RECAP: Adirondack Independence Music Festival 2021
Photos: Frankie Cavone/Jamie Goldberg
Adirondack Independence Music Festival (AIM), that’s the name of the one music festival in New England you should not miss. Every Labor Day weekend out in gorgeous Lake George, NY, hundreds of us flock together to celebrate each other, dance together, sing together, and listen to our favorite bands. This wonderful little festival has grown perfectly in the five short years it has been around. With a rising number of supporters, next year’s festival is already written on many calendars. So what makes this festival so special?
After three years of coming to AIM Fest, Brenda from New York says, “There is literally no bad seat here.” You can find friendly people to sit or dance next to everywhere in and around the festival grounds. There are plenty of spots to setup camping chairs or blankets to make space for yourself and your family. The stage area holds a wide rail full of friendly riders that consistently make room for each other to dance their hearts out. Live art exhibits, art vendors, food and beverage vendors all help to make this small festival feel just like a larger one. Lee from New Jersey, a seasoned festival veteran at his fourth AIM Fest says, “This is a small festival that has what big festivals have. There is a chill fam vibe here.” Kaylee from New York agrees by saying, “I like this more than Peach!”
It’s not just the festival grounds that make this festival exciting. The downtown Lake George area is bright with entertainment all around. Vinny from New York says, “I come here [Lake George] twice a year and [AIM Fest] is one of the reasons I come. Two and a half hours away in a town I already wanna be in.”
Location, Location, Location. Ryan Dempsey from Twiddle adds that AIM is the, “Perfect meeting point for New England.” This location is a hub for musicians, staff, and guests alike. Everyone has about the same distance to travel. Even those that are further away still have a short trip to get there. A small walk from the beach makes it the perfect location for a long holiday weekend for any family.
Photo: Frankie Cavone
Arron and Ashley, New Yorkers, touch on a really important aspect of this festival by saying, “There is a great vibe here. Everyone is very relaxed. It’s become a tradition.” This is their fourth year at AIM Fest and this pair is well loved by many. Seeing their faces brings warm fuzzies to everyone that comes to call them family. Rick from New York, attending his fifth AIM Fest says, “It’s the people and the atmosphere” that bring him back every year. This is such a common theme among supporters of this festival. It’s the people here that make this festival such a unique and special one. Missy and Roy from New Hampshire enjoyed their first AIM Fest so much this year they’ve “Already decided to come back next year!”
The music lineup is another common theme that brings people back year after year. This year’s lineup included big acts like local favorites Twiddle, Moe, Lucid, and Kung Fu. Several returning acts were excited to take to the stage again including Hartley’s Encore, Bella’s Bartok, Eggy, and Annie In The Water. One of my favorite parts of this year’s lineup was the addition of two fantastically talented young bands that have proven themselves over the past few years. Working very hard on their music, Baked Shrimp and Dogs In A Pile took to the festival like seasoned alumni. Both of these bands bring creativity and a fresh jam to New England and I felt very proud of them. Be sure to find them touring in your area so you don’t miss out.
All of these things are what make AIM a whole lot of fun to go to but none of them touch on the real magic of it. I found the person that had the answer. His name is Steve and like so many others at the festival every year, he lives in New York. Steve has been going to AIM since it’s origin. This man has had plenty of time to figure out why he loves it so much. Him and his family were quick to tell me, “We love the staff.” He hit the nail on the head. This festival is put on by a family of friends that love what they do. From the promoters, to the gate attendants, everyone working so hard to put on this event deserves all of the credit. It takes a lot of work to put on a festival as successful as AIM. The event staff are just as excited as the fans that pay to come. They work affectionately and excitedly with each other and with the guests. Kindness, Caring, and Empathy is the vibe that the staff manifest at this festival. Point blank, this festival is amazing because of everyone that works hard to make it happen. On behalf of everyone that has made AIM a tradition, Thank you ADK!