14th Annual Ogden Music Festival Fosters Community & Live Music Tradition [Photos] • Volume
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Written by: Mikala Lugen | Photo(s) by: Courtesy of OMF

14th Annual Ogden Music Festival Fosters Community & Live Music Tradition [Photos]

Ogden Music Festival celebrated its 14th rendition over the weekend at the historical Fort Buenaventura Park, gathering hundreds of live music fans together to kick off the summer season.

For 14 years, Ogden Music Festival has played an integral role in the Utah community, promoting and celebrating Ogden’s arts, culture, and natural beauty. As always, the festival boasted a family-friendly environment, with its tradition of granting free entry to children under age 16 in hopes that that their experience with live, traditional music performed in an outdoor setting will inspire the next generation to keep the live music tradition alive. While the festival places an emphasis on bluegrass and folk music, this year’s artist roster offered up blend of genres, exposing the audience to both the traditional influences and modern-day spin of live acoustic music. That, along with its various artist workshops and jam camp stage, Ogden Music Festival stands out as one of the most unique and welcoming festivals throughout the Intermountain West.

“I love Ogden Music Festival because every band is different,” Missy Raines told the audience during her Saturday evening set. “That’s what is so great about this festival. It’s a space for people to come out and enjoy live music in a beautiful setting.”

Throughout the three days, the festival hosted sets on its main stage, featuring performances by AJ Lee & Blue Summit, Amy Helm, Sam Bush, The Proper Way, Blind Boy Paxton, Carolyn Wonderland, Missy Raines & Allegheny, David Burchfield & the Fire Guild, Stillhouse Junkies, and Flor De Toloache. Saturday was the biggest day for the festival and hosted what would be the weekend’s most impressive sets.

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Colorado-based neo-acoustic bluegrass group Big Richard got all the buzz on Saturday afternoon after they stormed the stage with their raging fiddle tunes and onstage banter. The all-female collaboration – comprised of Bonnie Sims, Joy Adams, Emma Rose, and Eve Panning – played their “first sweaty gig of the season” with renditions of their wide song catalog, including the old-time tune about condoms “Greasy Coat,” Billie Eilish’s “All The Good Girls Go To Hell,” Radiohead’s “Creep,” and a haunting rendition of Brittney Spears’ “Toxic.” It was impossible to not dance and smile while hearing their hour-long set, and with a name like Big Richard, their onstage commentary is a must-watch. Even Mother Nature showed her appreciation for such an outstanding set as “nature’s confetti” fell like snow from the sky from surrounding black poplar and black cottonwood trees.

Later that evening, Ogden Music Festival veterans Shook Twins literally “shook” up the festival with their dreamy folk and americana melodies. The Oregon and Idaho-based identical twins – Katelyn and Laurie Shook – performed an uplifting early evening set, full of their original cinematic instrumentations and unique approach and spice of looping beatboxing. The girls captivated the audience with their harmonizing original “Safe,” followed by a whistling mashup of “Window” and Canned Heat’s “Going Up The Country.” The set was complete with a pair of perfectly charmed acoustic renditions of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and Talking Heads’ “This Must Be The Place.”

“We really like to mix it up and play a diverse set. We play with a band most of the time actually. It’s really cool to be able to fit into different pockets and bring people to dance in different ways,” Laurie told Volume backstage. “We’re very diverse in our own music taste so we just follow that. We love to “shookify” covers and represent all the genres of music.”

Saturday night closed out with a star-studded collaborative set by The Brothers Comatose & Friends. The band rotated the amazing women of the festival, including the Shook Twins, blues multi-instrumentalist Carolyn Wonderland, and AJ Lee & Blue Summit. Throughout the set, The Brothers Comatose and Friends picked through traditional bluegrass ballads and fun fiery covers, including CCR’s “Proud Mary,” Grateful Dead’s “Friend Of The Devil,” and Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.” A fiery take on Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” showcased all nine friends onstage through vocal and instrumental solos, taken away by an impressive fiddle crescendo.

Scroll down to view photos from the 14th annual Ogden Music Festival, courtesy of the festival. For more information on Ogden Music Festival, visit the festival’s website.