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The Germination Festival returns to Harmony May 20-22

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The Germination Festival returns to Harmony May 20-22 (Photo courtesy of Sam Davis)

A lineup of national touring acts combined with home grown talent is scheduled to provide entertainment for a weekend campout at Freedom Field in Harmony from May 20-22 during the 27th annual Germination Festival.

Germination is an all-ages, family-friendly music and art festival started decades ago by Donnie Christian. According to Chelsea Morang, who is assisting with the event, Christian had been looking for a group to take over the organization for this and other music festivals held at Freedom Field, 75 Carson Hill Road in Harmony.

“He recently found a group to keep his legacy going so more events can happen at this magical place,” Morang says. “Germination will be the first big festival that we’re all putting our hearts and souls into.”

The multi-genre music lineup for Germination will offer a bit of everything according to Morang.

“We have jam-bands but also rock and roll, jazz fusion, hip-hop, one-man acts, looping and DJs. There’s a good variety to speak to everybody,” she says.

Nationally touring acts to appear at Germination include Neighbor led by Richard James of the band Pink Talking Fish and Lyle Brewer. Dogs in a Pile is a psych-fusion funk rock band from Asbury Park, New Jersey. Beau Sasser & the Sensi All-Stars are an organ-driven funk rock band. Jabbawaukee is a Rhode Island-based psych-funk-jam quartet. Higher Education, formed in College Park, Maryland, plays psychedelic roots rock. Leon Trout is a jam-funk-psych band from Boston.

Stephen Lewis and the BIG Band of Fun is a high-energy funk and hip-hop band from New Brunswick that will make a return visit to Germination when they officially launch the festival on Friday afternoon beginning at 2:30 pm.

Other artists and bands rounding out the bill at Germination will include Bangor-based rock-jam-psych-funk band Merther, BookHead SweetTooth (roots, blues, soul, funk, folk), Married Iguana (3-piece progressive funk band from Nashua, NH), Jordan Kaulback, The Wayside (Americana, country, roots rock band from Seattle), The Rio Brisbee Band, Paul Goodridge, Reflexions, The John Spignesi Band (rock and psych band from New Haven) and Tony Margaronis.

A kids’ tent will feature instructors teaching kids to spin poi. “It’s a form of slow dancing where you spin balls on a string,” Morang says. “We’ll teach them how to make their own so they can get outside and have some fun.”

Artists will create live visual art and offer demos throughout the weekend, according to Morang.

“We’ll have eight featured artists in that tent ranging from seamstresses to weavers, live painters, people doing collages, spray paint art, and mural artist David Dip creating live murals,” she says.

Cannabis educators and caregivers will be on-site to provide information and answer any questions.

Vendors will also be present offering a variety of tie-dyed clothing, jewelry and tapestries.

Three food vendors will also be set up at Freedom Field for the weekend.

Chelsea Morang says that Freedom Field’s 105 acres allows organizers to schedule music for late in the evening with late night DJs that will keep spinning until 2:00 a.m.

A full weekend pass to Germination, including overnight camping, will cost $120 at the gate. Mention The Maine Edge upon arrival for a $10 savings. Day passes will be available for $60.

Germination is a dog-friendly event. There will be a $20 fee for each leashed, friendly dog. Dogs must remain with their owners at all times and owners must pick up after their dog.

Germination is a BYOB event, but no glass containers are allowed; cans and plastic only.

For those who prefer to retire to their tent or RV earlier, there will be designated quiet spots in the field.

There is no fee to bring an RV to Germination and organizers say they will provide power and water hookups.

Chelsea Morang says there is a special vibe to Freedom Field. She met her husband James (bassist with Merther) at the location; they were later married there.

“I have a passion for this place,” she says. “There’s a real magic in the air here. I think most people come to enjoy the sunny outdoor vibes and listen to great music, see some art and celebrate being together. The field itself is flat and easy to maneuver. My father in-law never misses it and he’s in his 80s. It’s one of his favorite places. He sets his lawn chair in front of the stage and soaks up the sun.”

Organizers say they plan further festivals for Freedom Field later this year, including a bluegrass festival, a jam-band festival and a harvest festival in the fall.

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 May 2022 11:58


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