This year was The Way Live Should Be’s second year attending a Maine Vocals festival in Harmony, ME.
Maine Vocals is a great Maine activist group fighting for Marijuana Legalization; they have a long history in this state of peaceful advocacy and resistance. The Heads in Harmony festival this past weekend has abundant evidence of their continuing effort for improved marijuana laws. From Captain Joint, to the plants on stage, people everywhere at at the festival were blatantly standing up for their rights. Marijuana prohibition is ridiculous, unjust, profoundly unconstitutional and this festival is one way Maine activists can join together and be proud of their values and make a stand against failing laws. We attended a festival at this location last year as well, Hempstock, and some aspects of the festivals at this venue have already improved greatly. Attendance was up, the on stage pro-marijuana speakers were generally well spoken, and celebration of the new medical marijuana laws in Maine was evident; although many still consider legalization a high priority. Also, the organizers took advantage of their large secondary field on-site as well by placing a second stage and camping area out there. This gave the festival a larger, more diverse festival feel because it was almost like a second festival was going on deeper in the woods.
The location at Harmony may be remote, but if you haven’t yet, you should check out one their 2 festivals at the site still happening this year. These include Harvest Fest October 6-9 and Harvest Fest II October 21-23.
Our main criticism of Hempstock last year was the music. There were a few gems, but mostly classic rock cover bands filled the line-up. This year showed VAST improvement! There was still the traditional Grateful Dead element, but it was much more authentic as Tom Constanten played and was actually a member of the Dead family at one point; together he and Big Rhythm Wine played a great set. Other artists included Dopapod (check out our interview with Dopapod here), Goosepimp Orchestra, The Breakfast, and even a few high quality orginal bands we had never heard before like The Jauntee and Otis Grove. Our only complaint was a few technical difficulties that ended up setting some of the artists back an hour or so… but last year there were no troubles at all and we suspect this was just a fluke. All in all the music improved about 150% over last year and we enjoyed getting to see this festival grow.
To wrap it all up… Maine Vocal’s festivals in Harmony, ME are definitely worth supporting. They are laid back, a happy and safe environment, and a lot of fun right here in the State of Maine. It’s all about solidarity, freedom, and marijuana activism. As for those of you who are hardcore Harry Brown Farm fans… us too. Just, make sure you fit in one festival at both locations; each has something different to offer and it’s really worth supporting a good cause, good tunes, and good times.
Visit http://www.mainevocals.net to check out more upcoming festivals in Harmony, or for information regarding medical marijuana in Maine, petitions, etc!
review by Heather Omand