Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival — A Look Back at 2014 and This Year’s Ticketing Options #Phases2015 #SeeYouatPhases

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Surviving Flash Floods, Seeing Amazing Music and Art – All Possible with Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival


Music and art lovers from around the United States traveled to Danville, IL for the first ever Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival from September 11th-14th. While many were greeted with less than desirable conditions, the spirit of the festival was like being among a group of your closest friends and family.

Torrential Storms Leave Problems that Organizers Were Quick to Try and Solve


Starting on Wednesday night organizers allowed the first patrons to enter the park. Due to intense storms that included torrential downpours, many of the campsites were left underwater. Campgrounds had to be moved and changed based on the areas that were able to support the weight of vehicles and campers. This did cause there to be a few times when gates were closed and attendees were unable to enter the park, but festival promoters and staff were working non-stop to make every effort possible to have the areas safe and ready for those entering.

Despite having Mother Nature be against them, festival promoters chose to make it their mission to have the best festival conditions possible. This included trucking in several tons of gravel and sod while using equipment to dig out and move mud. Helicopters were even brought in to hover close to the ground in an effort to help dry the ground. The efforts were not left unnoticed and many festival goers could be heard talking about everything that they were seeing take place.

While it is expectant that festival promoters would do what they could to make things safe and comfortable for the attendees, it was surprising to hear about how the entire community of Danville came together. In a press release issued by the organizers, it was mentioned that the Sheriff’s Department, Mayor’s Office, and Visitors Bureau were among the groups that were providing assistance to the organizers to ensure that everyone had a safe and comfortable festival.

Many festival goers were bussed back and forth from their cars that were parked at the Vermilion County Speedway and the Vermilion Regional Airport. Co-founder Barry Shear stated “The rain came in pretty hard and left sections of the park underwater, making things very challenging. We are so grateful for the cooperation from area officials, who have been working around the clock with us. Most of all grateful to the fans who have been so patient while trying to enter the park after traveling great distances. This festival is for them. THEY are the festival. THEY are the community we have strived to create at Phases. The whole concept of Phases of the Moon doesn’t exist without them. We are doing everything we can to continue to get everyone in here as quickly and safely as possible. And it seems to have worked. That’s all that matters to us at this time.”

The Sweet Sounds of Music


From the time that artist in residence David Gans opened the festival with an intimate show that was enjoyed by festival goers old and young alike to the final moments when he closed the festival with the Rumpke Mountain Boys there was no stop to the amazing music that was seen.


Highlights of the festival included top notch performances by nationally touring headlining acts including: The String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic, Railroad Earth, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov’t Mule, and Robert Randolph & The Family Band.

One of the things that was so amazing about the festival is how the different performers were perceived. Many times when watching the crowd you could not determine whether those in attendance were listening to one of their old favorites that they had been following for years or a new band that they were hearing for the first time.

For many the top show was the amazing Lunar Conspiracy Landing that was curated by the String Cheese Incident. It was amazing to see the many different artists interacting together to create some amazing music and have the performance of the festival. The performance of “Bad Moon Rising” with JJ Grey and Bill Payne (of Little Feat) was a favorite of the weekend for many festival goers. Vince Herman, the Mofro Horns, Sunshine Garcia, and Andy Thorn also graced the stage during the show.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals put on a show that was filled with light, love, and soul. It was so strong that you could almost feel her passion radiating from her during the set. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe was another favorite full of high energy and a lot of fun for those who were dancing in the crowd.

Widespread Panic put on shows that were filled with power and kept fans wishing for more despite the frigid temperatures that they were experiencing during the show. Even the late night sets had a lot of festival goers in attendance despite the fact that at times it reached to temperatures below 40 degrees.

Along side these well known acts were many amazing bands and artists that gained an instant following of new fans. Among these were The California Honeydrops, The Brothers Comatose, Sam Bush Band, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, and Clare Dunn.

During some time spent talking with Clare Dunn it was easy to forget that she was a performer as talking with her was like talking to an old friend. She was very gracious about her performance at the festival and about her fans. Coming from very humble roots she brings something new to the stage and a performance that brought about many new fans, including those who were not traditionally fans of country music.

The Sanctuary


While there was so much musical talent where POTM seemed to go above and beyond was all of the additional things that were taking place on the festival grounds. There was a Santuary area that offered workshops, yoga classes, healing massage, and even a sound immersion experience.

The Sanctuary had a full schedule and line up of events. Many festival goers raved about the fun that they had at the yoga classes. One of the best things about these is that there was yoga available for beginners, families, and even those who had been practicing for years.

Spiritual healing was also taking place during the festival. Along with the spiritual healing came amazing healing through the power of touch and massage. There was a great massage area where attendees could sign up for a time to come back and enjoy a great massage.

Workshops made it possible for festival goers to learn new things. There were workshops available on many different topics. One could learn how to become more independent and have more confidence, how to hula hoop, and even how to reduce their carbon footprint.

The Crescent Moon Kids Camp


The Crescent Moon Kids Camp area featured art supplies and games for children of all ages. Children and families could be seen at the camp throughout the weekend. There was a very popular tire swing, an area where children could express themselves creatively, a small area for dress up, and even circus performers for entertainment.

Thanks to the dress up area and props children could pose for some crazy photographs for their parents. Then they could take a turn with one of the many hula hoops that could be found lying around in front of the camp tent. Children were even invited to participate in the parade with the circus performers on the last day of the festival with these props and toys in hand.

One of the best possible quotes from the festival occurred when 3 or 4 year old boy dressed as an astronaut saw the performers on stilts. He started jumping up and down and running to get a closer look, yelling “look at the big humans.” It was an adorable moment that witnesses would be sure to remember for years to come.

Sharing the Need to Give Back and Become Involved

Participation Row offered festival goers a way to give back with The Conscious Alliance, Head Count, and Love Hope Strength among others. You could easily become a marrow donor, register to vote, donate food, and help spread the word about cleaning up after yourself and protecting the environment while attending the festival.

Throughout the Phases of the Moon Festival The Conscious Alliance was on site collecting canned goods and non-perishable food items to distribute to food banks in local Illinois communities. In exchange for donating 20 items one could receive a limited edition festival poster.

Head Count was on site as well. One could sign up to vote in their tent or with one of the many volunteers who were walking around the ground with clipboards in hand. They could be seen educating people about their right to vote and the freedom of choice that voting allows everyone to have.

In today’s world it is hard to believe that you can easily save a life with something as simple as a bone marrow donation. Love Hope Strength has made it their mission to attend music events and get people registered as bone marrow donors. Samples can be obtained with a painless mouth swab. It’s amazing to think that swabbing your mouth at a festival can lead to saving a life in the future.

From Tradition to New Age – A Look at the Art of Phases of the Moon

The art that could be seen included many amazing and skilled artists, photographers, and artistic performers. There were different various art shows as well as live art happening. Plus there were a number of amazing large scale art pieces that could be seen throughout the festival grounds.

With so many performing artists on hand there was no end to the places where you could see performances. Sometimes it was possible to catch a performer joining a band on stage. Other times you could catch performers in the crowds. The Nomadic Circus was a treat for those who were interested in something a little out of the ordinary.

Laser lights, fires, hula hoops, and many unique contraptions were used in conjunction with music to entertain the crowds who were hoping to see something that they had not seen before. On many occasions it was not unusual to see someone who was walking through the performing arts stage stopping to take a look at a performance that was happening at the time.

Visual arts could also be seen throughout the festival grounds. From time to time there were art galleries or showings in different tents at the festival. There were also many amazing art sculptures. One of these was done by Nature Dreamweaver and was a unique circular stick structure that you could sit in the middle of while enjoying some live music.

In addition there were many Guildworks creations throughout the festival grounds helping to separate stage and tent areas while leaving festival goers with a little something extra to look at. Art lovers could even watch artists create some amazing pieces of art and paintings, some of which could be purchased during the festival.

The Spin Art Crew was even on site to power the Charon by Peter Hudson which was an amazing site to see. It was a huge wheel with skeletons on it that seemed to dance as the human powered zoetrope moved. Many lights and creative light up exhibits were also evidenced throughout the festival grounds for the enjoyment of the attendees.

It was a well rounded experience and one that will be sure to leave a stamp on the hearts of those who were in attendance this year. Depsite the problems with weather and having gates closed many festival goers could be heard talking about how they were excited to be headed back to Danville for the second Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival next year.

Are You Ready for 2015???

One thing is for certain after the amazing time that I had with my family at the 2014 Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival, I am excited to check out what they are going to offer in 2015.  If you have not purchased your tickets yet then you need to get on the ball so that you can see me at Phases.

General Admission — Full Event

This year things have changed a bit on ticketing.  In fact you are going to have to purchase your camping and parking passes separate from your tickets.   When you purchase the General Admission tickets you are gaining access to the festival grounds from Friday October 16th, 2015 through Sunday October 18th, 2015.   You also gain access to the late night shows.

They are on Phase 3 now of pricing and tickets will run you $179.95 or you can get set up on a 3 payment plan for payments of $80.95.

Saturday + Sunday — Weekender Pass

The Saturday + Sunday Weekender Pass is going to allow you access to the festival grounds on Saturday October 17th and Sunday October 18th, 2015.  Camping is also not included in the weekender pass so you will have to purchase that separately.

VIP — Full Event

One of the biggest advantages of VIP camping is that you get next to car camping for free with this option.  That means that you are going to be able to camp next to your car without the additional charges that are included with the regular ticketing.  You are also able to get into the grounds a day early on Thursday October 15th starting at 4 pm.  VIP ticketing also includes up front viewing stages, meals, drinks, showers, private lounges, group campfires, VIP gifts, and discounts on alcohol.

VIP Passes start at just $524.95 or $190.97 if you choose to go with a payment plan.

Camping Passes

Camping passes are sold per vehicle.  Early entry camping passes can be purchased for $79…these allow you to enter on Thursday instead of waiting until Friday like the general population of the festival.

Next to car camping is $55.95 and allows you to park next to your car so that you do not have to carry all of your gear in.  (TIP:  If you are taking children this is something that I would consider necessary.)

Tent only camping is just $29 but you will have to carry in all of your gear.

Reserved Camping Sites are already sold out, so unless they release more this is no longer an option for you.

RV Ticketing

If you are planning on bringing an RV then you are going to need special ticketing for that.  RV Reserved is already sold out like the Reserved Camping.

RV Unreserved is primitive so you will not be able to hook up to any power.  This camping is going to cost you $259.95 per spot.

RV in VIP is still available but you have to call and make special plans to be able to take advantage of these camping spots.  To put in your request you can send an email to

Ticketing Add – Ons

There are a few ticketing add ons that are special upgrades that you can take advantage of.  These include the following two options:

Camping Gear Rental from Get Outfitted is available to you.  This is a really cool program that I have not used but find to be something that you would find super handy if you were staying in one of the camping spots that are not by your car.  You can choose from a number of packages to reserve the camping gear that you need for the festival and make your life a lot easier, you even get to avoid the majority of the packing.

Shower Pass is something else that I have not seen before.  The Shower Pass is coming soon and will offer you unlimited showers during the festival for $29.95.

Where to Order?

You can order your tickets online or you can pick them up at a local ticket outlet that offers them.

Phases of the Moon Music and Art Festival 2015 Lineup Announced #Phases2015 #SeeyouatPhases

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

A short while ago the Phases of the Moon Music and Art Festival announced the exciting 2015 line up and I sure hope that I will be able to be in attendance this year.

Phases logo 2

Last year I was very fortunate that I was a part of the media team for the first year of this exciting festival.  I really had the time of my life even though the weather was some of the worst that I have seen at a festival.  The promoters did an amazing job and I will share more with you in a follow up recap where I can show you some of the amazing things about the festival that I have enjoyed.

Some Things You Need to Know

Of course before I share the line up with you there are some things that I think that you should know.

**The festival has been moved from Danville IL to Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, AR.  (Although many festivals have taken place on these grounds it is one place that I have not previously been before!)

**The festival is taking place October 16-18. 

Lineup Announcement 1.0

Now here is the good stuff.  You are going to see some amazing bands and a few that are family favorites in this house.

STS9**The Disco Biscuits**moe.**Yonder Mountain String Band**Lunar Conspiracy Landing**Beats Antique**Xavier Rudd & the United Nations**Leftover Salmon**Brett Dennen**Lettuce**Lake Street Dive**Rusted Root**ALO**Papadosio**The Werks**Wookiefoot**The New Mastersounds**Everyone Orchestra**Larry Does Jerry**The Motet**Dirty Dozen Brass Band**Larry Keel Experience**Pimps of Joytime**The Bright Light Social Hour**Kung Fu**Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band**Earphunk**Turkuaz**Andy Frasco & the UN**Pink Talking Phish**Mingo Fishtrap**Cabinet**The California Honeydrops**Poor Man’s Whiskey**Pert Near Sandstorm**The Giving Tree**Roadkill Ghost Choir**Samantha Phish**The Brothers Comatose**David Gans**Rumpke Mountain Boys**Sophistafunk**Spoonfed Tribe**Head for the Hills**Mountain Sprout**Spoonfed Tribe**Head for the Hills**Dirtfoot**Horseshoes & Hand Grenades**Family Groove Company**Old Shoe**The Coop**Wood and Wire**Dustbowl Revival**Good Gravy**The Ballroom Thieves**The Hillbenders**Jon Wayne and the Pain**Levon Helm Tribute**Indubious**Useful Jenkins**Henhouse Prowlers**Afternoon Moon**Gypsy Moon**Strung Like a Horse**Heartbyrne**Earl & Them Mouth**Pigeons Playing Ping Pong**Roxy Roca**Rowdy Shadehouse**The Way Down Wanderers**El Dub**James Jones Trio**Coyote Union**Charliehorse

As you can see, this year there is definitely going to be a little something for everyone with a vast array of different styles of music.


Phases of the Moon Artist Preview — Tedeschi Trucks Band

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Tedeschi Trucks Band is one of my personal favorites to see because of the amazing guitar playing skills that Derek Trucks has. I will admit that I am normally a bass girl but it is completely beyond me how someone does not become mesmerized as they are watching him play. It truly is an experience happening in live music that might not happen again. It is something that you have to see if you are a fan of live music!!

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The band has an impressive line up of musicians touring with them. The band includes Derek Trucks (guitar), Susan Tedeschi (guitar & vocals), Kofi Burbridge (keyboards & flute), Tyler Greenwell (drums & percussion), JJ Johnson (drums & percussion), Mike Mattison (harmony vocals), Mark Rivers (harmony vocals), Kebbi Williams (saxophone), Maurice Brown (trumpet), Saunders Sermons (trombone), and Tim Lefebvre (bass guitar).

Tedeschi Trucks Band 1

Derek Trucks has been touring since he was just a kid, a kid with an unusually amazing talent. His slide guitar skills have impressed big names in the music world and some of the world’s most famous guitar players have talked about his amazing slide guitar skills. He has played with an impressive line up of artists including fellow guitar legends, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana.

Tedeschi Trucks Band 2

As a teenager he formed The Derek Trucks band and toured throughout the US. He averaged over 200 shows each year during his teens. This was an amazing time of development for him as an artist and guitar player. By 1999 he was touring with The Allman Brothers Band. He also played as part of the Allman Brothers Band. He has earned two Grammys for his musical pursuits including one for Revelator and a Lifetime Achievment Award for the time that he spent with The Allman Brothers Band. At his age (he’s just 33!!) he is one of the youngest living musicians to ever earn this impressive achievement.

Tedeschi Trucks Band 3

Susan Tedeschi has noted for her earthy bluesy sound which has earned her an award. After joining a gospel choir while she was in college she decided to persue her love of music. She has opened for a list of music legends including Bob Dylan (one of my personal favorites!), the Rolling Stones, and John Mellencamp.

Together the pair front the Tedeschi Trucks Band and you can be sure that their music is going to continue to progress and impress the masses. If you have not had the pleasure of seeing them live then I would highly recommend checking them out any time that you can. For me, I will be in the crowds at the Phases of the Moon Festival.


(All photos were taken from the band’s website.)

Phases of the Moon Preview — The Steepwater Band

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Have you ever heard a song that reminded of you of something but you could not quite place your finger on it? Did you try to place that song and end up rationalizing that maybe you heard it in a dream? This is exactly how I felt when I first heard The Steepwater Band’s soulful “Lord Knows.” It was like even though I was hearing it for the first time, I was hearing something that I had already heard.

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The Steepwater Band first got their start back in 1998. They are well known on the Chicago music scene and are a favorite of many. I would highly recommend that you catch them if they are in your area. Their current schedule is pretty busy and they are playing throughout the Midwest. They are even playing our “hometown” on Halloween night so I am going to see if we can get a sitter and head out after we are done trick-or-treating with the kiddos.

steepwater band

Current Schedule
9/12 – Phases of the Moon Festival Danville IL (I will be live here and am sure going to catch The Steepwater Band.)
9/13 – Backyard BBQ Festival Glen Ellyn IL
9/20 – Maplestock Maple Park IL
9/23 – Uncle Buck’s Salisbury NC
9/24 – One Stop Asheville NC
9/25 – Whitewater Center Charlotte NC
9/26 – Lucky’s Valdosta GA
9/27 – Maple Leaf New Orleans LA
10/4 – Martyrs’ with London Souls Chicago IL
10/15 – Beale on Broadway St Louis MO
10/16 – Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Music Festival Ozark AR
10/17 – Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern with Cedric Burnside Starkville MS
10/18 – Rum Boogie Memphis TN
10/21 – Harlem Avenue Lounge Jeff Massey Solo Acoustic Berwyn IL
10/24 – Shank Hall Milwaukee WI
10/25 – Malarkey’s Wausau WI
10/29 – High Noon Saloon Madison WI
10/31 – Limelight Eventplex with Matthew Curry Peoria IL
11/1 – Gas Lamp Des Moines IA
11/22 – The Rathskeller Indianapolis IN
1/3 – Leroy’s Hot Stuff Porter IN

steepwater band 2

The band plays a lot of live shows together and averages 140 shows each year. They have averaged this number of shows for the past sixteen years that they have been playing together. The band is original and plays their own unique music. They play something that is completely different than what other bands are playing. They play music that you can not help but enjoy when you are listening to them and seeing them live is a real treat. I am excited to be seeing the band in the next few days and hope that you will take the time to check them out if you are at the Phases of the Moon Festival with me.

Phases of the Moon — The Things You Must See and Music You Must Hear

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

The Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival is going to be an amazing time of fun for all of those who are in attendance. I am going to be traveling to the festival with some of my favorite people in the world, my husband and our three children. There are so many things to check out at the festival grounds that I thought that I would share some of the must see places and highlights from each of the day’s schedules at the festival.

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Must Check Out Places
The Sanctuary –
The Sanctuary is a must for festival goers as it is going to feature the world of natural healing along with massage and relaxation. I know that this is going to be a must see attraction to unwind and try and find your own spiritual oasis while attending the festival.
Participation Row –
Want to get involved in a great new campaign? Looking for an organization to volunteer your time with? If you answered yes to either of these, Participation Row is the place to be. They will have a number of organizations represented where you can reach out and get involved.
Crescent Moon Kids Camp –
This is the place to be if you are parents. I am sure that we will spend a fair amount of time here in between the music and other live performances that we want to see. So check it out and let me know what you did with your kids there. Maybe we will run into each other and if you have little ones maybe they can spend some time making new friends with my little ones.
Live Painter’s Row –
This is where you can go watch amazing artwork in action. I love to paint but do not consider myself to be an artist although I attempt to be. I am sure that I will be able to find true inspiration in the Live Painter’s Row.
The Further Bus –
If you follow the blog then you probably saw the piece that I wrote about the 50th Anniversary of the Further Bus. This is something that I have to check out and I am sincerely hoping that I run into Zane Kesey while I am there as his father has been instrumental in my discovering myself and who I want to be.
Gong Sanctuary –
Lay down and allow yourself to be immersed in the vibrations from the gongs. This is one unique experience that you might not find anywhere else.
Branches Mobile Gallery –
A mobile art gallery that you can go to and enjoy. The Branches Mobile Gallery is a one of a kind artistic experience unlike any other that you might see.
My Schedule for Music at Phases of the Moon –
Thursday –
2 pm – David Gans & the Rumpke Mountain Boys at the Harvest Stage
3:30 pm – The California Honeydrops at the Full Moon Stage
5 pm – The Revivalists at the New Moon Stage
5:30 pm – Big Fun Circus at Harvest Moon (this is a must for the kiddos!!)
6:30 pm – Chris Robinson Brotherhood at the Full Moon Stage
8:15 pm – Galactic at the New Moon Stage
10:15 pm – String Cheese Incident at the Full Moon Stage
My hubby and I have to switch up the late night shows that we go to so on Thursday after I have the hubby help me back to the campsite with the kiddos I am sending him to check out the following for me.
12:30 am – Soulive at the Harvest Moon Stage
2:30 am – Rumpke Mountain Boys at the Town Square Stage

Friday –
Since my husband is going to the late night shows on Thursday I plan on packing up early and heading out with the kiddos on Friday morning so that he can sleep in a bit. In all honesty my hope is that he will repay the favor to me after I have had a late night on Friday.
Friday morning the kids and I will be checking out the Sound Immersion Experience and the kids camp area. I am not sure that we are going to check it out on Thursday because we are so busy with shows but Friday morning as soon as that kids camp opens I can almost guarantee that we are going to be there.
9 am – Family Yoga at the Yoga Area
10:30 am – David Gans Solo at the Townsquare Stage
12 pm – Dumpstaphunk at the New Moon Stage
1:45 pm – Jackie Green (this lasts until 3:15 pm and I am not sure how much I will catch because of a conflict) at the Full Moon Stage
2 pm – Aerial Gypsies Stilt Parade (I think that the kids will love this one!!) at the Harvest Moon Stage
3:30 pm – Anders Osborne at the New Moon Stage
4:30 pm – Brothers Comatose at the Town Square Stage
5:30 pm – JJ Grey and MOFRO at the Full Moon Stage
6 pm – Matt Schofield at the Town Square Stage
7:15 pm – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at the New Moon Stage
7:30 pm – Sam Bush Band at the Town Square Stage
9 pm – The String Cheese Incident at the Full Moon Stage
11 pm – Lunar Conspiracy Landing at the Full Moon Stage (this is going to be amazing since SCI is curating it!)
12:45 am – The Steepwater Band at the Town Square Stage

Saturday –
10 am – Steady Flow at the Harvest Moon Stage
2:30 pm – Jeff Austin Band at the New Moon Stage
3:40 pm – Leftover Salmon at the Full Moon Stage
5:05 pm – Jackie Green at the New Moon Stage
6:25 pm – Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe at the Full Moon Stage
7:30 pm – Nomadic Circus at the Harvest Moon Stage (I am pretty sure that I will be attending this one alone and leaving the kids and husband to watch the show at the New Moon Stage!)
7:45 pm – Tedeschi Trucks Band at the New Moon Stage
9:45 pm – Widespread Panic at the Full Moon Stage (I am pretty sure that the hubs is going to be back at the campsite for this one to give our kiddos a much needed earlier night!)
12:30 am – Moon Hooch at the Harvest Moon Stage
2:15 am – Poor Man’s Whiskey (Dark Side of the Moonshine)
2:45 am – Cornmeal Ramble at the Town Square (I am pretty pumped about this late night and super pumped that this is going to be my late night to hang out!!)

Sunday –
10 am – Poor Man’s Whiskey at the Harvest Moon Stage
11:30 am – Leon Russel at the Full Moon Stage
2:30 pm – Vintage Trouble at the Full Moon Stage
3 pm – Futurebirds at the Town Square Stage
4:15 pm – Robert Randolph and the Family Band at the Full Moon Stage
6 pm – Cornmeal at the Town Square Stage
6 pm – Gov’t Mule at the Full Moon Stage
7:30 pm – Jeff Austin Band
7:45 pm – Railroad Earth

We have to head back home on Sunday night to get back into the bump and grind of things so I see us taking off after the Railroad Earth performance.

Phases of the Moon Artist Preview — Gov’t Mule

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Gov’t Mule is a soulful act that features the beautiful velvety smooth vocals from Warren Haynes with some amazing guitar playing skills. I have seen Gov’t Mule quite a few times over the years and have never been disappointed when I have attended a show or festival and seen them live. The band has been one that I have been seeing live and like many of the bands at the Phases of the Moon Festival it is one that I am excited to check out again.

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I will be honest that I am not usually the type of person that likes the rock/blues genre that I feel like Gov’t Mule fits into. That being said there are songs that Gov’t Mule plays that simply melt my heart and take me away to a special time in my life. I am a huge fan of the song “Soulshine.” There is just something about hearing this song that takes me back to the happiest moments in my life. It makes me feel carefree and helps me forget about any of the struggles or worries that I might be facing in a day. If I am having a bad dad I can turn on “Soulshine” for an instant pick me up.
This is one of the songs that has inspired me to travel out into the world interviewing fans, and hopefully soon interviewing artists about the overall impact that their music has. Music has such a connection with me that it is something that I can not live without. I am always listening to music and constantly singing to my children. I love being able to share my favorites with them and to be able to share with them what these songs mean to me.

(from the dAiLaN89 channel on YouTube)
As for the song and my personal stance.  “Soulshine” has been a guiding light on dark paths in my life.  It has been the wind beneath my wings when I have needed to fly.  It has been the spirit that has kept me moving when I did not think that I could go on.  It has been a memory that is distant and then a new memory again.  It has been a song that has meant a lot to my life and one that has helped to carry me through some of my most troubled times.  All in all I so grateful for the band for sharing this song with me.  I am thankful that they put this out there in hopes that the fans would like it because it really has been one of the songs that has been the most life changing for me.

 Gov't Mule

I love that I have allowed the music of Gov’t Mule to take me to new places in my life. I have enjoyed learning about the band and their musical influences as well. I have read a lot of interviews with Mr Haynes that have talked about the amazing musical influence that he found with the Grateful Dead and other bands. The fact that he has been able to move up in the musical world and play with these bands that were such an influence on him have had to be such surreal experiences and times of joy as a fan. They have had to be times when he has felt pride and significant happiness about where his career has landed him.
I am hopeful that I will get to hear my favorite while we are at the Phases of the Moon Festival. I hope to check out what I am sure is going to be a great performance by the band. I am also very excited to be able to have my children experience Gov’t Mule for the first time. I think that they are going to enjoy dancing and I know for certain that they will enjoy recognizing a few of mommy’s favorite songs.

Phases of the Moon Artist Preview — Cornmeal

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

First off I have to let you know that I have been a Cornmeal fan for many years. I saw them for the first time just over ten years ago in Champaign, IL. I continued seeing them for years and was even a member of their street team from 2005-2007. I had so much fun going to shows and telling others all about the amazing music that the band played. I have seen them at festivals, in small bars, going from the Campfire Stage to the bigger stages at Summer Camp. I even camped next to them one year back in the day. So as I have been listening to them I have gotten to experience the evolution of their music. I will admit that I was sad at the departure of the Nowak brothers and Allie. However, I will state that I have been impressed with the continued endeavors of a few of the originals to keep the band together. The new band is impressive to see and if you had not known the original you would still fall in love with them.

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They bring a fun new spin on your grandpa’s bluegrass. They are a fun band and I can assure you that when I see them I will be dancing in the crowd. In addition to my own enjoyment I have three little ones who will be attending the Phases of the Moon Festival with me. They all have grown up listening to Cornmeal and are sure to enjoy these shows just as much as mom and dad do.


(from the cornmealinthekitchen channel on You Tube)

Cornmeal has been an integral part of my growing up. I saw them for the first time before I was 21. I was not not even old enough to drink when I started going to see them. Years later, they are still one of my favorite bands to go and see.


(Photo by Norman Sands and taken from Cornmeal’s webpage)

In addition to being a part of me growing up, Cornmeal has been with me through many really exciting life experiences. I was able to take my oldest to see them on the Campfire Stage at Summer Camp for his first festival. My middle two also got to experience the joy that was Cornmeal at their first festivals. My husband and I went and saw Cornmeal in St Louis for our first show together.

I am thankful for all of the wonderful memories that I have had seeing Cornmeal with my family and friends. I am hopeful that I will continue to make new memories with the band and that my children will also have their own memories to cherish as they grow up.

Now for some fun. When it comes to Cornmeal, there are certain songs that I am hoping to hear. I’m hoping to hear “When the World’s Got You Down” and “Girl with the Long Brown Hair.”

Phases of the Moon — Packing Tips if You Are Coming with Children

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Let’s face it going to any festival with your children is a little bit more work than the days when you got to go alone. No longer can you fit everything for a weekend into one backpack and one cooler. It becomes a long process to get there but the family memories that you make and create are going to be completely worth the effort that it takes.

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This year I am traveling to the Phases of the Moon Festival with my husband and three of our children (my oldest will be with his dad that weekend) who are between the ages of 2 ½ and 6. Will it be hard at times? Yes. However I can assure you that our children love seeing live music and will have the time of their lives at the festival.

kelty logo

The biggest tip that I would have for families who are traveling to Phases of the Moon is to be prepared and make your lists now. I know it is more than a week away but you will not be sorry when you have lists ready and know exactly what you will be packing for the trip.
I am going to share my lists and tips here so that they might be beneficial to someone else.
Camping Gear
Camping gear is a necessity when you are camping. We are huge fans of the Kelty brand at my house and here are the Kelty products that we have which make up our camping gear.

parthenon 8

1. A big Family Sized Tent (We love our Parthenon 8 from Kelty. This tent is amazing, has plenty of room for a family, and is moderately easy to set up—we don’t end up yelling at each other during the set up time although I might walk away one or two times!)

bug blocker

2. A Shade Tent (We love the Bug Blocker from Kelty. Another one that is simple to set up, provides shade, and protection from bugs while you are enjoying the day or evening at your campsite.)


3. A Small “Play” Tent (This is one of my biggest tips for families. Get yourself a small shade type of tent that has a lot of open space. We love the Kelty Cabana because you can leave the entire front open. This is where we keep all of the kiddos toys and stuff for them to play with so that it is not in the way in our main tent.)

little flower 20big dipperwoobie 30 girlsSB20 womens cosmic down 20

4. Sleeping Bags (We use the following Kelty sleeping bags – Little Flower 20, Little Dipper 30, Woobie 30, SB20, Women’s Cosmic Down 20. Each one is perfect for keeping us warm all night long!)

basecamp kitchen

5. Basecamp Kitchen (A basecamp kitchen is a great place to organize all of your kitchen essentials and other goodies. I keep my paper plates, silverwear, papertowels, spare TP, and more in ours so that we can always find everything that we need with ease.)
6. A Table (We love the Kelty Delux Rolltop Table which is the most high quality camping table that I have ever seen. I love that it is sturdy enough for all of us to eat at or that we can play cards when we are relaxing and letting the kids play.)
7. Lanterns (Again with the Kelty gear…I tell you what the gear may cost a bit more but it is the perfect gear for families. The reason that I love it so much is that it can withstand all of the abuse that my children put it through when we are camping and playing around. We have the Flashback, Flashback Mini, and Luma Spot Rhythm as part of our camping gear.
8. Extra Blankets – (We always take a few comforters, sheets, and a blanket for each kiddo in the tent. When attending festivals we take an extra blanket for each kiddo to have at late night shows or when they want something to snuggle up on.
9. Picnic Blankets (We love waterproof picnic blankets. My favorite ones come from Initials Inc. We have two of these and take them to every show that we see. We have enough room for all of us and even a few friends who may decide to travel and camp with us.)
10. Chairs (Chairs are another necessity when you are traveling with kiddos to a festival. My favorite choices are the Kelty Deluxe Lounge Chair—seriously the most comfortable folding chair you could ever find, Kelty Essential Chair, and Kids Chairs. We also take the Camp Chairs with us as we can easily carry these to the festival’s stage areas to sit on there.)
11. Battery Operated Fans (This is another essential with children. We have a few large sized ones and the kids each have their own hand held ones when we travel. They also love the spray bottles with the fans on them.)
I know that this might seem like a lot to travel with but when you have the right luggage it is not that bad. I use the One Trip Wonder (again from Initials Inc) to put all of the sheets, kids’ extra blankets, lanterns, and small gear in. I also use the large sized utility tote from Thirty-One to put all of our kitchen gear in.

Filling Those Coolers
I have easy tips to make filling your coolers simple. Plan a menu! Know what you are going to eat and when. Prepare your coolers this way so that the foods that you will eat later will be the foods that are on the bottom. Use one cooler for food, one for family drinks and a small one for the fun stuff (booze! Remember Phases campers that glass bottles are not permitted.) Personally we take our food for breakfast and lunch. We take all of the snacks that our kiddos are going to need. Then we take plenty of water (a few cases for all of us!!) and make sure that we have Camelbaks packed too!! We also take refillable water bottles (one per person!).
Although I have not finalized our Phases menu I am guessing that it is going to look something like this. This is all easily prepared and stuff that does not have to be heated up.
Breakfast—mini donuts, fruit
Lunch – sandwiches (lunch meat, pb & preserves, cheese, veggies…whatever looks/sounds good at the store), veggies n dip, chips
Breakfast—pop tarts, fruit
Lunch – pasta salad, sandwich
Breakfast – small cereal boxes, fruit
Lunch—broccoli slaw salad, lunchables (not something that I normally let the kids eat so they will be excited!)
Breakfast – leftovers from the former 3 days
Lunch – leftovers from the former 3 days

For the Kiddos
1. Backpack of Toys (We give our kids their Kelty Backpacks…we use the Minnow and the Grommet. They get to fill these backpacks with small toys, coloring books, colors/markers/pens, paper and books to use while they are at the festival.)
2. Waterproof Backpacks (We give our kids each their Trunki PaddlePaks so that they can put what they want for each show into this bag. Then they are taking something lightweight with them when we are walking to and from the festival stage.)
3. Ride On Toys (We like to take foldable scooters with us so that the kids have something to ride on and play with when we are at the campgrounds. These are also great to ride to festival stages and can easily be stored in a wagon or in the bottom of the stroller when we are sitting and enjoying a show.)
4. Stroller (I would highly recommend a stroller that is easy to push off roads. I have not owned one yet but the BOB strollers seem to be the best for this purpose.)
5. Wagon (We have two. If we have room we take our Radio Flyer with off road wheels but if we are struggling to find room we end up with the foldable one. Sadly it does not work as well.)
6. Blanket Bag – (We put one stuffed animal and their extra blanket in a small bag for them. I know that this sounds like a lot of bags but keeping things organized and allowing each child to have a place for their things will keep you sane when you are moving your gear from your car to the campsite. I like to use Thirty-One bags or Get a Grips from Initials Inc.)
7. One Ring Pool (Yes we sometimes take a pool with us to festivals. We bring just a simple one ring blow up pool that is easy to use. It is perfect for the kids to get wet in and cool off. I like to have a bucket with us that we can hall water to the pool in about 2 or 3 trips.)

What We Will Wear
So for clothes I am pretty simple when it comes to festivals. First off clothes need to be old and not too nice. I know, I know that might not sound so fun but my children get so dirty at festivals that it is necessary. I take one pair of Pjs and 3 outfits for each day (2 that are for warm weather and one that is for cool weather). I also take hoodies or sweaters. I take the same type of thing for me but not quite as much. I try to pack each child their own clothes bag so that we an keep them all together. I also take a big laundry bag to put all of our dirty clothes in. I take wet bags (leftover from cloth diapering days) to put wet laundry in. If at all possible I try to lay out wet laundry so that it can dry.

I personally like to bring all of the basic toiletries with me and then a few extras. My list includes the following –
1. Toilet Paper
2. Shampoo
3. Conditioner
4. Body Wash
5. Detangling Spray
6. Sunscreen (lots and lots of sunscreen!! You don’t want to run out!)
7. Dry Shampoo
8. Brushes
9. Combs
10. Hair Ties
11. Headbands
12. Bandanas (These are great for hair but are even better to cover your face with if there is a ton of dust at a dry festival!)
13. Medicine Bag (put all of our prescriptions and medications that we might need in one place)
14. First Aid Kit (you’ll probably need bandaids!)
15. Wet Wipes (bring a BIG bag of these with you, you won’t be sorry!)
16. Facial Cleansing Wipes
17. Basics for skin care and make up! (nothing fancy for this mama but I still want to look presentable so I use the basics…foundation, mascara, and funky eyeliner—it’s just fun to use!)
18. Hand Sanitizer
19. Child’s Potty Seat (something small but seriously once you see those port-a-pots you will be happy that you have somewhere clean for your children to go potty)
20. Lysol Spray (yes I use this when we are forced to use the port-a-pots!)
21. Towels (I just take a few small old towels…one per person and maybe one extra!)

Phases of the Moon Preview — Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I am excited….no wait, I am EXCITED (yeah that’s right, shout-it-from-the-rooftops excited) to be able to catch the Chris Robinson Brotherhood at the upcoming Phases of the Moon Festival. First off the band plays amazing music that has insightful lyrics that I personally love to listen to. Not only do they write their own music that is amazing but they also cover some of my all time favorite songs.

chris robinson brotherhood

(Photo by Matt Mendenhall and taken from the Chris Robinson Brotherhood website)

If you were to ask me what I hope for during the festival I would say that I’d love to hear Wanderer’s Lament and a Sugaree cover. That’s right, sing me some Sugaree, Mr Robinson.

(from the hallucination nation YouTube channel)

Now I have to admit that I have always thought that Chris Robinson was pretty fabulous and was even a fan of his back in his Black Crowes days. I have always had a little soft spot for him as a fan because of his soulful voice that seems to really be able to soothe me during bad times. I know personally that I choose to listen to the Black Crowes and Chris Robinson Brotherhood when I am under a lot of stress. Something about this man’s voice can seriously calm me during the toughest of times.

chris robinson brotherhood 2

(Photo by John Margaretten and taken from the Chris Robinson Brotherhood website)

Take for instance today, I was trying to put my two and a half year old daughter down for a nap. She was of course trying to fight this process as she feels she must do each every day. She just screams and screams. Well, today I was sitting there and instead of putting on headphones and laying next to her I really needed to get some work done. So I chose to play some Chris Robinson Brotherhood on my laptop. Thankfully this is what finally lulled my little angel to sleep today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this because some days the struggle is purely exhausting and today the soulful voice of Chris Robinson worked on my little angel in much of the same way that it works on her mama. She was finally calm enough to drift off into slumber.

chris robinson brotherhood 4

(Photo taken by John Mendenhall and taken from the Chris Robinson Brotherhood website)

I love thinking about where I was when I first heard a band or what their songs mean to me. This is something that helps me know that I am connected to the art of music. When it comes to the Chris Robinson Brotherhood I think that I first heard their music online when I learned about the new band that Chris Robinson was a part of. I was so shocked at the beauty of the music that they have played and the number of amazing years that Chris Robinson has been the front man of a great band as he continues to put out some of the most heartfelt music around. One of the things that I love so much about music is the passion that you can feel when you are in the presence of greatness on a stage.

chris robinson brotherhood 3

(Photo by Neil Casal and taken from the Chris Robinson Brotherhood website)

I honestly believe that I will be able to feel this passion and be able to see the love of music when I hear the Chris Robinson Brotherhood playing at the Phases of the Moon Festival. I guess you all know that I am going to be there, but will you? If you are going to be there please hit me up and let me know what you think.

Phases of the Moon Artist Spotlight — Leftover Salmon

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Leftover Salmon Awakens Bluegrass with a Fresh New Spin

As someone who grew up listening to bluegrass and country music I will admit that there is a soft spot in my heart for the artists who continue to play in this genre. One of the bands that I have been a big fan of for many years is Leftover Salmon. I have loved them since back in the Salmonfest days when I used to travel to Missouri to check out their great festival. I will admit that this festival was one of the more fun festivals that I have attended my entire life.

phases 5

The band started about twenty five years ago and has been touring the country and playing wonderful music ever since. The band was born in part by chance. The members had a chance meeting when Vince Herman was packed up and moving to Colorado with a friend from his native West Virginia. While he could have stopped anywhere, he just so happened to stop at the bar where Drew Emmitt was playing. Some might call this luck but I personally think of it as fate.

leftover salmon corrected

(Photo taken by Tobin Voggesser)

Leftover Salmon has been a part of my entire adult life. Their music has carried me through some of the best times of my life and also through some of the hardest. There are songs that I hear that make me cry because they take me to a memory that is strongly connected to strong emotions. The music has also been with me during some of the happiest and best moments in my life. Just like there are songs that make me cry, there are songs that make me smile and it can sometimes be hard to keep from giggling as I am giddy and filled with emotion.

Leftover Salmon

I thought that I would share a few of my favorite memories that I connect to a Leftover Salmon song.

The song “Lovin’ In My Baby’s Eyes” is one that instantly makes me smile. I love my husband so much and I love how the lyrics depict a certain special point in our relationship. Relationships are not always easy and when the going gets tough I find songs that remind me of the beginning when we were falling in love can help me stick out the rough times. What I have learned from this is that there are even better times ahead.

Leftover Salmon 2

I love going to festivals and concerts. Every time that I am headed to a festival one of the songs that is a must on my play list is “Carnival Time.” This song is just one that puts you in the mood to party. Who isn’t ready for a great time when they are going somewhere to have fun? I have even found that the song invokes joyful feelings me during rough times. So I play it when I am having a bad day and I find that I am transformed into a happier and more relaxed person.
“Bend in the River” is another song that always makes me smile and feel great. I love the lyrics to this one. In fact this was the first song that I ever sang to my husband when we were just friends. I sang it to him because I wanted nothing more than to hold him close under a willow tree.

leftover salmon corrected 2

(Photo taken by Tobin Voggesser)

The music from Leftover Salmon likely invokes different feelings in each person who listens to it. I personally find that my connection to music occurs when I am able to sit back and relate a specific song to a certain time in my life.