Pack Your Camping Gear and Head to the Hills; Three Days of High Energy Music … Right in Our Backyard
Music festivals are nothing new to our area. People come from all over the country to spend long weekends camping and listening to good, live music. The Blue Heron is an example of such. There’s nothing wrong with escaping from your job and spending a few quality days relaxing in the woods with music all around.
Kevin and Jennifer Thropp, both of Olean, enjoy music festivals so much that they wanted to bring one to their very own home. So last year, they founded the Rockabilly Mountain Meltdown. They collected 32 bands, from blues to Americana.
As with many first time events, the turnout could have been better.
“Last year, the turnout wasn’t as good as we wanted,” Kevin said. “We had about 300 people show up. But that didn’t damper the spirit of the bands that played or the people that showed up.”
People came from Olean. They came from Albany. Some, Kevin said, even came all the way from New York City. But one of the main reasons why he said the first year wasn’t as good as it could have been was one simple thing - the name.
“We changed the name (to the Meltdown Music Festival) because we think people got the perception that ‘Rockabilly’ meant that all of the music was country,” Kevin said. “It’s quite the contrary. The bands we bring in are extremely diverse. There’s everything from alternative to rockabilly to Americana. There’s a little something for everyone.”
Another reason last year wasn’t as big of a success as the Thropps wanted was because of a limited budget. With just Kevin and Jennifer supplying the budget, they could only do so much. This year, however, is different.
“Our budget is a little bigger this year, so we can afford more radio and print ads,” Kevin said. “Plus, this year we started integrating Facebook and Twitter. Those social media outlets are free and can reach people far beyond what our print ads can.”
The Thropps put up flyers, posters and started spreading the festival via word of mouth. Now in its second year of existence, the festival is picking up momentum locally. What the Thropps are trying to convey to people is that it’s a long weekend away from everything that stresses people out.
“We’re trying to emphasize that this is a three-day music festival full of relaxation. That’s the big plan,” Kevin said. “You can have a music festival in the city, but you’re still on pavement. You still have to go home at the end of the day. Here, you can have a few beverages and fall asleep in your tent or camper.”
To draw more people in this year, the Thropps are offering free parking (except for recreational vehicles and campers.) There will be 26 bands, including the Blue Ribbon Bastards (from Buffalo) and The Vincent James Explosion.
Meltdown Music Festival 2 will take place June 29-31. Visitors are welcome to bring their own food, but there food vendors will be available on-site. There will also be firewood for sale. The Thropps ask that visitors do not bring glass, fireworks or pets. Tickets for the full weekend are $60, $95 with a full camper/RV, $20 for Friday only, $30 for Saturday only and $20 for Sunday only. Children under the age of 11 can come for free. The Festival is located at 2990 Oregon Road, Olean, NY.
Log onto www.MeltdownMusicFest.com for more details and a complete schedule of bands, or search out the festival name on facebook.