Green River Festival perseveres amid harsh weather

Cimafunk plays Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Cimafunk plays Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

A young audience member shows his appreciations for sibling act Lawrence playing the main stage on Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

A young audience member shows his appreciations for sibling act Lawrence playing the main stage on Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Wonder Women of Country play the Back Porch Stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Wonder Women of Country play the Back Porch Stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Bonny Light Horsemen play the main stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Bonny Light Horsemen play the main stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

The band Snacktime leads the Art Garden parade through the crowd on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

The band Snacktime leads the Art Garden parade through the crowd on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Snacktime plays the Deans Beans Stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Snacktime plays the Deans Beans Stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Gillian Ryan of Monterey, helps Felix Salbey, 4, of Brooklyn, NY, and Eleanor McCarthey, 6, of Newport RI, create art for the art parade in The Art Garden tent on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Gillian Ryan of Monterey, helps Felix Salbey, 4, of Brooklyn, NY, and Eleanor McCarthey, 6, of Newport RI, create art for the art parade in The Art Garden tent on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Hannah Mohan on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Hannah Mohan on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

The Nude Party plays the Back Porch Stage Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

The Nude Party plays the Back Porch Stage Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Fleet Foxes Saturday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Fleet Foxes Saturday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Bubbles fill the air as Cake plays the Main Stage Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Bubbles fill the air as Cake plays the Main Stage Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Bonny Light Horsemen play the main stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Bonny Light Horsemen play the main stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Cimafunk plays Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Cimafunk plays Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Mdou Moctar plays the Deans Beans stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Mdou Moctar plays the Deans Beans stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Kalliope Jones plays in the Round House on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Kalliope Jones plays in the Round House on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Anais Mitchell of Bonny Light Horsemen joins Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes on stage Saturday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Anais Mitchell of Bonny Light Horsemen joins Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes on stage Saturday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Joslyn Peters, 5, and Georgiana Faulk, 3, play in a mud puddle on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Joslyn Peters, 5, and Georgiana Faulk, 3, play in a mud puddle on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Kalliope Jones plays in the Round House on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Kalliope Jones plays in the Round House on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Siblings Clyde and Gracie Lawrence play the main stage on Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Siblings Clyde and Gracie Lawrence play the main stage on Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Eleanor McCarthey, 6, of Newport RI, had her face painted on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Eleanor McCarthey, 6, of Newport RI, had her face painted on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Bonny Light Horsemen play the main stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Bonny Light Horsemen play the main stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Cake plays the Main Stage Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Cake plays the Main Stage Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Cake front man John McCrea plays the Main Stage Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Cake front man John McCrea plays the Main Stage Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Wonder Women of Country play the Back Porch Stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Wonder Women of Country play the Back Porch Stage on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

The Art Garden for children and adults on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

The Art Garden for children and adults on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Fans cheer for Cake as they play the Main Stage Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Fans cheer for Cake as they play the Main Stage Friday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

People listen to Fleet Foxes Saturday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

People listen to Fleet Foxes Saturday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Fleet Foxes on Saturday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Fleet Foxes on Saturday night at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Kalliope Jones plays in the Round House on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Kalliope Jones plays in the Round House on Saturday at the Green River Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By ERIN-LEIGH HOFFMAN

Staff Writer

Published: 06-23-2024 7:23 PM

The 38th annual Green River Festival persevered through two days of severe weather this weekend as rain and thunderstorms brought delays and schedule changes for performers and festival-goers.

Friday’s programming began when the gates to the Franklin County Fairgrounds opened at 3:30 p.m., but the festival was quickly placed on hold because of a severe thunderstorm before reopening at 5:30 p.m. Once the weather cleared, evening programming went on with the main act Cake playing on schedule.

Saturday’s festival began as gates opened at 11:00 a.m., but was also put on hold before 1 p.m. as a line of storms entered the area.

“The mood in the air is a bit somber, but people seem to be optimistic,” Tristian Geary of Hudson, New York said while waiting off-site at the Main Street shuttle stop for the festival to resume.

Around 25 people were at the Main Street shuttle stop with umbrellas, tents, chairs, bikes and coolers waiting out the rain, hoping for further updates. Geary was looking forward to seeing some of the artists play that afternoon, but would only stay depending the length of the festival stoppage because of the distance to travel back home.

“I have a two hour drive, and I would rather beat the rain if I have to drive in the dark. So I’m not sure,” Geary said.

A Green River Festival Facebook post advised attendees to shelter in their vehicles if they had them on-site, or to shelter off grounds using the shuttle service to get back to their vehicles.

Others taking shelter expressed similar uncertainty, with some feeling more optimistic than others.

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“Not being able to get on the bus and go to the festival is kind of frustrating,” said Chuck Edgerly, a volunteer who began working on Thursday.

As festival-goers waited out the storms, antique shop Sweet Phoenix sold umbrellas and allowed people into the shop to shelter.

“When it started really raining, we invited people in,” owner Chris Parker said. The idea to sell umbrellas outside came from the demand of people caught in the rain starting Friday while waiting outside the shop. Parker saw around 30 people in the store at one point on Saturday, with some shopping for jewelry or smaller items to take back with them to the festival.

“We love that people come in and look, and they pick up little things like earrings, bracelets, some ephemera,” Parker explained.

Parker said those stopping in to the store appeared to be in good spirits despite the rain and he saw many people visiting other shops to wait out the storm. “They’re walking through the town and walking past all the businesses, and I think it’s fantastic,” he said.

Performers forced to adapt

Several acts where scheduled to perform between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, but the rain delays meant readjustments.

Trousdale, a trio made up of Lauren Jones, Quinn D’Andrea and Georgia Greene, were scheduled to play at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday on the main stage and later got a five-minute warning text message came notifying them that they were to perform.

“We all got up and kind of ran, but at that point, we knew that we’re gonna have to get cut,” Greene explained. The band has been on tour, performing a 45-minute set each night that allowed them to adjust quickly to their new 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. time slot.

Greene said the delays relieved some of the initial pressure of the performance.

“I think sometimes when things get switched around last minute and things go wrong in a way that you can’t control, it kind of takes the pressure away. It’s just more about having a good time,” she said.

“Everyone just seemed so happy with an amazing energy that we were greeted with, especially with the weather,” added D’Andrea about their set.

Trousdale was performing for the first time at the festival and in western Massachusetts.

“We’ve not spent much time in this area, so we were coming in knowing that we were going to bring it and do our best, and then to receive that really loving energy from the crowd was lovely,” Jones said.

Hannah Mohan, a Northampton native, wasn’t slated to play until a sudden cancelation by another artist and was grateful for the opportunity to perform.

“It felt really positive, and there was a great feedback loop between the crowd and us. I felt really present and here for it,” Mohan said.

All of Saturday night’s performances went on as scheduled, and accommodations were made for the acts that were cut short, including Tommy Prine. The main act of the day Fleet Foxes, which drew a crowd of around 5,000 after 9 p.m.

New management tested by weather

DSP Shows of Ithaca, New York took over from Signature Sounds Presents for this year’s festival and many of the same activities were available at the fairgrounds as in previous years like the Art Garden.

The Art Garden and The Kidway Stage offered a space for families to bring their children to participate in art activities and give parents a chance to relax and connect with other attendees.

“Mother nature is the only drawback. Otherwise, it’s going pretty much as it usually would. I guess there’s a change in management, so I guess there’s little learning curves here, but I haven’t heard anything really that negative,” said Cathy Merriam, who has volunteered with the Art Garden in previous years.

Merriam and her husband made the trip from Nova Scotia as part of a wider cross-country road trip. They were camping at the site since Friday, and were caught in the rain during the Friday and Saturday delays.

“It’s no fun when you’re camping, because you have to go and take shelter, but it’s been fine,” Merriam said. “I feel for the people scheduling the bands and having to reschedule everything every day.”

The biggest test of the weekend proved to be the weather and how the festival organizers would respond.

Sequoia LeBreaux of Turners Falls has also been attending the festival since she was a child. She expressed appreciation for the expansion of the festival and the change in organization this year.

“It’s been a good time, and I’m so happy that it’s growing and expanding. Change can be difficult, but I’m just happy that it’s still happening, and I think that the [music] lineups here are all good choices,” she said.

Erin-Leigh Hoffman can be reached at ehoffman@recorder.com or 413-930-4231.