Peach Festival brings music, spectacle to Montage Mountain

Peach Festival brings music, spectacle to Montage Mountain

As appeared in The Times Tribune by Patrice Wilding on August 15, 2015.

Peach Music Festival hit its stride Friday afternoon and evening as the sun-kissed Pavilion at Montage Mountain filled with the sounds of jam bands, edgy folk and psychedelic rock on three stages.

The night before, a pair of sets by Dark Star Orchestra and an evening spent under the stars by overnight campers set the tone for a weekend-long love-in of ethereal music.

Jim Kassab, 35, of State College, walks with his accoustic guitar while pulling a wagon as he heads for his camp site on Thursday during the first day of The Peach Music Festival at Montage Mountain in Scranton. Butch Comegys / Staff Photographer

Friday’s lineup saw the first emergence of the festival’s several headlining acts, including Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes featuring Railroad Earth and the Australian Pink Floyd. Before the big guns hit the stage, however, more than a dozen bands, including Northeast Pennsylvania’s own Cabinet, warmed up crowds of thousands who were fortunate to enjoy a perfectly mild August day.

Girls in tie-dye bikini tops and flowing sarongs, and men in long hair and concert T-shirts that looked older than a large percentage of fellow concertgoers were the preferred styles of the festival. Vendors offered fare that ranged from aromatic Thai barbecue to fresh fruit smoothies, plus poster art and handmade jewelry.

More than a few ambitious mothers were seen with infants strapped to their fronts at what could arguably be the most family-friendly concert of the season, music-wise.

One such mom was Kathleen Rund of Putnam Valley, New York, who brought her 8-month-old daughter, Emily, to Scranton for the show.

“We feel like it’s good exposure to introduce her to beats and rhythms and peace and love,” Ms. Rund said as she bounced her blue-eyed tot. “Everyone’s here for the same reason. We all love good music.”

She pointed out the earplugs nestled snugly in her daughter’s ears and explained, “Safety first. We have warm clothes, good food … She’s well taken care of.”

Scott Parsons drove in from Millerton in an RV with his 31-year-old daughter, Sara, for the weekend. Clad in shorts and a fedora and sporting a white beard that stretched past his chin, Mr. Parsons said he was drawn to Peach Music Festival as a musician and “professional music appreciator” himself.

The drummer said he was looking forward to seeing Gregg Allman for the first time in almost 25 years since a concert in Atlanta.

He also planned to check out the band Twiddle, who he called a “good group of guys.”

But the festival represented more than just a great collection of artists to Mr. Parsons.

He saw it as an opportunity to connect with his daughter over their shared taste in music.

“I’m here to spend time with her,” he said. “Music is a way of showing feelings with sound.”

“He got me into the funk,” his daughter agreed as she danced alongside him.

Peach Music Festival continues today with performances by Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, Willie Nelson & Family and Bob Weir with Billy & the Kids between 12:30 p.m. and midnight.

The weekend wraps up on Sunday after Santana takes the stage at 5:15 p.m. For a complete schedule, tickets and information, visit

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