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Youthful tunes: Green River Festival welcomes young bands, young fans to a free night of music

  • Kalliope Jones plays the Next Wave Stage on Friday evening at the Green River Festival. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Kalliope Jones plays the Next Wave Stage on Friday evening at the Green River Festival. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Court Etiquette plays the Next Wave Stage on Friday evening at the Green River Festival. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • The Sweetback Sisters play the main stage on Friday evening at the Green River Festival. July 14, 2017. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • The Sweetback Sisters play the main stage on Friday evening at the Green River Festival. July 14, 2017. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Fulaso plays the Four Rivers Stage on Friday evening at the Green River Festival. July 14, 2017. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Big Al Anderson plays the Green River Stage on Friday evening at the Green River Festival. July 14, 2017. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Big Al Anderson plays the Green River Stage on Friday evening at the Green River Festival. July 14, 2017. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • The Western Centuries play the Green River Stage on Friday evening. July 14, 2017. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Recreational vehicles and tents dot the Franklin County Fairgrounds as the Green River Festival offers camping once again this year. July 14, 2017. Recorder/Paul Franz

  • Recreational vehicles and tents dot the Franklin County Fairgrounds as the Green River Festival offers camping once again this year. July 14, 2017. Recorder/Paul Franz



Recorder Staff
Friday, July 14, 2017

GREENFIELD — Nine-year-old Genevieve Bird of Northfield almost couldn’t contain her excitement as the three members of Kalliope Jones descended from the stage and took their places behind the merchandise booth to sign autographs.

Waiting with a smile, Bird watched as the trio signed her CD, jumping up and down and clutching it to her chest when she got it back. Though her older sister, Fiona, had met one of the band members by attending Four Rivers Charter Public School, it was an entirely new experience for Bird.

“I’ve never actually met any of them,” she said, looking fondly at her signed CD, before saying excitedly, “This ain’t going nowhere.”

Bird and other young fans gathered around the Next Wave Stage Friday night, a new feature of this year’s Green River Festival. The stage, located underneath a tent on Greenfield Community College’s campus, offered a welcomed platform for local bands with musicians ages 18 and under.

“I hope it stays because it’s cool to see young people out getting exposure,” said Dana McRae, 17, of Warwick. “(Plus) it’s cool to see there’s that much talent to do something organized like this.”

With Green River Festival Director Jim Olsen hoping to encourage “the next generation of festival-goers,” anyone age 18 and under was admitted for free to see the five performances.

“You don’t get a lot of chances like this,” said 16-year-old Kan Lindop, who attended the festival with their friends Riley Phillips, 17, and River Gregoire, 16, all of Greenfield. The Next Wave Stage provided the three with affordable entertainment.

“It’s a good thing for people to do on a Friday night,” Phillips said, citing their usual entertainment of going to the movies or meeting at restaurants. “There’s not a lot of things for kids to do in Greenfield.”

Having met members of three of the bands at their respective schools, Phillips, Gregoire and Lindop enjoyed having the opportunity to support their classmates and friends.

They weren’t the only ones. From underneath the tent, 19-year-old Dylan Landry watched as members of the indie-rock and roots band Court Etiquette set up on stage. Between Landry, his 21-year-old brother Ben, and his 19-year-old friend Cam Blair, all of Conway, the group knew several of the musicians, including Court Etiquette’s drummer Chris Raphael-Reily.

Though the three have attended the Green River Festival for about 10 years for local music, vendors and hot air balloons, they were drawn to the familiar faces on the Next Wave Stage, believing it provided the area’s talented young musicians with a great opportunity.

“One of the main problems facing younger bands is a lack of confidence,” Blair said. “With this provided, it’s perfect.”

Those looking down from the stage felt similarly.

“There’s something exhilarating about looking out from the stage and seeing other kids your age looking back at you,” said Amelia Chalfant, 16, of Conway, who plays bass in the indie rock band, Kalliope Jones.

Chalfant and drummer Alouette Batteau, 15, of Shelburne Falls recounted meeting at a rock and roll camp in Goshen and forming the band six years ago. Since then, they’ve had the opportunity to play at street fairs and venues as far as Virginia, including a half-time show during a basketball game at Mohegan Sun. Still, having a place for youth to enjoy, with music played by youth, is something special, they said.

“Our favorite shows are when we get to play with other youth bands,” Batteau said. “It’s just really fun and energetic.”

Chalfant hopes other venues might follow the Green River Festival’s example of showcasing young talent.

“They need more of this kind of stuff around here,” she said.

The remaining schedule for the 2017 Green River Festival:

Saturday, July 15 

Main Stage 

12:45 to 1:30 p.m. — Dan Bern 

1:45 to 2:35 p.m. — The Suitcase Junket 

2:55 to 3:55 p.m. — Darlingside 

4:20 to 5:20 p.m. — San Fermin 

5:45 to 7 p.m. — Amadou & Mariam 

7:30 to 8:40 p.m. — Houndmouth 

9:05 to 10:35 p.m. — Lake Street Dive 

Four Rivers Stage 

1 to 1:50 p.m. — Hammydown 

2:15 to 3:05 p.m. — Sun Parade 

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. — The Deslondes 

4:55 to 5:55 p.m. — Tank & The Bangas 

6:20 to 7:35 p.m. — Pokey LaFarge 

8 to 9:15 p.m. — Big Sam’s Funky Nation 

9:40 to 10:55 p.m. — John Brown’s Body 

New Wave Stage (Parlor Room Stage) 

1 to 2 p.m. — Dietrich Strausse & The Blue Ribbons 

2:20 to 3:20 p.m. — The Sweetback Sisters 

3:40 to 4:40 p.m. — Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams 

4:55 to 5:55 p.m. — Twisted Pine 

6:10 to 6:50 p.m. — The Suitcase Junket 

7:15 to 7:55 p.m. — Workman Song 

8:15 to 9:20 p.m. — Beige 

9:40 to 10:40 p.m. — Sun Parade 

KB Whirly’s Magical Musical House (for the children) 

12:30 to 1 p.m. — KB Whirly 

1:50 to 2:15 p.m. — Paintbox Theater 

3:05 to 3:30 p.m. — Dan Bern 

4:30 to 4:55 p.m. — Sweetback Shortstack 

5:55 to 6:20 p.m. — KB Whirly 

7 p.m. — Kid’s Parade

Sunday, July 16 Main Stage 

12:30 to 1:15 p.m. — Twisted Pine 

1:25 to 2:25 p.m. — The Dustbowl Revival 

2:45 to 3:45 p.m. — The Infamous Stringdusters 

4:05 to 5:20 p.m. — Funky Meters 

5:45 to 8 p.m. — Joe Russo’s Almost Dead 

Four Rivers Stage 

1 to 1:50 p.m. — Sweet Crude 

2:15 to 3:15 p.m. — Kat Wright 

3:40 to 4:40 p.m. — Chicano Batman 

5 to 6:15 p.m. — Mandolin Orange 

6:40 to 7:55 p.m. — Parsonfield 

New Wave Stage (Parlor Room Stage) 

12:30 to 1 p.m. — Lyle Brewer 

1:10 to 1:45 p.m. — Madam Uncle 

2 to 2:45 p.m. — Bridget Kearney 

3 to 4 p.m. — Rachael Price & Vilray 

4:15 to 5:15 p.m. — Robbie Fulks 

5:40 to 6:40 p.m. — River Whyless 

KB Whirly’s Magical Musical House (for the children) 

12:30 to 1 p.m. — Little Roots 

1:45 to 2:05 p.m. — KB Whirly 

3:05 to 3:30 p.m. — Paintbox Theater 

4:30 to 4:55 p.m. — Little Roots 

6:10 to 6:30 p.m. — KB Whirly