ryan’s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out

Music on the Mountaintop gets a little bigger, hopefully a little better

You can’t fault an event for focusing on its primary mission, and in the case of music on the mountaintop it’s to promote ecological awareness and sustainability education all while putting out a pretty good lineup of music. When it’s done at the expense of organization and attendee convenience, however, that’s a different story. In the same vein, saying your festival leaves zero carbon imprint is all well and good, but when no performance information is posted anywhere on the grounds and there’s ankle-deep mud everywhere, it’s hard to endorse regardless of the cause. That was the deal last year, and despite sam Bush and keller Williams atop the bill, it wasn’t really the best time. Hopes are high for year three, however, as Bush and Williams return for more sets and the festival itself expands from a single-day event to a Friday and saturday affair. Williams will headline the main stage on Friday with Yo mama’s Big Fat Booty band closing out the evening, which puts Bush as the penultimate act on saturday, but not necessarily ineligible to repeat last year’s collaboration. Bush and Williams give way to Railroad earth, who will close out saturday night as this year’s top performer, but it’s the dramatic upgrade in undercard that is this year’s biggest appeal. Back also are Acoustic syndicate, but the inclusion of Josh Phillips Folk Festival brings the possibility of a reinstatement of the original Booty Band lineup. most exciting is of course Toubab krewe, whose long-awaited second album k2 is out next week, and larry keel & Natural Bridge are a great time as always. The festival’s three solar- and wind-powered stages will have music starting around noon on both days and all will run until the late afternoon, with the main stage rocking until midnight. There will surely be after-parties galore, given that it is Boone after all. Tickets are $75 for a full weekend plus camping, which you must have if you intend to camp. otherwise they’re $65 with single day passes also available. Just don’t forget to print out a schedule beforehand and to bring a pair of mud boots.

Summertime is dust in the wind, so carry on under the wayward sun

For six years, Triad beer lovers have been spoiled by the quality and comforts of having their lone summer beer festival nestled inside a giant concrete room while completely uninteresting bands, already plagued by impossible acoustics, prattle on for the five or six people who care enough to listen to them. Three good hours to hop from spout to spout and uh, maybe commiserate around the Port-A-Johns is all you need in a beer festival, right? Well, the folks with the Great North carolina Beer Festival, happening this saturday in Tanglewood Park, had the audacity to try and improve upon what was already a seemingly impeccable event model. How about having it for seven hours outside in the August sunshine? Hmmm, an interesting idea. maybe have games like cornhole, eight-ball and putting all day? An intrepid proposition indeed. maybe even book — gasp — a national touring act to play it? some nerve! Rock legends kansas are that band, though if you’re there for festival opener, the up-and-coming country singer from Winston-salem katelyn marks at 1 p.m., there’s little chance you’ll ether be awake for their show or possess the faculties to remember them being there. Tickets for the festival are $25 in advance and $30 the day of.