The Marshall Poole band performing at Shady Grove Music Camp in 2019. | Shady Grove Music Camp Courtesy
POCATELLO – The Gate City is home to a huge and eclectic music scene, far beyond the classic rock and roll which is most often featured at local music festivals.
That’s why a small contingent of local musicians and music lovers started Shady Grove Music Camp at FMC Park in 2019 – to provide an outlet for the area’s psych, funk, alt, and trance communities. After a successful two-day show in 2019, organizers were expected to get big in 2020, but had to cut the plug due to COVID-19.
The show is back this year, with 25 acts signed to perform on Friday or Saturday this weekend, with over a dozen local craft vendors as well as local food trucks also scheduled.
The majority of the artists on the list are local, from Pocatello and Idaho Falls, with four headliners from Boise and Salt Lake City – all with original music rather than covers.
“We want to be able to offer anyone who is an original musical artist here in Pocatello an opportunity to play at Shady Grove,” said Shelbie Harris, one of the event organizers. “And then we want to anchor these local acts with these incredible regional artists.”
FMC Park, off Interstate-86 near Idaho Rock and Sand, is an oasis, said Harris – a verdant grove surrounded by dry, desert-like land. Due to the site’s proximity to the city and the fact that alcohol is available in a Jim Dandy Brewing tent, camping is encouraged, with a limited number of RV pitches also available. Because the area is home to a large population of peacocks, dogs – with the exception of registered service animals – are not allowed on the site.
The event was created following an impromptu commentary between co-founders Mike Engle, owner of Portal Productions, and Caleb Rosenkrance, a member of several local groups.
While live music is so well highlighted in the region, the wide range of musical genres has, in the past, been underserved. While visiting a homestead in Mackay, Rosenkrance told Engle the two should have their own music festival.
“We really need to have groups here that really open doors for people, to see what else is out there,” Rosenkrance said.
“We want people to come exactly as they are, make new friends, maybe discover a new taste in music that they didn’t even know they loved and become a lifelong Shady Grove fan,” Harris said. .
Shady Grove Music Camp headliners: Tycoon Machete (top left), Ealdor Bealu (top right), Sun Blood Stories (bottom left) and Blood Lemon. | Courtesy of Shady Grove Music Camp
The first group will take the stage at 3:30 p.m. Friday. With performances alternating between two stages, the music will be non-stop until midnight. Then, the show will be relaunched on Saturday at 1 p.m., returning at midnight. The doors open one hour before the music starts.
Advance sale tickets are available on MyIdahoTix.com, priced at $ 25 plus fees for a two-day pass. They can also be purchased on-site, on the day of, for $ 35 for a two-day pass or $ 20 for a single day.
Those who attended Shady Grove in 2019 can expect improvements.
The main stage, Rosenkrance said, is significantly larger, and the sound system that was used on the main stage in 2019 will be used on the pavilion stage with a new, larger sound system installed on the main stage. The configuration of food trucks and vendor tents has also been redesigned, with food now available behind the stage, eliminating what was a bottleneck during the event in 2019.
“We’re really excited to foster this popular event which incorporates live music, art installations – we have yoga and meditation on Saturday – food trucks, craft beer,” said Harris. “We want to work with local businesses to create something great. “
After the last acts on Saturday, it will be possible to join a Kumbaya type jam session. The members of the participating groups, joined by the event organizers, will gather around a campfire (the only fire allowed on the site) to perform together. Campers are encouraged to bring their own instruments and participate.
This is just another example of the atmosphere that the organizers of Shady Grove try to create at this annual celebration.
“It’s exhilarating and relaxing at the same time,” said Harris. “You can go and immerse yourself in front of the stage and just dance your face.”
“Or you can find a cool, shady spot and hang out under a tree with a peacock,” Rosenkrance added.