POCATELLO — The headlining band for the second night at the inaugural Shady Grove Music Camp in Pocatello this month hasn’t played a show all year after one of its members moved out of state in December.
Coming all the way from Oakland, California, the funk power trio, Pistachio, decided they loved playing in Pocatello so much, however, that they’re getting back together for at least one more gig in the Gate City for Shady Grove Music Camp, a two-day music festival at FMC Park in Pocatello on July 19 and 20.
“We’ve traveled the whole country a couple different times now and everywhere we go people ask us what our favorite stop is,” said Devin Hollister, Pistachio’s bassist. “And we always say something like, ‘I bet you’ve never heard of Pocatello, Idaho, but you should totally go because both times we were there it was one of our favorite stops.’”
The brainchild of a few advocates for the local music scene, some of which play in several local bands, Shady Grove is a two-day music festival that includes camping, food trucks, beer, yoga, kids activities, arts and craft vendors and much more, says Mike Engle, an event organizer and the owner of Portal Productions, one of the many local businesses to sponsor the event.
In addition to Portal Productions, The Union Taproom is the primary sponsor for Shady Grove and is set to provide festival-goers with a fine selection of beer and wine and a menu of food items to satisfy meat lovers and vegetarians alike.
Shady Grove Music Camp will feature 23 acts that scale the gamut of musical genres including, among others, funk, Americana, psychedelic, progressive rock, jazz, blues and acoustic singers and songwriters A two-stage setup will allow for non-stop music from 4 to 11 p.m. July 19 and from 3 p.m. to midnight July 20 The gates open at 3 p.m. Friday.
Pistachio isn’t the only out-of-town band to headline the event, nor are they alone in the level of admiration they share for the Gate City.
Friday night’s headliner, Ealdor Bealu, and Pistachio’s main stage predecessor on Saturday night, Marshall Poole, both of Boise, have each played sets in Pocatello before and members from both bands said they can hardly contain the level of excitement for their much-anticipated returns.
“We are beyond stoked to come and play here in Pocatello again as it’s been over a year since we were last there,” said Carson Russell, vocalist and guitarist for Ealdor Bealu, an atmospheric heavy psychedelic rock ensemble. “Pocatello definitely knows how to party.”
Melanie Radford, a vocalist and bassist for Marshall Poole, a southern psych-pop rock band, added, “We are very, very excited to hit Pocatello again. We really enjoy the people of Pocatello and love the people involved in this music festival. We’re just stoked to come down and play for you folks. It’s going to be an incredible time.”
The musical lineup also includes popular bands from Eugene, Oregon, Salt Lake City and many local favorites like Hot Pursuit, Sons of Bannock and Shawn and the Marauders. A full lineup and schedule is accessible on the festival website, ShadyGroveMusicCamp.com.
Caleb Rosenkrance, an event organizer and guitarist in Hot Pursuit, said unlike other events in Pocatello that feature local bands for various charity or fundraising events, the sole focus of Shady Grove is on the music and the massive amount of talent each band brings to the table.
“We’re trying to do something that’s almost unheard of in this area,” Rosenkrance said. “In combining great musicians with talented artists and our local business scene, we hope to grow this festival into something that happens for many years to come. Making music the most important aspect of the festival is the way to do that.”
Engle echoed Rosenkrance’s sentiment.
“There have been music events in Pocatello in the past but there has never really been anything like this before,” Engle said. “Ideally, we would like to get this event to grow and turn into an annual deal. When that happens we will hopefully be able to attract more and more acts.”
Sponsors for Shady Grove Music Camp include Monks Auto Reconditioning, Sumisu Asian Fusion & Sushi, Wild Dog Coffee Wagon, SoulScape Yoga Studio, East Fork Bikes, Jeeves Ads, Bourbon Barrel Bar, Gin Sen, Mocha Madness, Studio 305, ChubbyZ’, Gypsy Tattoo Company, Nerd Church Gaming, Deckadence Board Shoppe, A Different Cup and Nick’s Fireplace Outfitters.
“We’re extremely grateful for our sponsors,” Engle said. “Everybody is taking a little bit of risk because there really hasn’t been a festival put on in Pocatello of this nature. We’re just thankful that our sponsors are joining us in taking this small risk that has the potential of creating something that could be long lasting and grow into something that we can all be proud of.”
Engle also said that FMC Park, which hasn’t hosted a concert in over a decade, is the perfect venue for Shady Grove. The sprawling park is located off of North Rio Vista Road in Pocatello right along the Portneuf River and boasts a lookout deck along its bank. A multitude of trees provide ample amounts of shade and a centrally located playground gives the youth something to do as well, Engle said.
Several residential peacocks call FMC park home so the festival has a strict no dogs policy, said Engle, adding that weapons, fireworks and campfires are also prohibited.
Tickets for the inaugural Shady Grove Music Camp are on sale now and are accessible by visiting myidahotix.com/events/shady-grove-music-camp. Advance tickets are $25 for both days and day passes are available at $15 for Friday and $20 for Saturday.
“Shady Grove Music Camp is a family friendly event and children under 13 are free when accompanied by an adult,” Engle said. “Come out and have a great time. The summer evenings are wonderful in Pocatello and we have a broad range of genres that I think will offer something for everybody to enjoy.”