Gallery & Reflections: Catskill Chill 2014
HANCOCK, NY – Nestled in The Catskills along the Pennsylvania border in Hancock, New York, the Catskill Chill Music Festival invited music fans to enjoy a diverse lineup of music and arts in a safe, friendly, hassle-free summer camp environment known as Camp Minglewood. The three-day extravaganza housed four stages and more than 60 acts, ranging from bluegrass to electronic, and boasted unique features such as improvised collaborations vis-a-vis Cabin Jams and a Dopapod Pancake Breakfast.
In just five years, Chill has evolved from a small, ambitious startup into an undeniable heavyweight in the scene and, for many, the only way to end summer. It showcases everything good about any major music festival, and simply doesn’t entertain the bad elements. Attendees never have to search far for friends, shady respite from the sun, clean bathrooms, a variety of culinary offerings, help of any kind, places to sit and kick back…namely, all the things on one’s wish list at any organized outdoor event.
Ultimately, we set out to articulate why Chill is so extraordinary to so many, and it turns out that aside from a stellar lineup, and great production behind the scenes, it happens to be the staff, musicians and crowd themselves: it’s the people, people.
We asked some of the people that make Catskill Chill such a special place what makes it so, in a word, chill. Here’s a taste:
“If I had to pick one thing [that sets Chill apart] I would say the way the staff takes care of the artists. No other festival provides such a smooth working experience for musicians and production along with absolutely wonderful hospitality.” – Kito Bovenschulte – Drums / Vocals, FiKus
“Catskill Chill is special because it draws wonderful fans and spectacular musicians. Also, there are very few musicians who aren’t good friends with one another. This makes the vibe of Catskill Chill very special. All of the musicians push themselves to perform at their highest level during their sets. Moreover, in the Jam Session at night in the cabins all of these musicians hang out and play with zero judgment of any other musicians’ capabilities, which allows for a unique performance setting full of love and the promise of great and powerful discovery with musicians with whom you never really are able to perform because all of our schedules are so crazy.” – Friendship, The Hornitz
“When I first came to Catskill Chill three years ago I was just another fan coming to get some tasty jams, but now it’s become a more than just a festival to me, it’s a family reunion. To be able to contribute with my lighting it’s just a surreal feeling coming from where I started and I’m truly grateful to be part of this family.” – Manny Newman – Lights, Fikus (see video below)
What I love about Catskill Chill is the hang!!! Getting to see so many bands up close and meet the players is incredibly inspiring. The cabin jams are also something special. It’s an awesome opportunity for musicians to play together in an environment where there’s tons of talent.” – Jeff Mann – Drums, Consider the Source
“I love coming back to the Chill every year because it’s east coast family coming together to say goodbye to summer and welcome the coming fall. With all the big festivals out there what the Chill provides is unmatched, a true sense of community and togetherness. Minglewood has become a home for us all.” – Sarina Ella, 3/5 Catskill Chills
“It never lets me down.”- Jay Feel-Good
“The Chill is an amazing event with incredible music and people! Such a ridiculous fun time with friends and family at a beautiful venue!” – Bobby Paltauf
“To me, Catskill Chill is kind of like the first day of kindergarten. Every single person goes in not knowing what to expect, and by the end you’re best friends with everyone and having the time of your life with endless possibilities. That’s what makes Chill special.” – Pete Spadaro III, a ton of stuff, Shwizz and Fikus
From the glowing reviews of fans and performers alike, it is clear that in just a matter of a few short years, Catskill Chill is no longer the new kid on the festival block. Now securely past its infancy, the Chill has graduated into a perfectly executed production, all on an at-capacity, 5,000 person scale, making it one of the best small festival experiences in the country and a weekend to anticipate for years to come.
Take A tour of Catskill Chill 2014 by way of the lenses and eyes of Paul Hollands and Shane Weber: