It took me so long to post this one because I honestly didn’t even want to write this review. Selfish, yes, but I didn’t want the rest of you schmucks to find my hidden treasure and ruin it. You know that feeling you get when you visit your grandparent’s house? That warm, kick off your shoes, let your hair down, and raid the fridge feeling? That’s basically F.A.R.M.Fest in a nutshell. In my short time in this scene, I can confidently say that I have never felt more welcomed, relaxed, and comfortable at a festival.
I’ll admit, when Siri told us to make a right here…I wasn’t too excited. The entrance to this place looked deserted and sketch as fuck. A makeshift, spray-painted “F.A.R.M.” sign stood propped against a telephone pole with an uninviting arrow pointing to what I could only imagine to be my imminent death. I tried to *drop a pin* just in case the authorities thought to check my iCloud account…but – you guessed it: no service. It was the beginning of a slasher movie and, to keep it real, we ALL know who normally dies first in those. #StayWoke. Thankfully (a half-mile ride down the dirt road) we were greeted by friendly staff and I could finally exhale knowing my name wouldn’t become a hashtag overnight.
After our tickets were scanned, a brief search of the RV was completed, and then we were escorted to our campsite.
THE CAMPING SITUATION:
The festival was held at Paradise Lakes Campground in Hammonton, NJ and the campsites here are what you dream of. No really, they’re picture perfect. Check out this sick panoramic shot I of our site HERE.
The lots had tons of space, a hookup for water/electric/cable/sewage, and plenty of trees to hang hammocks from, which we took advantage of immediately. Our particular spot had an opening between two trees that looked straight out into the swamp. #HammockPorn.
Normally, this is the part where I would write about the security check getting into the actual festival but there wasn’t one so….#MovingRightAlong. No really, there wasn’t one. There was a much bigger emphasis on safety. EMTs were well staffed, knowledgeable, and constantly patrolling the grounds, only stepping in to ensure the festival’s patrons stayed safe and *HYDRATED.* No aggressive security/police presence, yet somehow everyone managed to make it through the weekend safely. Weird, huh? Finally, a festival that has figured it out.
The Main Stage area of the festival was on a beach. I know! Dope, right?! Some people stretched out on inflatables and enjoyed the acts from the water. I decided to stay dry on the beach (I promise I can swim), but was definitely barefoot for most of the weekend. It was my first time doing that at a festival and highly recommended. There were actually two stages in this main area: a larger stage was reserved for live bands while a smaller booth-style stage was stationed right next to it for the DJs. Both were beautifully decorated with natural drift wood merkabas and flowers, almost as if they were decorated by a team of hetti woodland nymphs. #Appropriate.
Towards the back they had an installation of very diverse artists painting outside of a pop-up art gallery where some pieces could actually be purchased. Almost broke the bank here…these artists were incredible. I liked that over the weekend we were afforded the opportunity to see their creative process from start to finish. Not uncommon for a festival of this caliber, but noteworthy. Meanwhile, on the right-side of this main area, there’s a path lined with vendors that lead to the Untz Stage (standard tent stage).
The vendor section was lit! The prices were the most reasonable and inexpensive yet I’ve probably spent the most money at this festival. Everything was SO good – especially the food! Whether you were looking for gluten-free vegan or a heart-attack on a plate, Farm Fest had you covered! Chai iced-tea, hummus platters, deep-fried peanut butter & jelly, and sriracha-scallion wings were all on the menu.
Normally at a festival I like to fast myself on just water, but I ate like Rob Kardashian this weekend! Speaking of water: DASANI WAS ONLY $2 HERE! #PoppingBottles :D! Also – Grassroots was in the building so you KNOW I had to represent and snag the official Farm Fest hat!
TOP 3 PERFORMANCES:
What you’re looking at there is called the Frank White: “Shaved Steak, Mac & Cheese, Gouda Sauce, and Maple Bacon, topped with an egg, all on an Italian roll”. This is just one of the many sandwiches offered by Massachusetts-based food stand The Gouda Boys and h-o-l-y-f-u-c-k is all I have to say. Very reasonably priced at $12, this behemoth of a cheesesteak put Philly to shame. I couldn’t even finish the whole thing but Steve was more than happy to help out. If I remember correctly, there were about two dozen other “Gangsta Steaks” to choose from (all cheekily named after actual gangsters/mobsters). There were also egg rolls stuffed with things like brisket and chicken pot pie filling, yellow curry aioli wings, and fresh cut fries. The foodie in me wanted to pitch a tent behind their food truck – and no I’m not talking about a Coleman. From the looks of their Facebook page, it seems they’ve been hitting just as many festivals as I have this summer. So if you see them at your next event be sure to give it a try! You won’t regret it. Until it’s 10pm and you’re shitting out something that looks like it has a social security number LOL.
FINAL VERDICT: 2015 TOP FESTIVAL NOMINATION!
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That’s right, I am nominating F.A.R.M. Fest for my 2015 Festival of the Year Award! The only reason I haven’t flat out given them the award is because I’m all about being fair, but I just don’t see how anyone else can compete. Sure there were hiccups with the location/scheduling, but honestly no one cared. We were all so high on the good vibes this festival exuded to care much about anything but bonding with each other and spreading the love. This was my first F.A.R.M. but I swear to Lorin I won’t miss another. If you haven’t been, you’re missing out, and to those in the loop…DON’T. TELL. ANYONE. Just kidding.
No really though…keep your fucking mouth shut.
xo – Dark
xo – Dark