Otis Mountain Get Down returns | New

ELIZABETHTOWN – Nestled in the Pleasant Valley Adirondack foothills between Elizabethtown and New Russia is Otis Mountain; site of the annual music festival known as the Get Down.

According to its website, the Get Down is called “A weekend of music, experience and community. Come for the music, stay for everything else. We keep it intimate, open and affordable so everyone can connect with new artists or old friends.

“DON’T POOP IN THE WOODS”

It can be interpreted as a mini-Woodstock with virtually the same values ​​of peace and love. The 2019 event attracted around 3,000 attendees while this year attendance was limited to 2,000, which includes vendors and festival staff.

Although mostly college-age attendees, there were a handful who remembered 1969 at Max Yasgur’s farm. To carry on the sentiment, some attendees dressed as incarnate hippies with tied shirts and flowing dresses, as they walked through the woods, fields and hills and danced barefoot.

The festival was a well-organized event with signs indicating camping areas, outbuildings, directions to stages, property lines, and other features. There are also tick warnings as well as signs that read: “Check trees before hanging hammocks” and “Don’t poop in the woods.”

AS IF THE HIATUS NEVER HAPPENED

Referring to the hiatus and restart as he put up information boards, Otis organizer Zach Allott said: “It’s great. It’s almost like (the break) never happened.

Bins with an emphasis on recycling are emptied regularly, which has contributed to the fact that, given the number of attendees and the amount of food and drink consumed, the sprawling area that stretches across the grounds of the venue , on the ski slope and in the woods, has virtually no litter.

Medical staff, a first aid post and ambulance as well as discreet security are present throughout the festival, but over the years they have rarely been needed.

THE INTERPRETERS

According to Otis’ website: “Our lineup is curated in diversity and spirit, rather than popularity.”

Thus, the nicknames of the performers were as eclectic as the genre. Of course, to create a group, you must create a name that has not been used. Consequently, Mr. Twin Sister, Vetliver, Dead Gowns, Blood Cultures (whose band members are listed as “Anonymous”), and Thus Love were among the approximately 40 artists.

Audiences were treated to a sonic spectrum that, according to the artists’ biographies, included “dense house pop, soulful folk rock, bossa nova, psychedelic rock, Appalachian music, experimental indie pop , nervous lo-fi rhythms and crisp synths. »

OTIS HISTORY

The festival is hosted on the ancestral lands of the Kanienkehaka Nation and the Odanak of the Abenaki people. Thus the organizers with regard to the original inhabitants ask the showmen to “do good things”.

The site is located on a former ski resort nestled in what settlers once called the “Pleasant Valley” more than two centuries ago.

For many years, locals called the assortment of dilapidated buildings in the current parking lot, “The Farm”. It was once owned by the Lobdell family; hence the name of the road. The farm was a favorite spot for revelers and was occasionally patrolled by sheriff’s deputies who, during their own teenage years, may have used the secluded surroundings for their own revelry.

From the 1950s through the 1970s, Otis Mountain was a ski hill for many locals who could not travel to or afford resorts such as Whiteface, Killington and Stowe and sought the company of friends and extended families who gathered for an inexpensive day on the slopes.

During years of inactivity, the site, like others in the region, became a dumping ground for garbage. Get Down promoter Zach Allott’s parents, Jeff and Sue, along with Steve Winkler and Ed Marvin took over the property and cleared it of trash and overgrown vegetation.

Music-inclined, Jeff instituted a bluegrass festival at the site in 2003 which continued until 2009. Then in 2013 the festival was resurrected by Zach on a considerably larger scale with three stages and more acts.

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