MASONTOWN, W.Va. - One of the nation's biggest and best annual summer music festivals takes place just a short jaunt down Interstate 79, and this year's 15th anniversary promises to deliver a show that's bigger and better than ever.
The All Good Music Festival and Campout 2011 is scheduled to take place July 14-17 in Masontown, W.Va., located just southeast of Morgantown.
All Good stems from humble beginnings, the brainchild of Tim Walther and the team from Walther Productions. Walther began putting his passion behind music promotion in the mid-1990s. Honing his craft along the way, he went from promoting regional bands in the Maryland area and handing out flyers for shows ... to building roads at a spacious venue, netting contracts with the biggest names in the music business and coordinating accommodations for tens of thousands of faithful music fans in a matter of less than 10 years.
Lighted Dragon Dances through the crowd during the All Good Music Festival
Today the All Good Music Festival is one of the premier events of its kind in the nation. Last year's All Good - with headliners Furthur featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead - attracted what was considered a "sell-out" crowd, the largest in the festival's history.
This year, Furthur is set to return, along with a who's who of other great acts. The festival also includes performances by Primus, moe., Pretty Lights, Umphrey's McGee, STS9, John Butler Trio, Dark Star Orchestra, Warren Haynes Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, SOJA, Galactic, Toots and the Maytals, J.J. Grey & Mofro, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, The Bridge, Big Gigantic, Donna the Buffalo, The Infamous Stringdusters, Beats Antique, Papadosio, Toubab Krewe, Greensky Bluegrass, That 1 Guy, Hot Buttered Rum, Marco Benevento, Zach Deputy, These United States, The Werks, Everyone Orchestra, J. Roddy Walson and the Business, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Dana Fuchs, Lubriphonic, Dangermuffin, Orgone, The Recipe, All Mighty Senators, Fletcher's Grove, The Rex Jam hosted by Matt Butler and Everyone Orchestra and more.
Performances take place on a main stage and an adjacent second stage, allowing for continuous live music once the day's events kick off. There has always been music in the camping area, as well, with a stage set up there.
Unlike almost all other major music festivals, All Good offers no overlapping sets during the four-day marathon event, something in which organizers take great pride. Fans have an opportunity to see every band they wish to see and more.
Good music is the key to All Good, which lives up to its name. Music lovers from across the country and beyond mark their calendars for this weekend in early July every year to venture to the hills of West Virginia to camp out and catch an onslaught of outstanding musical performances.
For the past several years, All Good has taken place just outside of Masontown, W.Va. on a venue called Marvin's Mountaintop. The festival grounds is situated on 655 sprawling acres of land that literally lies atop a mountain overlooking the Cheat River in certain areas of the campgrounds. The property offers spectacular views and a true getaway from the concrete jungle.
Like other major music festivals, All Good's venue in a way is transformed into a fully-functional city - an independent utopia for music lovers during a four-day summer stretch.
In the past, weather conditions have been extreme at All Good events, and the mountain location has enhanced those conditions at times. In recent years, the weather has been nothing short of perfect.
In addition to great music, All Good is notorious for intentionally building up the excitement throughout the day, ending with heavy-hitting headlining anchors and after-hours late night shows that unleash unforgettable stage lighting during electrifying performances.
There are also a variety of artisan workshops, vendors specializing in a variety of food, arts and crafts, handmade apparel and other merchandise.
Advance tickets are now on sale for a discounted price. Early bird tickets for Thursday arrivals are also on sale. Even Better VIP tickets are already sold out.
For more information about the 15th annual All Good Music Festival, visit www.allgoodfestival.com.
Ayres can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.