The Big Up Music Festival 2013 – Highlights and Photo Gallery
After A One Year Hiatus, The Big Up is Back and Better Than Ever – August 8th – 10th, 2013 at Hemlock Hollow Farm in Claverack, NY
The Big Up is steadily gaining a reputation as one of the northeast’s premier festivals. tBU 2013 will kick off this Thursday, August 8, two years in the making. Hemlock Hollow Farm in Claverack, NY will host the three days and nights of music. The 2013 lineup showcases some of the most exciting musical acts around, from full bands to DJs, and almost everything in between. This year’s headliners, Beats Antique, epitomizes the merging of electronic and organic elements. By incorporating live drums, violin, and belly dancing into their electronically produced set, Beats Antique sets the bar high for what to expect at this year’s festival.
The Big Up has delivered a very comprehensive website, with full band bios and a daily schedule. Here’s a day-by-day rundown of the acts we can’t wait for:
Thursday: Expect Lespecial to warm up the main stage with their primal, heavy, danceable electronic rock. Headlining the first night of music will be Dopapod, one of the hardest working bands on the road. Expect them to follow up 2011’s blistering performance on the side stage with some main stage madness, lights and all. Not long after Dopapod’s set, host band Higher Organix, a trio specializing in improvised dance music, will make the Spaceball City Tent sway.
Friday: Before the sun sets, prepare to get karate chopped at the main stage by Kung Fu’s lethal funk. As darkness falls, get ready to be blessed by the disco fairies like never before. Escort, NYC’s “disco orchestra,” will force you to trade in your dojo for some bell bottoms. Kicking off Friday’s late night festivities is Nerve, drummer Jojo Mayer’s livetronica trio. They have been pioneering live drum’n’bass, jungle, and bass music since 1997.
Saturday: Perhaps the most jam packed day of the festival, we’ll just list some of the acts we’re salivating over (from earliest to latest): Richard James and the Name Changers, Consider the Source, The Heavy Pets, Kung Fu (Prince tribute set), ESKMO, The Egg, and–of course–it wouldn’t be tBU without Orchard Lounge spinning until the sunrise.
JamForums is thrilled to be covering this unique festival again. We’ll be sure to report back with words and photos from all three stages, the beautiful festival grounds, and the creative and compassionate community that forms every time this event goes down.
The gates to the Big Up opened at noon on August 8, to eager fans who had waited two years for the beloved festival’s return. The three day event at Hemlock Hollow Farm in Claverack, NY lived up to the long awaited expectations. Camping was split between woods and car camping, which appealed to the diverse crowd. Those who ventured into the woods were rewarded with a stage nearby, a gorgeous stream, and an extra degree of isolation from everyday life. With sporadic, heavy rains on Thusrday and Friday, car camping provided added protection from the elements, and eliminated the steep, muddy trek through the woods. All festival goers were thrilled to see the skies clear up for good late Friday night.
This year’s lineup was a balance between returning talent and first time “Upstronauts.” Among the veterans were favorites like Dopapod, Kung Fu, Consider the Source, Orchard Lounge, lespecial, and host-band Higher Organix. Most of this year’s big acts, however, were new to the festival: Beats Antique, Holy Fuck, Gigamesh, An-ten-ae, ESKMO, Escort, and Gaudi graced the top of the bill. One of the most obvious similarities between these acts was the uniqueness in their approach to performing. While all of these artists fall under the umbrella of electronic music, each had their own set of tools on stage. More than any other night, Saturday showcased the variety of live performances. The night’s headliners, Beats Antique, incorporated live drums, violin, and belly dancing; Gaudi, a solo act, used a Moog theremin, synthesizers, and even an air horn to amplify his DJ rig.
In the midst of all these new techniques, our favorite acts of the weekend kept it simple. New Jersey based DJ Speakerbot played three half hour sets at the woods stage, whose stellar song choice–coupled with solid old-school mixing–provided the night’s wanderers with three energy packed dance parties. Of the traditional, completely live bands, Dopapod and Kung Fu conjured some of the highest energy sets. Featuring the Motet’s Jans Ingber, Kung Fu’s Prince tribute set seemed to unify the crowd in celebration of the recently cleared skies. Joining these bands in technical mastery was live electronic trio, Nerve. Their highly acclaimed drummer, JoJo Mayer, not only wowed the crowd, but also many of the all star musicians. His speed and accuracy–even while playing odd time signatures–left every jaw dropped, and every drummer green with envy. The talent was overwhelming, to say the least. Rounding out our top picks, Orchard Lounge wrapped up the festival and ushered in the sunrise. It wouldn’t be The Big Up weekend without the perfectly placed, groove enhanced beats they have become so well known for.
The Big Up once again proved to be a festival worth saving your pennies for. To top off all the great musical performances and the fantastic camping options, the festival was organized and maintained by a very professional group of inspired people. From the well chosen food vendors to the out of this world late night light shows, nothing was forgotten in the planning or execution of this festival. Only a few hours outside of surrounding major cities, the festival provides a late summer escape without the long trek. The Big Up 2014 should definitely be a trip worth making next summer.