MOOSIC — The Peach Festival is returning to Scranton for its fourth year– and this year looks pretty juicy.
The Peach Festival, touted as “the only Allman Brothers Band inspired and curated festival in the Northeast” is returning to Montage Mountain on August 13 through 16 as a four-day-three-night engagement promising a weekend filled with great entertainment, great company and opportunities to make some great memories.
The festival even offers travel packages with locked-in festival rates at local hotels, and “glamping packages” for Peach-goers who are not interested in standard camping fare. Glamping, as you may know, is camping the glamours way, including soft beds, controlled temperatures, those types of perks that don’t go along with a tent and airmattress.
If you’re interested in a “glamping,” also known as VIP set up, it’ll set you back a minimum of $1,089– but you get a lot for your hard-earned dough. Amenities including as a private campground, golf cart transportation from your car to your tent, access to air-conditioned bathrooms with flushing toilets, two vouchers per day for hot showers and a campground concierge service to take personal orders for groceries and other items, pick them up from local stores and deliver them directly to your campground are included.
That’s a pretty sweet deal.
With a festival as advanced as The Peach, campers won’t have to worry about the traditional fear of forgetting to bring key items.
If you choose the VIP camping option, of course, you’ll have Montage Mountain’s personal concierge staff at your beckon call to retrieve any necessities you might need.
If you’re just a standard camper, however, don’t fear! Peach features a number of vendors– both out of town and local– catering to that specific need.
One festival mainstay is Mr. B’s Festival Needs General Store. No stranger to festival life, Mr.B’s is a Peach veteran, as well as a standby at Gathering of the Vibes, Strangecreek Campout, Susquehanna Breakdown, and Wormtown Music Festival to name a few. He was also most recently at Camp Bisco, also held at Montage Mountain.
Brendan Sheehan formed Mr. B’s in 2008, after he noticed a lack of availability in the festival community for campers to get “essentials” while on site. While beautiful tapestries and jewelry was plentiful, many times simple necessities such as toothpaste, toilet paper, deodorant and bug spray were much needed and difficult to attain.
“We are devoted to bringing those last minute essentials to the festival grounds for those who may have forgotten them,” Sheehan said. “We are open 24 hours a day.”
With all the fun surrounding the fest, make sure to spend some time focusing on the main attraction — the music.
For returning festival goers, this year’s lineup at The Peach is pretty outstanding. Headlining acts such as Santana, Gregg Allman (of the Allman Brothers Band), Bob Weir with Billy and the Kids (featuring both Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann of The Grateful Dead), Willie Nelson, Blues Traveler and many more will take stage throughout the weekend.
Fusion-rock jam act Rusted Root is even celebrating their 25th anniversary at The Peach.
With a lineup as stacked as that, The Peach is bound to be a blowout, however most of the acts are nationally (or internationally) known. So, what does The Peach mean for locals?
Weekender got a look at Peach from the perspective of three acts on the bill with local ties to Pennsylvania– the closest thing to the Peach’s “hometown heroes.”
Two-time Peach veteran Tom Hamilton (of such acts as American Babies, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and Billy and The Kids) proudly hails from Philadelphia and is returning to play three sets this year at the fest.
“There’s nothing quite like Peach,” Hamilton said. “What sets it apart is truly the facility at Montage. Most fests are just set up in the middle of a field somewhere with the crappy grass and no surroundings. This has a waterpark, amphitheater for the main stage, zip lines. It really adds to the experience.”
Hamilton has ties to NEPA. It was the 570 that helped him get his start.
“The River Street Jazz Café was the first place out of Philly that ever gave me a chance and booked me,” Hamilton said. “I will always have a soft spot for the Coal Region.”
Hamilton isn’t alone in his appreciation of NEPA.
Pittston-born and Scranton-area native Mike “MiZ” Mizwinski is returning to The Peach and this year marks his fourth time as part of the show. He said he is proud of how much The Peach has grown.
“The first year, everyone was so surprised with Montage. It was completely unprecedented at the time,” Mizwinski said. “The Peach is now an East Coast staple music festival. I’ve played all over the East Coast and people from everywhere know all about it.”
Mizwinski even has some new and exciting surprises for attendees at The Peach.
“I’ve got a new band I’m unveiling,” he said. “They’re my backing band, but we’re called ‘Till The Cows Come Home.’ We have a brand new 5-song EP called ‘Get Your Moo On’ with some special guests featured that I think everyone will dig.”
Even local acts that aren’t on the lineup for the Peach are feeling the effects of The Peach’s outreach.
“Festivals are amazing exposure for local bands, especially The Peach,” said Jesse Mower, lead singer of Carbondale-based rock band Static in the Attic. “Any time we were able to be a part of one, it was a blast! More people are there for the music than a small bar gig, so they are very refreshing.”
Even local businesses in the area are getting a taste of The Peach’s huge audience.
“We love The Peach!” said Christian Pilosi, owner and founder of Scranton’s Eden-a-Vegan café. “There’s definitely a common thread between the vegetarian/vegan movement and the type of hippie/jam band vibe of The Peach. We get people of all ages stopping by when Peach is in town– out of towners, locals, even campers who order the food and bring it back to the campsite.”
Overall, The Peach has certainly ripened into an awesome, eclectic festival that hopefully will continue to make Northeast Pennsylvania a staple for music fans.
Reach the Weekender at 570-829-7242 or at email@example.com
IF YOU GO
What: The Peach Music Festival
Where: Montage Mountain
When: Thursday, Aug. 13 - Sunday, Aug. 16
Cost: $300 for a four-day pass; $35-$75 for single day passes.
More info: Find out more info at http://thepeachmusicfestival.com