MY DAY AT THE FESTIVAL
My name is William K. Podmenic and I am writing about my time at the Appel Farm Arts and Music Festival which was held on June 1, 2013 in Elmer, New Jersey. The festival was sponsored by the radio station WXPN FM. It was truly a great day and wonderful experience being able to be a volunteer photographer with my Professor and friend Linda Panetta. The weather was tailor made for a great time to be had enjoying great musical acts, festivities, and people.
This was my first time at Appel Farm’s and I can honestly say I hope it is not my last. The commute from Philadelphia wasn’t at all bad, and it was well worth the trip. Just to be able to spend the day in such a beautiful setting with a great crowd of fellow music lovers made it even better. Not only were there two stages holding different musical guests throughout the day, but there was some great artists showing their works, plus food and drink of all kinds. As for the weather, one couldn’t ask for a better forecast. It was in the mid ‘80’s and the sun was shining all day. It was the best way to open up the month of June.
I was invited by my Professor Linda Panetta to help photograph the festival and the musical acts at Appel Farm’s. Linda, herself, is an old pro at this festival after being an event photographer for a number of years now, and luckily she invited me and other members of our group. Altogether there were six of us in the group, with four of us acting as photographers. It was quite an experience being able to get right up to the stage and photograph the musical acts and the different radio hosts from WXPN. I was privy to seeing much more than the regular festival goer and I met most of the acts that I was able to photograph.
Most of the acts I was never aware of prior to the festival, but I just found out how much I’ve been missing in life. By the time I arrived the festivities were already in progress, but the first act I was able to see was John Gorka who was appearing at the Grove Stage. He is a folk musician who plays both the guitar and piano. He is quite the entertainer for when he isn’t playing his music he is telling a good story or two.
The next act I was entertained by was the group DELTA RAE. Their music is described as a mix of Gospel, country bluegrass and blues and for me, they were the best band that I had seen that day. Not only did they have a great sound, but their energy was unparalleled. They truly seemed to be having just as good of a time as the people they were playing for. And they were just as pleasant afterwards talking to the fans and posing for photographs with our group along with many others.
That was not the end for the DELTA’S though, since the next group to play was the DELTA SPIRIT’S. This happened to be an all-male group with more of a harder edge rock sound. They were a nice alternative to the day of musical acts with a really good playlist of songs. They put on a good show also, with a lot of energy that kept the crowd on its toes.
The last musical act of the evening on the main stage was BRANDI CARLILE and “The Twins.” I imagine this was the number one act of the festival and the one everyone wanted to see. I had heard of Brandi Carlile before, but this was the first time I ever say her in concert. She did not disappoint her followers; the band consists of Brandi and twin brothers, Tim and Phil Hanseroth. They all play guitars and Brandi also plays the piano for some of her songs. It just happened to be her birthday so Brandi and the Twins really played their hearts out; they put on a great show and are real talented. Now I know why they were the headliners of the festival.
The Appel Farm Arts & Music Festival was such a great way to spend a beautiful day and to help kick off the start of the summer season. It was just a great experience not only being able to be a volunteer event photographer and have the ability to get up close and personal with many of the musical acts playing at the festival and to document the day, but also to meet some great and talented people; I couldn’t of been more fortunate to have been invited to experience it all. Not only did I have a memorable time, but I learned so much about photography that day, and I spent the day with some wonderful people, beginning with my Professor Linda Panetta, and Mary Beth Peabody, Deirdre, and my fellow student photographers Dave and Phil. Thank you for such a great experience which I will never forget.