The Peach Music Festival feels perfectly ripe in its seventh year.
The weekend-long concert series has refined its palette of offerings each summer, but even for diehards who have attended since it first broke ground at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain in 2012, there’s still fresh music to be seen and heard.
When Peach Fest returns to town Thursday, July 19, through Sunday, July 22, it’ll host new faces alongside dedicated favorites, including Grammy Award-winner Warren Haynes, who has performed at the festival since its first run.
With a repertoire of songs that covers his career in groups such as the Allman Brothers Band, various iterations of the Grateful Dead and his own jam band, Gov’t Mule, Haynes promised a wide range of hits old and new. Throughout the weekend, guests can catch him fronting Gov’t Mule and Dark Side of the Mule — a set of all Pink Floyd covers — as well as “Wake Up with Warren Haynes.”
Just before he jumped on a plane to depart for a string of gigs in Europe, Haynes spoke with The Times-Tribune by phone about why he loves playing shows like Peach Fest. 
“Festivals are an opportunity for both the fans and the bands to kind of branch out,” he said. “The bands get to play to some people who never heard them before, and fans discover music they never heard before.
“We tend to keep festival shows more up-tempo and a little more high-energy,” Haynes added. “Every show is different for us, so we usually don’t know until the day before or even the day of what we’ll play. Since we’ve played Peach Music Festival several times, we’ll make sure it’s different than what people heard the past couple years.
“There’ll be something from each part of our career, and also new music.”
Each of Haynes’ three sets will embody a specific vibe, giving guests plenty to take in even if they catch each of his performances.
“We’ll do a normal Gov’t Mule show, which is, I guess, anything but normal,” he said. “We don’t do much talking during shows; it’s mostly just music.”
Dark Side of the Mule, meanwhile, was a concept Haynes developed 10 years ago when he first played the covers for a Halloween show, one of the only occasions he’s dared to don a disguise and play someone else’s music, he noted.
“In the past couple years, we got so many requests for it, so this year we’re doing a handful of shows like that, and we’re excited about that,” Haynes said.
“Wake Up with Warren Haynes” aims to rouse the overnighters at the music festival with a morning of mellow music.
“Between those three sets, I don’t think we’ll repeat a song,” Haynes said.
The energy at Peach Fest is generated not only from the musicians who come back year after year, but also from the audiences who have a love and passion for the music that is just as strong, he said.
“Our music is all about honesty. We give everything we have to the music,” Haynes said. “We love what we do, and I think that translates to the audience.
“We’re taking all of our influences and combining them together in a way that hopefully appeals to like-minded fans of music, and since we do a different show every night, we are striving to give the audience something they’ll only see one time.
“That’s what I want to see at a show,” he added. “Something that never happened before, and something that’ll never happen again.”