Bear Creek Music Festival

By Alison Murphy

Staff Writer

Bear Creek Music and Arts Festival will be held at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park this November 14-16 in Live Oak, Florida. Bear Creek is a camping festival spanning the weekend, but there are also day passes available. Festival goers will also be able to start the weekend off right with an onsite pre-party.

The line-up for this year’s Bear Creek is outstanding with headliners like Yonder Mountain String Band, JJ Grey & MOFRO, Soulive, and the Everyone Orchestra (featuring Jon Fishman and Michael Kang). Other artists include Perpetual Groove, Dumpstaphunk, Lettuce, DubConscious, The New Mastersounds, The Motet and Asheville’s own Afromotive and Telepath. The line-up features over fifty names and covers a wide variety of music genres including funk, jazz, jam, bluegrass, afro-beat, trance and reggae. There will also be the Bear Creek Super Jam that will feature a group of surprise musicians that will be revealed that weekend.

Yonder Mountain String Band is an outstanding bluegrass band with a hint of jam band. This Colorado band of ten years puts on a great show every time and this year at Bear Creek they will be playing with Phish drummer, Jon Fishman. They play standard bluegrass tunes, covers, their own music, and jam out the entire time. Their influences include Pink Floyd, the Talking Heads, Phish and Bob Marley. Yonder Mountain has a little of something for everyone.

Dumpstaphunk is another great band playing at Bear Creek that a lot of people just don’t know about. This band is made up of five funky guys from New Orleans who really know how to bring the heat. Their music incorporates nasty organ lines, clean guitar riffs, funky bass lines, great jams and awesome dancing beats.

Perpetual Groove is one of the fastest growing bands in the jam scene today and will be playing two sets at Bear Creek this year. I have seen Perpetual Groove quite a few times, and I can honestly say that each experience has been totally different, yetenlightening at the same time. They can be described as “trance arena rock”, they have the ability to jam forever, and then bring the listener back to reality with catchy lyrics and melodies.

Pnuma Trio is still quite a new, young band in the festival scene, but since 2004 when they were formed they have grown so much. They have a fresh sound that is getting more solid and creative by the day. These young guys have taken their classical and jazz training, put some crazy beats to it, jammed out, and are now one of the newest editions to the livetronica genre.

Along with great music, Bear Creek will have a number of other great things going on. There will be several “live art” paintings taking place throughout the weekend. Many regional artists will be up on stage, in front of the festival crowd, painting while bands play. For the outdoors lover there will be plenty of “nature-oriented” activities offered throughout the weekend. These include scenic canoe trips, hiking, Frisbee golf, horseback riding, etc. The weather for this time of year in Florida is usually pretty mild with days being in the 70s and nights getting as low as 40. Be prepared for all kinds of weather. The Bear Creek Music Festival lineup offers variety and freshness to any music lover. Not only are there a lot of great names on it, but there are several new names as well. Bear Creek is great because it gives fans a chance to discover new music they may not have ever heard of. Bear Creek is the last camping festival for the season, so get your tickets soon!