Meet Ryann, angelic fiddle player for the “thundergrass” band HogMaw, and see how her family has bonded through music and Fest. Meet the “babies of Fest” and people who have been to every Fest for the past 50 years. Paul serenades you by the campfire as a love story unfolds. Then, a storm hits, sending huge tents careening through the sky. In the magic of Fest, people play in the mud and help each other rebuild. All the music is live from Fest. Filled with music, love & surprises, ‘AT FEST‘ is an intimate portrait of a festival unlike any other. Catch a new American music scene as old as music itself, and sure to please anyone who loves to have fun.
‘AT FEST‘ takes you on a never-before-seen and highly personal journey where you become part of one of the oldest and biggest annual outdoor music festivals in North America. The 50th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival serves as the setting for an exploration into how this festival, run by a non-profit and 2,500+ volunteers, is older than Woodstock, yet remains beloved by “fest virgins” and long-time Fest-goers alike. See a farm field transform into a huge festival.
Mastodon Films has partnered with music community website PledgeMusic and streaming media website Vimeo for the independent release of the film, soundtrack, and other merchandise. Pre-order DVDs and Blu-Rays of At Fest are available at PledgeMusic.com until July 22, 2013. At Fest will premiere online at Vimeo.com later this summer. The film also PREMIERES August, 7, 2013 in Philadelphia @ The Trocadero Theater and then plays in Brooklyn @ Brooklyn Bowl on August 12, 2013
– HogMaw brings a distinct sound to string band music that can best be described as “Thundergrass”. They’re a hoppin, hollerin and foot stompin good time with strong roots in traditional bluegrass, Appalachian and Irish music. They have opened for bluegrass legend Peter Rowan, Grammy winners The Carolina Chocolate Drops, and The Marshall Tucker Band. Their 2012 debut album “Wake” earned raves from critics and fans, and they star in At Fest.
– David Wax & Suz Slezak form the artistic core of David Wax Museum, fusing traditional Mexican folk with American roots and indie rock. Combining Latin rhythms, infectious melodies, and call-and-response hollering, these Philly Folk Fest 2011 performers were hailed by TIME Magazine as one of the Top 10 Acts of SXSW.
– Hoots and Hellmouth formed in 2005 in Philadelphia. Their forward thinking roots & soul music blends folk, gospel and rock. From rock clubs to folk festivals, their triumphant stops at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, SXSW, thousands of dive bars and more than a few farms in between have built a devoted fan base.
– The Paul Thiessen Band includes Paul and his keyboardist/singer and sister, Joy. Having played together all their lives, Paul and Joy seem to be able to join together effortlessly on stage and create fresh life in the music. The band graces the stages of some of the finest music festivals around, and Paul often camps at the Philadelphia Folk Festival.
– Emily Drinker is a singer-songrwiter and longtime Fest-goer hailing from Philadelphia. She graduated from Columbia University in 2012 with a degree in music. When she is not harmonizing with songs from Spring Awakening, Emily can be found in her signature yellow stockings, grooving to Joni Mitchell.
About the Filmmakers
Producer/Director James Wallace attended the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 2008–his first-ever music festival. He has directed numerous short films, commercials, and web video series. At Fest is his feature debut as a director. He lives in New York City with his wife, Jen, and their cat, Kiera.
Executive Producer Jennifer Wallace is also curator, art director, art collector, and business owner. Jen, a volunteer at the Philadelphia Folk Festival since she was a child, takes an annual break from her art business, nAscent Art New York, to enjoy summer music festivals, especially the Philly Folk Fest. She’s thrilled to be sharing At Fest, and loves seeing people connect to its universal themes of music, love, and family.