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Hangtown Halloween Ball Preview

Do you love live music, camping, and Halloween? It is not too late to purchase tickets to attend Railroad Earth’s 2nd Annual Hangtown Halloween Ball in Placerville! Happening Friday afternoon through Sunday evening, the weekend will feature performances by a lengthy line-up of fantastic artists, as well as fun events for the whole family such as yoga and power tool pumpkin carving. You can choose to purchase all-weekend passes and camp at the Placerville Fairgrounds ($160) , or purchase day passes to the event ($50-$60).

Music will be playing on three stages non-stop from 1:45 P.M. to 11:55 P.M. Friday, 10:30 A.M. to 11:55 P.M. Saturday, and 10:30 A.M. to 10:15 P.M. Sunday. There is also the option to purchase late night tickets ($20) to see special performances all three nights which go  as late as 3:30 A.M.!) Click here for the detailed schedule.

I spoke with Casey Loudermilk, one of the organizers of the event, and one of my very first questions was how he recommended Hangtowners arrange their sleep schedules, particularly with the late night shows! His tip? “Don’t worry about sleep. Just go to yoga in the morning, then head to the main meadow that overlaps the main stage. You can hang out there and let your energy build as the music progresses into the evening and see where it takes you from there.” Loudermilk shared that the artists often camp alongside attendees, creating a unique community of musicians and music appreciators. There are also daily costume themes for Halloween dress-up inspiration. This year attendees are encouraged to dress as gold rush zombies on Friday, monsters on Saturday, and go about Sunday in their pajamas.

I also had the opportunity to interview Rob Fidel with The Tumbleweed Wanderers. Here are some of the highlights:

What is the background of the band name, The Tumbleweed Wanderers?

Well, nowadays it is so hard to come up with a unique name that stands out especially when you are looking bands up on Google. We played under the name “The Stoops” in the beginning just because we would play out on door stoops but that was kind of lame. Somehow we came up with The Tumbleweed Wanderers, which has really cool imagery behind it.

What are your musical mentors, idols, and inspirations?

So many bands only have one songwriter. It’s cool because all 5 of us are songwriters. Daniel was a classical percussionist and he is into classical music, jazz, and rock. Jeremy and I are into soul and Motown, but of course everything is shadowed by a classic rock influence. We love Sam Cook, Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, The Beatles of course, My Morning Jacket… We idolize them apparently!

 Is this your first time playing at Hangtown?

Yes, we just did a festival with Railroad Earth in Colorado, and we really hit it off so they invited us to Hangtown. We’re psyched to play and psyched to listen to good music. We’re all listeners before we are players.

Where are your favorite spots in the Bay Area and/or where can we find you?

Everyone is from California originally and we are currently located in Oakland but we love the city. Taqueria Vallarta in The Mission has the best burritos. And of course I love Dolores Park.

What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?

As a band or as a person? My personal most embarrassing moment happened when I played a gig in Sac. I was dancing, jumping up and down, and I tripped and fell head over heels over an amp, through the back curtain and off stage. The rest of the band didn’t even notice! Luckily everyone in the audience seemed to think “Yeah! He’s rocking out!” instead of “What a loser!”

And finally, if you could be any monster or mythical creature, what would you be and why?

I’m terrified of fairies. I’d probably want to be Frankenstein. Or a werewolf. They’re pretty hip.

The weather in Placerville is expected to be in the 70’s over the weekend – so get out there and play! For those of you who have Spotify, I made a playlist that you can listen to here. While last year’s Hangtown Halloween Ball featured more bluegrass and jam bands, this year the organizers chose to focus more on indie, funk and local bands. Enjoy!

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