Megan Schultz, founder of SIPtemberfest and other popular local events, has a new festival in the works for this summer.
Bear North is planned for August 2 and 3 at Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen and will feature live music, art, beer, food, as well as slope-side and parking lot camping. Pink Talking Fish will headline the event among a lineup of other musicians.
Schultz, owner of Meg’s Events, came to the Fayston Select Board earlier this month to explain her plans and talk about permitting. At that meeting she learned that the town will have German Flats Road closed in both directions for a period this summer. That closure will be above (south of) the access road to Mount Ellen and town highway foreman Stuart Hallstrom and the select board said they would work with Schultz on timing of that closure.
“The short story is that it’s a music, beer and artwork festival. We want locals to look forward to it. We’re focusing on local businesses and bands and catering companies. The setup will be slightly different than Frendly Gathering,” Schultz said.
Frendly Gathering was held at Mount Ellen in June of 2018 and 2017. According to its social media pages, Frendly Gathering is taking a year off and will return in 2020. Schultz told the select board that she is working with some of the Frendly Gathering founders on this festival as well.
Schultz told the board that in addition to Pink Talking Fish, she expects groups like the Seth Yacovone Band, Soule Monde, Mad Mountain Scramblers, performers from Twiddle, and others.
“I’m planning for 1,800 people, which is optimistic for the first year of an event. I want to bring the same vibe to this that we have at SIPtemberfest, where it’s not a drunk fest – it’s comfortable, familiar and laid back. People will be there to hang out with 900 of their favorite beer-drinking friends,” she said.
The live music will be complemented by Paint & Pint sessions – guided painting sessions. “We are literally pairing beer and art with our Paint & Pint sessions,” said Schultz. Bolton artist Natasha Bogar is Bear North’s art director. “Natasha has some very creative ideas for these workshops and how people will experience art over the weekend. There will be lots of opportunities for people to get directly involved or just passively observe the creativity.”
She said that the festival would open at noon on August 2 and that music would not run later than 11 p.m. on both nights. She assured the board that she would be notifying all neighbors and inviting them to the festival. Slope-side camping will be free and limited car camping will be offered for free with an online reservation.
Early bird ticket sales start Friday, April 26, at 4 p.m. Regular rate sales will follow. For more information, visit bearnorthvt.com.