Big Something Plans Another Amazing Fest: The Big WHAT? 5
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING! The Big WHAT? is less than two weeks away?
It’s true. The incredible three-day celebration party thrown by Big Something in NJ Mebane NC is July 21-23. Cancel your other plans. NOW.
The Big WHAT? is presented by Big Something, Possum Holler Productions, and Life is Art Studios. This is number five; number four was a sonic blast! You can read our review here, and check out this video recap:
The host sextet will play all three nights (the schedule says Big Something (x?); more on that later). They are regulars at festivals and dozens of shows. BS played for the first time at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park at the Wanee Music Festival and threw down a tremendous set. This festival is their way of saying thanks to all of their fans.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong also have their own party called Domefest (May), and Big Something were headliners there. The Pigeons return the favor, playing The Big WHAT?, then sharing a set with the hosts that they call “Big Pigeons Playing Something.” Imagine the possibilities!
PPPP just headlined two nights in Florida at the Great Outdoors Jam. Both nights were amazing. We wrote:
I have always appreciated the Pigeons’ incredible musical talents and enjoyed their amazing funk jams. All of that was in evidence, but there was more. I have rarely seen them play more than a hour or an hour and a quarter. This set blasted off with equal measures of jamtronica and straight-up jam. The first half hour was simply mesmerizing, and it just got better from there.
The Werks bring their “Psychedelic Dance Jam Funk Rock” from Dayton. They headlined the first night of AURA Music and Arts Festival in March and Hometeam New Year’s Rally. One-man-band Zach Deputy spans a dozen genres during his continuous dance party.
Turkuaz also had a killer set at AURA and have blown audiences everywhere away with their Brooklyn power funk. At AURA:
“Turkuaz was unmitigated fun. As Pat says, ‘Friends don’t let friends miss Turkuaz.’ This nine-piece band blows up a funk storm, and they were tremendous, the two female vocalists on the stage left, three horns stage right.”
Spiritual Rez had the closing slot on Friday at last year’s The Big WHAT?, and they made the most of it. “I have always enjoyed their sets, but this was SR on steroids. They killed it. Reggae, ska, rock, funk, soul. They had it covered! Their set was full of power and positivity. The sextet is a well-oiled machine with that deep-pocket bottom.”
Another NC product, Barefoot Manner, delight in “newgrass, soul-shaking funk and musical experimentation.” They played a thrilling set at tBW? 2015. People’s Blues of Richmond play in-your-face, full-frontal “heavy, psychedelic, loud, manic, emotion-driven rock n’ roll kinda stuff.” They are so much fun to hear — and watch.
The Southern Belles are also from Richmond, but don’t expect to find any Southern belles — just “psychedelic, American, rock & roll” music. At the Little Econ Love Fest in February, we wrote:
“And with this set Pat and I determined the buzzphrase for the weekend. Given that I try to avoid the F-word (well, when I write, anyway), let’s just say the phrase was ‘sick as funk.’ Which we could also abbreviate as SAF. Because they were!”
Asheville’s Empire Strikes Brass plays, as you might expect, “BRASSFUNKROCK.” They will tackle any material and make it their own.
Urban Soil has been skyrocketing since their appearance at tBW? 2015, when we wrote:
“Urban Soil threw down. That might sound odd for the Raleigh quintet who bill themselves as “homegrown sweet Americana jam,” but this was a wonderful, strong set, and Opposite Box was NOT an easy act to follow. Urban Soil did so with gusto and grace. The quintet is centered around the beautiful voice of Sarah Reinke.”
Groove Fetish (from Wilmington) are great jam rockers whose sets are filled with funk. They also graced last year’s fest and the recent Great Outdoors Jam. Dale & the ZDubs list their genres as “rock, reggae and birthday suits,” hailing from DC-Maryland-Virginia. You know that’s gonna be fun.
Dr. Bacon also played last year, delivering their self-styled “Appalachian soul grass funkabilly get-down music.” These boys Boone actually play bluegrass on steroids. Mac & Juice Quartet had the opening slot at last year’s fest. It was delayed by Mother Nature’s fury. When they finally got on stage later, they played one song, and the skies opened up again. These jammy-soul-rock & roll Wilmington boys deserve a full set this year!
Psylo Joe’s set last year was also wiped out by Mother Nature (she was in a mood). The Greensboro funky psychedelic rockers also want the chance for a full set.
There is plenty of great art in the art tent and numerous vendors of food and crafts. More than anything, though, this festival is famous for wonderful people and a magical vibe. Also critical to its success is the amazing team running the event which Nick MacDaniels proudly refers to as: “The greatest festival crew in the history of festival crews!”
Food, bagged ice and water will be available for sale on site. There is no alcohol sold on site. There is also no ATM on the festival grounds; be sure to come prepared. There is a great and helpful Festival 411 guide on the website.
There is more to enhance your experience than just music. At the top of the list: Outdoor showers! There is an 18-hole disc golf course, and arts and crafts vendors will have their wares for sale. The Homegrown Music Network Artist Merchandise tent will be a beehive of activity as well.
Maybe right now you’re thinking ‘The Big WHAT?’ When it’s over, you’ll be saying ‘The Big WHAT!’
Photographs by kind permission of David Lee / Gypsyshooter