The Debrief | Dave Marzollo Talks Catskill Chill 2013

Earlier this month the 2013 installment of the Catskill Chill festival took place at Camp Minglewood in Hancock, NY boasting a lineup that included Page McConnell and The Meter Men, Lotus, Galactic, Conspirator, Lettuce and many other bands from our scene. We recently spoke with Catskill Chill owner and promoter Dave Marzollo about how the event went and all the work behind putting it together.

[Photo by Scott Harris]

JamBase: Now that Catskill Chill is over and you've had a little time to breathe, what are your general impressions of this year's festival?

Dave Marzollo: This year's Chill was my favorite. Each year, we do our best to build on what makes the Chill special, while attempting to learn from our mistakes. I think that everyone involved - from the attendees and vendors, to the staff and artists - had a great time. We have received nothing but positive feedback. I am extremely proud to say that the wonderful responses we received from Page and the Phish camp were echoed by everyone involved.

JB: I would imagine with each passing year you learn what works and what doesn't when it comes to logistics. Was there anything that changed logistically between the 2012 installment and this year's event? How did that turn out?

DM: Sure. We wanted to provide our attendees with more camping areas. As we continue to grow, we look for new ways to make the experience better for our ChillFam. We felt that the camping areas seemed a bit crowded in 2012, so we opened up the new lakeside "Overlook Campground." While this area was a bit farther from the stages, we felt that it allowed our campers to have more space to set up their sites and enjoy Camp Minglewood. Jason Deeney and Jay Urse did a great job on the site plan this year.  Also, we really ramped up the production and talent for our Acoustic Junction Stage. I was thrilled with this mid-campsite venue, and I thought stage manager Martin Hill did a tremendous job making this stage such a hot spot.

JB: I'm sure there were many, but can you share a few of your personal musical highlights from this year's event?

DM: To be honest, I don't get to see too much music. I don't see any music Friday, given the nature of the attendee ingress, and only a little music on Saturday, as I try to make my way around the site, to ensure that everything is running a smoothly as possible.  I did get to catch the last 15 minutes of Galactic and I was blown away by how great they sounded. By Sunday, I can usually get down to the stages a good deal. I really enjoyed Sister Sparrow's set, and the Motet's Funk is Dead set was magnificent. The Dopadosio Mega-block was spectacular - i'll say more on that is a moment. The highlight of the entire event was The Meter Men with Page McConnell. I got goosebumps when they brought child guitar prodigy Bobby Paltauf on stage, and he was trading licks with Leo. That might have been one of my favorite Chill memories to date. Check out the picture.

JB: How did the Dopodosio set come together?

DM: Great for me and great for the fans - but probably not as great for the production team. Luckily, I have the best Production Manager in Kurt Steelman and Stage Manager in Lance Royes. These guys stick to the schedule by the second, and don't make any mistakes, but we put their skills (and patience) to the test with this one. Of course, the guys handled it with all the efficiency that we have come to expect from them over the years. I was really happy with how smoothly the entire production team performed the entire event, but especially with this triple set, at the end of such a long weekend.

JB: How well do you think the two bands pulled off the Dopodosio performance?

DM: It was incredible. As a big fan of both bands, I loved each of their individual sets, but the combination of the two blew me off my feet. I was thrilled by the fact that everyone stayed, even though it was well past 3:30 a.m. on Sunday night, by the time it was over. We are lucky to have some amazing footage of the set, as well as full soundboard recordings, so for those who missed it, we will still give you a chance to share the wonder we all witnessed.

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