Hinterland Festival 2018 : Photo Recap

It was a first-time journey for me to St. Charles, located in NE Iowa. I was joined by the wife and my two daughters. We packed up our camper and made the 8-hour drive from Indianapolis to the Hinterland Music Festival. It was an epic sojourn, well worth the effort.

Hinterland sets up in a huge, perfect bowl shaped field, funnelling down to the grand stage. It affords excellent views from all angles. The crowd is relaxed and friendly. There is only the slightest bit of countrified, Midwestern festival-goer irony. It’s the polite kind. One showgoer explained his “Fight Farmers Fight” vintage cap to me, “It’s funny because you could read it two ways! Right?!” I recently read that if the nearby Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago was the cool, city mouse fest, then Hinterland sets up perfectly as it’s country mouse cousin. I liked that. It’s a good analogy for the fest, but don’t mistake that to mean that there is anything amateur or backwoods about it. It is a fully professional, perfectly laid out and executed music festival.

The lineup, as I’ve heard it was in years past, was expertly curated. I thought CHRVCHES would be the oddball in a mostly americana-filled card, but they worked in just fine and the crowd responded to them with every bit of enthusiasm as they did for Sturgill Simpson. Rightfully so, to both, as they both put on amazing performances.

Many of the artists could be found roaming the crowd. From a media perspective, the Hinterland PR team was above and beyond accommodating. Artist roamed past the media trailer, and if you were brave enough, you could grab them pretty easily. I made the mistake of scheduling interviews, sadly to have many cancel, and one miss their flight and not make the fest. Still, J Roddy Walston and I had a great sit-down, and Sean Moeller, founder of Daytrotter.com, and I spent some quality time reminiscing about the good ol’ blog heyday of the mid-2000s.

Camping festivals are often fraught with layout and logistical pitfall: Over-crowded camping areas, muddy/dirty pits and walking areas, long lines in and for restrooms…you know the typical problems…but Hinterland was logistically easy, very clean, and worked by willingly helpful and overly polite staff, volunteers and security.

I’m excited for the 2019 lineup announcement, as I hope to make this one an end-of-summer break family tradition. Enjoy my amateur-ish photos below, but first: A major highlight was Sturgill Simpson and Wheeler Walker Jr. joining Tyler Childers on stage…

Sturgill Simpson

 photo Sturgill_Hinter_1_zpsllxcwlaf.jpg

Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses

 photo BoH_Hinter_7_zpsarq4wlzg.jpg

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Nathaniel Rateliff

Nathaniel Rateliff

Margo Price

Margo Price

Margo Price

Scottish electro-pop trio CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES

Tyler Childers

CHVRCHES

J Roddy Walston & The Business

 photo JRoddy_Hinter_1_zpsyowe7n2e.jpg

 photo JRoddy_Hinter_2_zpstwubccms.jpg

Anderson East

Anderson East

Anderson East

Anderson East

Tash Sultana

Tash Sultana

Ancient Posse

 photo Ancient_Hinter_1_zpswmkjiu2d.jpg

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