A huge thank you to all the companies in RI who made the festival such a huge success. Pizzas and pop-up tents, gift cards and pastries–without all of these donations, and the businesses that believed in the art of the Smithfield community, our festival would have lacked. Thank you to:
Home Depot, for shading our pizza and cooling our drinks
Stop & Shop, for hydrating us and pampering us with ice cream
Dominos, for feeding our volunteers
Famous Pizza, for also feeding our volunteers (and a few lucky guests),
7 Stars, for sandwiching our pork
Benny’s, for plating our pork
Blackbird Farms, for our pork
United Rentals, for the backhoe and the generator
True Music Studio, for making our musicians sound good
A New Vernacular, for clearing (and barricading) our paths
The Smithfield Times, The Valley Breeze, and The Observer for covering our efforts
This is the second year of Forest Fires at the festival–except last year the forest fire was a week before and left the trees charcoal black. This is the first year we’ll be having the band.
And what a band! At least according to Facebook likes, Forest Fires is the most popular group we’ll have at the festival this year. They are powerfully melodic and commandingly rhythmic, and an example of Rhode Island musical art at its finest–genuine, expressive, and regardlessly proud. We’re excited they’re setting their metaphorical flames this year.
As it says on their website:
Forest Fires are an indie-rock band from Providence, RI. Their music is melodic and simple yet sonically large and texturized when it needs to be. The band’s roots span from folk music, indie, and progressive rock to create an artistic representation of what the members of the band have always wanted to play. Meanwhile Forest Fires succeed in drawing listeners in with their musicianship and pleasing them with their authenticity.
To see a list of all performers and the band schedule, visit our artists’ page.
Our most recent addition to the festival, the Black Hawk Singers are so dedicated to their music and culture that members, from all around New England and New York, are, as their ancestors would have done, walking to our festival.
Not really. I assume they are driving. But along with them in the carpool lane, they will bring a heritage of music and spirituality that will challenge everyone to seek their true self. On their website the Black Hawk Singers say, “Our drum is more than just a spiritual entity, it’s an extension of our dreams, our heritage, our souls…our whole selves.”
Art that expresses essence–what is better to see?
In their words, they explain:
The Black Hawk Singers are an Abenaki Indian Drum Group who write and perform Contemporary, and Traditional songs in what once was the language of New England. Although many of us live near the Blackstone Valley area, we were first established in Canada during the summer of 2004 on the Abenaki Indian Reserve known as Odanak. In the drumming circle are: Bryan Blanchette, Don Williams, George Michaud, Steve Tingly, and Bill DiBeneditto.
Visit blackhawksingers.com to learn more. To see the full schedule of performers, please visit our artists’ page.
PIRATES! What? Where? Who? Let them tell you:
The Pirate Crew of the Dead Rabbit is an immersive theatre troupe specializing in vaudeville, improv, and crime. What is ‘immersive theatre’, you ask? Well, it’s sort of like Imax Cinema, except instead of having to wear 3D glasses to pretend you’re part of the story, the action actually comes to you. Notable for on-the-fly story-telling and flash-mob entertainment, the Pirate Crew of the Dead Rabbit is a prime example of what happens when a gaggle of urchins who grew up listening to punk rock and watching Indiana Jones movies decide they want to become professional entertainers. The Rabbits have performed at a soiree of locales more diverse than the wretched flavours of villainy at Mos Eisley Spaceport, including TeslaCon, Watch City Festival, the Steampunk World’s Faire, and the international Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.
Their mission is simple–remind the masses that adventure is out there and sometimes a black flag is needed when a white one will not suffice. Their message is one of defiance and curiosity, of entertainment, and the drinking class.
Vaudeville! Improv! Crime! Captained by a mad man and crewed by so-called ‘artists’ and ‘professionals’, the Dead Rabbits are tangible proof that all hope for the human race is truly lost.
I love them. Thank you so much for sprinkling our festival with a bit of (figurative) gun powder, mates! The Pirates will be running the ship-shop recyclable bottle race and the seed-pod slingshot.
To see the full list of performers, please visit our artists’ page.
Braving astral toads and anthropomorphism, Bucky O’Hare is a lone rabbit in a cold universe. Sickeningly green, buck-toothed, and powerfully footed, Bucky makes sure space crime knows it’s rabbit season.
But seriously, Bucky is a long-time friend of the festival, and the above is a picture I found of an old video game. The real Bucky is a normal-toothed, big-bearded blues human, and he’ll be preforming with his slightly less-bearded blues buddies. As he says:
Bucky O’Hare and The Bucky Band is a soulful blues outfit that stretches the boundaries of the genre into jazz, funk, country, and rock. Guitarist, singer/songwriter, bluesman Bucky O’Hare has drawn together a collective of distinctive local musicians to realize his ever evolving vision of the Blues. Well-crafted original songs are entwined seamlessly with classic blues, jazz, and rock with a sprinkling of deep track gems. Bucky O’Hare and The Bucky Band have been bringing their unique boogie to New England for the past 10 years. The Bucky Band Vol. One is currently available on all streaming services and Vol. Two will be released Summer 2016.
Check him out on online, and check out the full performance line-up on our artists’ page. Roger that, rabbit?