Review: “Catskill Chill” fest a short trip from Cortland

HANCOCK, N.Y. – As city and music festivals wind down–along with amphitheater shows at SPAC and CMAC–the last hurrah of the summer has, for many, been Catskill Chill.

This year, its sixth annual, will also be the last ever at Camp Minglewood in Hancock, NY.

Aside from the intentional alliteration, its name is quite fitting for the location it has called home for so long.

Camp Minglewood, home of the acclaimed French Woods Performing Arts Summer Camp, is definitely one of the most chill places a music festival could possibly be held.

Anyone looking for a less-overwhelming but no-less-exciting festival experience would hard pressed to find anything like the Chill anywhere else – especially in late September. Always featuring an incredible lineup of groovy music, this year will be no exception.

The lineup will be excellent as always; but, last act first – people should definitely check out the closing set by the ever-impressive Particle. They have played at every Chill to date, and they will take the stage with some currently unannounced special guests.

Veteran jam rockers moe. will be this year’s headliner. Other notable acts who will be lighting up the stages are Lettuce, The Motet, Break Science, and DJ Logic – just to name a few.

This year's lineup at Catskill Chill (courtesy of Catskill Chill Facebook page)

This year’s lineup at Catskill Chill (courtesy of Catskill Chill Facebook page)

The Chill is not just about big-time bands shredding stages for three days. As always, the weekend will be full of local and regional bands playing smaller sets. For me, it has always been a great place to discover my next favorite up-and-coming band.

As its name suggests, Camp Minglewood is deep in the Catskill Mountains. While there is a vast amount of space to camp – lakeside, if you are so inclined – there are also individual and shared cabins for rent with bathrooms and other amenities. Again, since this is a smaller festival, you will never feel like your tent is on top of someone else, or vice versa.

If you were at Magnaball, Phish’s tenth festival hosted outside of Watkins Glen, you will also be pleased to know that the Chill, too, has a farmer’s market… and who can forget the nightly communal bonfire.

Parking is free (as are children 12 and under). There is plenty of space to camp and relax, and yoga is offered every day if you can’t forgo your daily zen.

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