TWIF - CMJ Marathon Not the Only Festival in the Race
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 10:56AM
Ben Hampton

This Week in Festivals - October 18


The CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival has now begun in New York City and will continue, non-stop, for five days and nights. Without question, this festival is one of the most influential spring boards for the discovery of new artists and their music. The festival boasts more than 1,300 performances in more than 80 of the Big Apple's greatest venues. When you add the Occupy Wall Street protests into the mix, who knows what will happen at the CMJ Marathon. If you happen to be anywhere in the Northeast, do whatever you must to get yourself to NYC and to the Marathon. Enjoy this glimpse of Portugal. The Man.


Our friends on the West Coast need to begin running right now toward Seattle to be sure and get there in time for the Heineken City Arts Fest scheduled for October 20-22. Drawing largely on local artists, this festival seeks to showcase only the best of the best from Seattle's music scene. Practically a marathon in its own right, Heineken City Arts Fest offers more than 100 artists and 50 events being held at over 20 of Seattle's finest establishments.

Meanwhile, down south, where the pace is a tad bit slower, Southerners believe that quantity may be fine for them dern Yankees, but down there, the race is all about quality. If’n you're anywhere near the sunshine state, you need to mosy on down the road toward the MagnoliaFest in Live Oak, Florida. Live Oak is the home of the premier Suwanee Music Park where many a great and successful festivals take place throughout the year. MagnoliaFest runs from October 20-23, and features some of the greatest legends of bluegrass, folk and Americana on the music scene today.


Way down yonder, deep in the wetlands of South Louisiana, there happens to be a little gumbo festival that has been going on every year for the past 40 years. The Louisiana Gumbo Festival of Chackbay happens from October 21-23, and features some of the best swamp pop artists in Louisiana. As a special treat, you may even get to meet Mitchell and Glenn Guist (the twins) from the popular television show, Swamp People.

The Zac Brown Band extends a cordial invitation to everyone to attend their 1st Annual Southern Ground Music & Food Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. Now if that isn't enough to get you running, I don't know what will. Zac Brown, a former chef and restaurant owner, plans to combine great music and great food to recreate the special experience found at any typical southern gathering. Sprint on over to Blackbaud Stadium October 21-23 and expect to enjoy the time of your life. 


Perhaps you need the mountains to get your adrenaline flowing, so the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival in Ferum, Virginia might be just perfect for you. The festival takes place as well as showcases the local Ferum College. Magical things can happen as soon as you hear the pickin' on a banjo and the strummin' of a guitar. This festival will be a single day event on October 22, but offers four stages of music and storytelling. Be prepared to dig in and indulge in some of the tastiest mountain food this side of the Mississippi River.

The good people of Milledgeville, Georgia would be proud to have you come and enjoy their 8th Annual Deep Roots Festival on October 22. The fesival is a cultural expression that features local, regional and national artists. This year's headliners are The Whigs, Reptar, Cowboy Boyer & Talton, and Trout Fishing in America. The wide range of musical genres is specifically designed to offer music for everyone to enjoy. The festival will also hold a sanctioned Memphis BBQ Network cook-off contest which will featuring a People’s Choice award. BBQ connoisseurs from around the Southeast will surely be running as fast as they can to attend this festival.


Last, but by no means, least, the exciting new Big Nashty music festival will be making its debut on October 22 at "The School" in Gallatin, Tennessee. The Big Nashty has rounded up 20 of Nashville's most talented and promising up-and-coming artists to put on a show that is intended please the audience as well as connect the artists with the "right" people within the Nashville music industry. If you want to know who's going to be the hot Nashville stars of tomorrow, trot on over to The Big Nashty this week.

Well, that's what is happening this week in festivals. To learn more about these festivals or to discover new and exciting festivals that are happening in every corner of the United States, be sure and download FestiGoGo and use the search feature to find the festivals that you want and need to know about. Until next week, keep those feet a moving toward the finish line.

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