

  • Talib Kweli
  • Collie Buddz
  • Locos Por Juana
  • Rootz Underground
  • Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite The Akae Beka
  • Cast of Characters (a Dave Pransky Project)
  • Pete Bernhard (of the Devil Makes Three)
  • The Huntress and Holder of Hands
  • Fear Nuttin’ Band
  • Balla
  • Electrolads
  • Afri-VT
  • Festivus Family Band
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