JEFFERSON, MD - Just three weeks ahead of its scheduled start, the moe. or Les Festival and Campout has been forced by Prince George's County officials to leave Wilmer's Park in Brandywine, MD, and "move to the Mountaintop" - to a more attractive site near Morgantown, WV.
Camp Bisco III: Señor Boombox and “Summer of Love... 35 Years Later” Festival and Campout, the other two Walther Productions multi-day music festivals slated for Wilmer's Park this season - both in August - also have been uprooted by county officials' sudden interpretation of zoning regulations.
The moe. or Les Festival and Campout, highlighted by two nights of moe. and Les Claypool's Frog Brigade and featuring a peacefully potent roster of their high-flying musical friends, will go on as scheduled July 12-13 at Marvin's Mountaintop in Masontown, WV, just 12 miles East of Morgantown. Also appearing will be The Recipe, Lake Trout, Yonder Mountain String Band, Strangefolk, All Mighty Senators, Project Object with Ike Willis, Small Appliance and Townhall, with more acts to be announced. Promoter Tim Walther promised today he will soon announce new homes for Camp Bisco III: Señor Boombox and the "Summer of Love... 35 Years Later" Festival and Campout, and that neither event is in jeopardy.
Marvin's Mountaintop is a serene and secluded setting on 675 acres of wooded land, offering a panoramic view overlooking the Allegheny Mountains and the Cheat River. The site can hold up to 20,000 festival patrons.
"I feel blessed that we were able to secure a site for the moe. or Les Festival as perfect as Marvin's Mountaintop within just 24 hours," said Walther. "Not only does it have the potential to be the best site we've ever worked with, but the owner is a gentle spirit who welcomed us with open arms."
Tickets for the moe. or Les Festival and Campout are $55 in advance, $70 at the gate and available through WaltherTix at WaltherTix.musictoday.com, JamBase at JamBaseTickets.com, and 800.594.TIXX (8499), plus numerous East Coast outlets. Saturday-only tickets are $45 and available only at the gate. There will be NO WILL CALL. Advance phone and internet sales end Wednesday, July 3 at midnight. Children under 12 admitted FREE with accompanying adult. For details, call the Homegrown Music Network's Buzz-A-Band Hotline at 919.563.4936 or check the moe. or Les website at Walther-Productions.com. Refunds are available at point of purchase.
Walther Productions was shocked this week when county officials convened and released information that determined Wilmer's Park is not zoned for large outdoor events. Despite successfully producing a dozen previous musical festivals and campouts at the venue, Walther said the zoning restriction had never been brought to his attention until a meeting with county officials called on short notice last Wednesday. Other restrictions newly placed upon Walther Productions included insufficient concert space and a mandate that would prohibit outside food vendors.
"Those are three major strikes against my festivals," said Walther. "They gave us no indication that they were going to work with us. Every creative idea we proposed was shot down. In all my history of promoting over two dozen festivals in four different states, I've never gone up against such stern resistance from county officials."
Walther is looking forward to strengthening his already positive relationship with Preston County officials in West Virginia. Walther Productions has already promoted three such festivals in that county: the Recipe Family Cookout (2000) in Albright; and the Recipe Family Cookout (1999) and this year's All Good Music Festival and Campout, both in Terra Alta.