Get packing already! Mantrabash starts Thursday!

Look, there’s still time. Throw all that camping gear back into the car, pack the necessary provisions, and head to Ferguson for three days of “camping, music, art and community in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.” The Mantras are havin’ a time, and you don’t want to miss it.banner

It’s Mantrabash 2015, September 24-26, where you’ll be surrounded by family you just haven’t met yet and leaves turning color. Oh, and music. Lots of music. The hosts will play two sets Friday and two more on Saturday, including a very special “Talking Dead” set with one of the chief Funkateers, Dr. Bernie Worrell.

Two stages with alternating sets mean you don’t have to miss a single note. And there is so much more to do, starting with outdoor games courtesy of sponsor Jake’s Billiards. On site will be food vendors, frozen drinks, bagged ice, and water for sale (no alcohol sales). Arts and crafts vendors will be displaying their wares. Enjoy art installations, live painters, performers, visuals, and the light show. There will also be the opportunity to attend workshops with artists & musicians.

But about that music…



Many of these bands have been hard on the festival circuit all summer, from Domefest and Big WHAT? to Mad Hatter’s Ball and Camp Barefoot, with some heading the following week to Leeway’s Home Grown Music Network 20th Anniversary.

The fest kicks off at 6 with Madd Hatters. They play everything, so sit back and enjoy. Psylo Joe’s funky psychedelic rock will twist you up, followed by Big Something, who also refuse to be categorized, as they excel at every genre.

Then the madness really starts. The trippy psychedelic magic of Ozric Tentacles will be sandwiched between two knock-out sets from jamtronic wizards Broccoli Samurai. There’s no point holding your head; your brain has already leaked out all over the ground.

Then it’s time for TAUK, celebrating their brilliant new double live album Headroom. And now that you are thoroughly discombobulated, Dr. Bacon takes you on a wild hay ride.



Dr. Bacon didn’t get on stage until after 2:30 AM? Too bad, time to get up for Crystal Bright and the Silverhands at noon. You can sleep Monday. Groove Festish follows Travers Brothership, and then it’s time for Zali Didge Jam. Absolutely.

Sets by the Southern Belles and Soul Mechanic precede the first of the four sets by The Mantras. Nomadic provides the setbreak music. If you have not already done so, make sure your seatbelts are tightly fastened and your tray tables are returned to their upright positions before Consider the Source sends you tumbling with their psychedelic sci-fi eastern-influenced brilliance.

Keep ‘em fastened; Empire Strikes Brass assaults you next with seven horns and a couple of guys banging and strumming. And ELM (Electric Love Machine) will take you to outer space. Or your tent. Whichever.



You can do this! One day to go. Treehouse! warms up the Metrognome Stage (see what they did there?), followed by Coddle Creek opening Jake’s Main Stage with — what else? — creekgrass! Then it is Everyday Junior, with Electric Soul Pandemic serving up their ESP goodness next. The Broadcast is returning to NC after a month of touring and completing their brand new album.

Then comes the aforementioned Mantras collaboration with Dr. Bernie Worrell for a “Talking Dead” set. More jamtronic heaven from Imperial Blend fills the setbreak nicely before The Mantras come back on to show their appreciation for your love and support.

Are you done? Heck NO! The Family keeps the vibe going before EOTO brings the electronic fuzz as only they can. And The Fritz take control of the starship for that last boost into orbit.

You’ll catch up on sleep. Eventually.

It’s worth it!

Photographs courtesy of David Lee / Gypsyshooter



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