Gettin’ No Rest In All Night Fest

Young Neighbors performed at Forest Fest on May 5.
Young Neighbors performed at Forest Fest on May 5.

A stage constructed from trees: the makings of Forest Fest 2012.

A music, arts and activism festival, Forest Fest planted its roots in 2009 and has been growing taller ever since. Featuring local bands performing rap, jazz, metal, indie rock, electronic and R&B, the festival brought in audience members who camped out for a day-long event on Saturday, May 5 at the Center for Symbolic Studies in Rosendale.

“It’s a mess of social collaboration that is slowly spreading outward to encompass as many individuals as it can touch,” Brad Gorfein, one of the event’s coordinators, said. “It’s creating a platform for positivity through creativity, especially music and art.”

Although the festival has been an annual event for several years now, this was the first year it was brought into the light and legal changes were made for both positive and negative outcomes. Having to book a space and attain a license and insurance for the festival was tiresome, but worth it, Gorfein said.

However, some bands were given the short end of the tree limb.

DawnMarie Allan, a fourth-year music therapy major and lead singer for Harmologna & the Foxy Booty Bootyz, was shut down around 1 a.m. because of a noise complaint after only performing three or four songs with her band. They were provided the smaller stage to perform on, but were excited to sing together for the last time before going their separate ways, she said.

“That was our last gig before we break up because everyone’s graduating and leaving,” Allan said. “And it was really rough because everyone was really hyped to hear us and we had to shut it down. We couldn’t even finish a song.”

Although Allan would have liked to perform on the main stage so her band could finish their set, she said she is looking forward to attending next year, perhaps not as a performer.

Besides that, Gorfein said the festival was a success. He is planning on providing transportation to and from the festival next year to accommodate more people in general as well as being ecologically friendly.

“We expected hundreds more people and I think one of the major reasons why they weren’t there was because there wasn’t a shuttle,” Gorfein said. “No way any of the freshmen would have known where this was and if we were able to get a shuttle, we could’ve made it easier and more ecologically friendly.”

Despite the kinks that still needed to be worked out, this year’s Forest Fest was enjoyed by many, including Sandy Davis, guitarist/singer for Young

“It was a lot of fun,” she said. “Overall there was a really good energy and it was fun to be hanging out with our friends in the sun with really happy people and a lot of good music.”