What People Are Saying About Podunk
“What a superb event! As I mentioned, I’ve wanted to get
there for many years, and now that I’ve been there, I see what I’ve
missed out on for all those years. You all work so hard to make it a
great experience for the performers and the audience. Congratulations
on a wonderful event!
On behalf of James Reams & The Barnstormers — and myself — THANK YOU!!
You had asked how the trip back to NYC via public transportation went,
and the answer is Perfectly! I took a taxi ($9) to the station, where
I caught the 9:40am train ($35 — the trains later in the day are more
expensive). I could have taken a bus (runs approximately every hour —
$22). Train or bus gets you into NYC in around 2 hours 45 minutes. Easy!
The free shuttle between the hotel and the festival was great (you
just tip the driver).
This is definitely a “NYC-friendly” festival, because you don’t need a
car to get anywhere (and lots of New Yorkers don’t have cars). The
biggest expense was the hotel, but if you’re sharing, it’s not
expensive at all.
This is the ONLY festival in the NYC region that is accessible by public transportation. Amazing!
~ Tina, 2010
“This was my first year attending the Podunk Bluegrass Festival in East Hartford, Ct. and I loved it. The music was great as you would expect from a lineup with Michael Cleveland, Rhonda Vincent, Doyle Lawson, Grascals, Mountain Heart, Lonesome River Band, Continental Divide, Lost and Found, Pine Mountain Railroad etc. The food was wonderful, sound great. The soundmen were on it and really into the music. When I first ran into Jocko the monitor engineer, I thought he was a “just a fan” as he was hanging and talking to all the musicians with such enthusiasm and energy. The park is in the city, but once there, you don’t realize it. I was thinking I was going to go swimming in the pool there, but there always seemed to be music I wanted to hear. The staff was as hospitable and helpful as any I’ve run into. Why this festival isn’t one of the most talked about best attended in the northeast is beyond me, but I’ll certainly spread the word.
They had their first band contest this year, which was won by Boston based Joy Kills Sorrow. Some months back when I heard about the contest, I mentioned to Roger Moss, the festival’s director, the idea of having the judges meet with the bands after the contest to provide feedback as had been the case at Winterhawk years ago and lo and behold it happened. While the festivals appears to be extremely well run, the staff is very open to new ideas and moves to implement them. I made a suggestion before I left for next year’s event and yesterday I received an email, that they are already putting in place.
If you’re in driving distance of East Hartford, put this one on your calendar for next year. I already have. We’re really fortunate to have so many great festivals in the northeast.”
~ Posted by Ken Irwin, President Rounder Records on BGRASS-L@LSV
“I’ve got a new one for the “A” list too… new to me at least, having never played it before this wkend. I have been waiting to chime in on someone else’s 2nd or 3rd party post. Alas no, someone has to be first… guess I’m elected by default. Here goes…
We had the pleasure of playing at the Podunk BGF in E. Hartford, CT this weekend. Aside from a few folks desiring an ice cream vendor to ward off the ravages of the summer heat, I don’t know what even the strongest critic could find to dwell on. Podunk is simply a case study on how to put on a successful event. I won’t bore you with a running account of superlatives here, but anyone wishing more elaborate details may consider this an invitation to contact me off-list.”
~ Randy Graham – David Parmley & Continental Divide, 2007
“I have to say I truly enjoyed working the fest this year and hope to be a bigger part next year. You guys rock!! I saw some folks at the market today and they said “you were part of the bluegrass this past weekend” I replied yes and ask if they had a good time, they said it was the best and their first and plan on coming every year:) So ya’ll rule!!”
~ Debbie Cook, Volunteer Captain, 2007
“From a performer perspective, I think Podunk is the best we play. I don’t know if I would change anything. The sound is great and the sound guys are easy to work with, the food, the back stage area, the motel, if they were all like Podunk life on the road would be so much better. You’ve got a great festival and I think you for making us part of it. I look forward to coming back.”
~ Larry Stephenson, 2006
“I can’t believe if you’re asking how you can improve. Yours was by far one of the most organized festivals we’ve ever played! We had a wonderful time there, and your team took such good care of us. I ate more in those two days than I did all summer! The food was so good!”
~ Rebecca H. Frazier Hit & Run Bluegrass – 2006
“We all enjoyed the hospitality and friendliness at Podunk. We discussed it quite a bit the following weekend as we drove from CT to NH to VT to ME to do gigs. Our biggest regret was that we were so busy that weekend playing and weren’t able to stay at the fest (the rest of the weekend was gorgeous weather….). Your staff and volunteers were very welcoming and helpful. The sound company was extremely easy to work with and very professional. The food was very good. The set up of the festival is nicely done. I know many folks from up here who went down (some of them my fiddle students) and they really enjoyed the overall atmosphere of the festival and can’t believe it’s so close to Hartford — “so close, yet so far away…” You all do a very fine job and have some great entertainment.”
~ Ellen, High Range 2006
“We certainly would like to thank you and your staff for including us at this years Podunk Festival. It sure seemed like a huge success and I hope you all were happy with the event! We would love to come back anytime! Again….thank you, We love it up there…you all are so friendly.”
~ Vicki Simmons – Musician and Song Writer
“I had a few seconds to talk to Cece and JE while they were driving to his next gig. JE said he much prefers Podunk to SP…he said it’s much better run, the site is much better, he’s treated really well, etc. Sounds like he’d be a good ambassador for the festival. And of course the Lights would love to do it again, they had a great time (Bill is still gushing!). If you have a spot open for next summer, both JE and the Lights would be delighted to fill it.”
~ Linda Bolton, Northern Lights Management
“The Podunk provided us with a great lift. It brings together a warm, friendly collection of folks. It reminds me a lot of pro baseball, which I have been a part of for over 20 years. Baseball people, like bluegrass people, are a great fraternity. Thanks to all involved for being a gracious host to a truly magnificent event.”
~ Ken Lipshez
“We have been to a good many bluegrass festivals over the years, and would have to say that the quality, atmosphere and friendliness of your festival was right up there with the best of them.”
~ Hank Childs