Peach Festival 2018 at Montage Mountain- Scranton, PA

Peach pavilion

Peach water park

Another year at Peach Fest. Peach may be the most relaxing festival around (probably something I say while at any given fest). People have complaints about Peach as do I but for the most part, it is reliably stocked with good tunes and nice people. Yes, as many say, the mountain can suck. Through the years I’ve learned to tackle it in strides. Bring as little as possible, come early, and suck it up. Yes, it rains every year. This year at least there was no lightning so everyone played on time and played a full set. Yes, the waterpark gets funky by day 3; it’s probably not worse than any other waterpark stocked with little kids.
Some highlights this year included The Marcus King Band, Cabinet, Michael Franti, Phil Lesh, The Commonheart (totally new to me), JRAD, and as always, Hayley Jane and the Primates. Other acts included Moe playing with Little Feat, Aqueous, Karl Denson and more. There are scores of good tunes and the scheduling was great this year. I wasn’t torn (as maybe some others were) between stages and was able to find a space to rock out for hours on end. The sound was good, the lights were… well not great but fine, and there is lots of worthwhile food (and coffee).
Peach filled the gap of Gathering of the Vibes (RIP) for many. It brings a mix of old heads and a younger crowd yet avoids the urge many festivals face to include more EDM. Certainly, there is an overlap in audiences (thanks to SCI, Disco Biscuits, Umphrey’s, and others) but one week earlier, the same venue hosted Camp Bisco which satiates those drives. The crowd comes from NYC, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and more. The vendors are ones we’ve seen at fests up and down the coast. So often in fact, there’s little need to browse them. Now I walk in and ask what’s new.
The key to Peach for me is consistency. I can buy tickets early because I trust their lineup, I know I’ll have people who want to come with me, I am confident it will rain.

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