In August on Montage Mountain, life’s a peach. Take a bite.
Peach Music Festival rocks its sixth year at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain Thursday, Aug. 10, through Sunday, Aug. 13. Started by the Allman Brothers Band and pavilion concert promoter Live Nation, the festival was modeled after the Wanee Festival in Live Oak, Florida, according to a Times-Tribune story in 2012. Due to its scenic mountain setting paired with proximity to restaurants, shops, hotels and more, the Pavilion at Montage Mountain seemed an ideal venue for the festival.
The event continues to grow with thousands of music lovers descending on the mountain each year to dance, sing, make new friends, reacquaint with old and share in a love of live music. Electric City put together a handy guide to the sights, sounds and tastes of Peach Fest.
Dancing to live music works up an appetite, and Peach Fest fans can grab food and drink at dozens of concession and vendor stands across the festival grounds. There will be typical concert food like hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken fingers and pizza plus some festival favorites such as wraps and sandwiches, barbecue, tacos, burritos and gyros. Plenty of vegetarian and vegan options will be on hand as well. Guests also can cool off with a variety of beverages from mixed drinks or craft, imported and domestic beers, to soda, water, fresh-squeezed lemonade and more.
More than 50 bands will perform across three stages — Peach Stage, Mushroom Stage and Grove Stage — throughout the weekend. Acts will perform throughout the day and into the night, some after midnight. Thursday night kicks off at 4:30 p.m. with acts that include Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and Cabinet.
On Friday, catch music starting at noon with bands including Steve Kimock & Friends, the Magpie Salute, God Street Wine, Tom Hamilton’s American Babies, Dark Star Orchestra, My Morning Jacket, Pink Talking Fish and Lettuce featuring Chaka Khan.
Saturday performances start at noon, too, and include sets from acts such as Umphrey’s McGee, Fruition, Rusted Root, Gov’t Mule & Friends, Widespread Panic, Papadosio and a Peach Tribute to Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks.
On Sunday, the music starts at noon and rocks until 10 p.m. with acts the Soul Rebels, Mike Gordon, Hayley Jane & the Primates, Ghost of Paul Revere, Joe Bonamassa and more throughout the day.
Schedule, set times and lineup are subject to change. For updated set times, fans can download the Peach Music Festival mobile app for Apple and Android.
Peach Fest founder and Allman Brothers lead singer Gregg Allman canceled his appearance at last year’s festival due to hospitalization, and died in May from complications of liver cancer. Peach Fest will honor the late rocker with an exclusive screening of the documentary “Back to the Swamp: The Making of Southern Blood,” centered on the creation of Allman’s final album. All ticket holders have automatically been entered for a chance to win access. Winners will be contacted the week of the festival with specific screening details.
Off-site parking shuttles
If you’re not camping on the mountain but still want to experience Peach Fest, shuttles transport guests from off-site parking to Montage Mountain during the festival. Shuttles from PNC Field and the Gold lot, both on Montage Mountain Road, run throughout the length of the festival during specific times: Thursday, Aug. 10, 2 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 11, and Saturday, Aug. 12: 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, August 13: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Monday, Aug. 14, 6 a.m. to noon. Outside of these times, shuttles run less frequently.
Couple to tie the knot at the Peach
Peace, music and love make up the Peach Fest experience, and the latter rings especially true this year.
Remi Rodriguez and Ross Mendoker of Jamesburg, New Jersey, will exchange vows on Friday, Aug. 11, during the festival at 6:30 p.m. next to the Mushroom Stage. Bob Mulkerin, mayor of Old Forge, will officiate the ceremony. After they attended Peach Fest last year on a whim, the music-lovers knew the festival would be the perfect place to tie the knot.
“There’s really nothing like Peach. We had the most amazing time and I said, ‘This is where we need to get married,’” Rodriguez said during a recent phone interview, adding that the couple got engaged at a different music festival in 2015. “We’re lucky to have something like this being in this part of the country. It’s a beautiful experience.”
The couple’s family and friends as well as Rodriguez and Mendoker’s four children (Ross, 12; Jade, 11; Myles, 4, and Maizy, 3) will be in tow as they say, “I do.” While the venue may be non-traditional, Rodriguez said it will still be the couple’s dream wedding.
“I have a gown, I’m going to look like a bride with bridesmaids and dresses and flowers,” she said with a laugh, adding that she’s seen dozens of posts on social media eager to see the “Peach bride and groom.” “But, getting married at Peach, being surrounded by our friends and family and all of these people who love the music and the atmosphere … this is by far the best decision.”
— gia mazur