There are a whole lot of very good explanations to be down on major new music festivals: way too corporate, far too highly-priced, not laid-back again or family members-welcoming sufficient. Then there’s Levitate in Marshfield, which may well be the perfect festival for persons who detest festivals.
Levitate commenced 9 decades ago, when the surf shop of the same title place jointly an function for its 10th anniversary. It’s now grown into the three-day festival that happens on the Marshfield Fairgrounds this weekend, headlined on Sunday by Jack Johnson — probably the most correct artist there is to headline a surf-associated occasion. Other headliners this yr consist of Detroit funkateers Vulfpeck, Chicago jam/prog band Umphrey’s McGee and next-technology reggae star Stephen Marley. And in the supreme nod to local community-based mostly good-vibes music, they’ve got a member of the Grateful Useless, bassist Phil Lesh, headlining Saturday.
“It’s a enjoyable out of doors competition in a beach town,” founder Dan Hassett mentioned this 7 days. “The principle is bringing the full local community together in between audio, the arts and the outdoor. And we just take satisfaction in placing community artists into the blend, so men and women may well occur for one particular band and find a number of extra.”
The pageant has garnered a fantastic rep with artists who appreciate its philosophy talent booker Thomas Cussins proudly remembers Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio (who headlined with his solo band in 2018) calling it one of his preferred festivals.
“We guide dependent on mood more than style,” Cussins reported. “We strive to have a vibe that is large electricity and family members helpful — so there will be reggae, there’ll be jam bands, there’ll be indie rock. We attempt to capture the vibe of the surf store and the individuals who congregate there. The artists’ greenrooms are designed out of community product you go backstage and see persons shucking oysters. It is that sort of function.”
A single of this year’s highlighted bands, Adhere Figure, also headlined the 1st Levitate in 2013. At the time they were being primarily based just down the highway, as chief Scott Woodruff grew up in Duxbury. They are now centered in Southern California and are one particular of the greatest-drawing American reggae bands, possessing just wrapped up a thriving amphitheater tour.
“We’ve been there considering that 12 months one, and it is been enjoyment viewing this festival improve,” Woodruff mentioned this week. Rising up in close proximity to a seashore, he by natural means gravitated toward reggae. “I begun finding into bands from Jamaica and southern California when I was young, and I nonetheless try out to continue to be correct to my roots and make music that feels good.”
In recent months the band has collaborated with the Bermudan reggae artist Collie Buddz and California band A little Stoopid, and Woodruff says their forthcoming album features a legendary Jamaican visitor whose id they’re preserving solution for now.
“Our songs all stems from the original roots songs from Jamaica, but I also took a ton of impact from bands like Elegant and A little bit Stoopid. We pull from almost everything and consider to set it into a little something that feels diverse. It’s continue to reggae but there is a whole lot that’s new in it.”
However the competition is probable to provide out, Levitate is getting the unheard-of stage of webcasting the function from begin to finish, and not charging for it.
“I assume we can improve outreach in a greater way by not charging,” Hassett said.
This yr Levitate will also be launching its charitable foundation, supporting a quantity of arts and neighborhood similar leads to.
All this is a much cry even from other grassroots festivals like Bonnaroo, which goal to get greater each and every 12 months.
“There comes a level the place you start indicating, ‘Let’s make as dollars as attainable,’ ” Cussins claimed. “Instead of accomplishing that, we’re making an attempt to develop some thing sustainable for the group, exactly where 8- and 80-12 months-olds can be together.”
For more info, go to levitatemusicfestival.com.