Sunday, January 24, 2010 Smaller 'Rothbury Homegrown' event proposed to replace canceled 2010 Rothbury music festival

Goodbye Rothbury music festival, hello "Rothbury Homegrown?”

Less than 24 hours after national promoters of the Rothbury music festival announced they were pulling the plug on the 2010 event, Rothbury business leaders are discussing plans to host a scaled-down event his summer.

Don McCormick is the owner of Lucky Lake Campground in Rothbury. He is one of Rothbury's business leaders attempting to restore a summer concert at the Double JJ Resort after the cancellation of ROTHBURY 2010 was announced Friday.

Don McCormick, owner of Lucky Lake Campground & Outdoor Center in Rothbury, on Saturday confirmed he and other Rothbury business leaders have contacted the owners of Double JJ Resort — home of the Rothbury festival the past two years — to discuss hosting a smaller festival this summer. McCormick has suggested the festival be called Rothbury Homegrown because the event would be produced locally, without the help of national media giant, Madison House Publicity.
The 2-year-old festival has had an enormous financial impact on West Michigan, McCormick said. The survival of many businesses depend on it.

“I think we still have six months to put together Rothbury Homegrown," McCormick said. “A lot of fans have already scheduled their vacations around this event. It’s important to keep this festival going and keep the doors open.

“At the very least it will put (Rothbury promoter) Jeremy Stein on notice that we don’t need him or he needs to step up and be serious about this,” McCormick said.

McCormick said he and other business leaders hope to pitch an outline of their idea to the Grant Township Zoning Board at it’s meeting 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Festival promoters Madison House Presents and AEG LIVE on Friday announced the cancellation of the 2010 Rothbury festival. In a prepared statement, the promoters cited a “contributing factor” to their decision was “various artists’ recording and touring schedules” which would not allow them “to assemble the cutting edge roster that has been associated with Rothbury.”

Jerry Stein, owner and partner in Madison House Presents stated in a news release that his company intends to bring Rothbury back in 2011. Stein could not be reached for comment Friday or Saturday.

Muskegon band Four Finger Five, which has performed on the Rothbury main stage two consecutive years, was told Wednesday the festival was in trouble.

“We were told that they were having a hard time finding a national headliner,” said Joe Sturgill, the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist. “It’s sad to see it go. But, hopefully it will be back. It was a point of pride for the whole state because it attracted people from all over the world to beautiful West Michigan.”

Four Finger Five, which also includes, Mike Phillips on bass and Steve Harris on percussion, performed on the festival’s main stage in 2008 and 2009, which gave them national exposure, Sturgill said, including a mention in Billboard magazine.

“Rothbury was a huge break for us,” Sturgill said. Read more Phish Phan's Definitive Biography


Not just important for hippie music, the long-form-jam style of playing for which Phish is often pegged.
"It's one of those rare situations where the group, together, is greater than the sum of their parts," the author of "Phish: The Biography" said over a hot chocolate while sitting in Tate Street Coffee House one recent afternoon.

The 55-year-old Greensboro-based writer has followed the band since he was asked to write about the Burlington, Vt., quartet in 1995. He's no stranger to the music scene, having previously written two books on the music and culture of the 1960s. As an editor and writer for Rolling Stone, he's published numerous articles on classic and current rock music, including the 1995 Phish story.

The assignment sent him to the band's 1995 shows at Red Rocks, Colo., and introduced Puterbaugh to a new world of music.

"Towering walls of ruddy sandstone surround and enfold the amphitheater," he wrote. "Musically it's tailor-made for more organic and improv-oriented acts -- the Allman Brothers, the Dead, Neil Young, and, of course, Phish -- since the transcendent setting inspires and enhances risk-taking music. Moreover, the air is really thin, making fans a little giddy even without nitrous tanks." From that time, Puterbaugh began to follow Phish. He would occasionally be the band's publicist.

"A number of things over the years have struck me as miraculous: word processing, the Internet, compact discs, Google, hybrid cars, the Hubble space telescope, the Mars Rover, the Big Sur coastline, a breaching blue whale, and Phish," he wrote in the book's acknowledgments, which precede a story that gives a perspective from a fan with access to the early years of the band's formation on the back farms and clubs of Vermont.

His perspective comes as a rare insider to the band's marathon practice sessions.

"The first time I met them, I met them in a rehearsal space," he said. "I don't know of any journalist who did that."

The sessions were integral to the band's live shows and the musical interplay on stage, he said.

"They could turn on a dime, follow each other, react to each other," Puterbaugh said.

Phish members would sync with one another over music that ranged between extremes: discord and harmony, staccato rock and soft melody.

And the albums and stories Phish produced through the years are interwoven and complicated. Some fans go so far as to make betting pools on which songs the band will choose to play, or root out teases -- melodies the band plays in concert to tip off each other and the audience about songs to come. Read more

Setlist: Umphrey's McGee 1.23.2010 The Fillmore ~ Denver, CO

Set I: Turn & Dub > "Jimmy Stewart" > Turn & Dub, 1348 > "Jimmy Stewart" > Bridgeless > 1348, Anchor Drops > Tribute To The Spinal Shaft, FF, Baba O'Riley*

Set II: Wizard Burial Ground > Wappy Sprayberry > Miss Tinkles Overture, Gulf Stream, Got Your Milk (Right Here) > "Jimmy Stewart"** > Bridgeless, Hangover, Nemo's Fat Bottomed Good Times > Wizard Burial Ground

Encore: Partyin' Peeps, Ain't No Fun

* W/ Allie Kral

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