Smilefest Highlights

Many great memories were made over the 13 years of Smilefest and the 2 years of the Reunion. Yes, they start to run together and the years aren’t as clear as they once were. However, there is one thing that stands out above all else for that took place at every Smilefest and Reunion… All the great connections made that were made between family and friends that will last a lifetime.

Attendees, staff and artists alike have become a tight knit family unified by music and like-minded ideas. It’s been an incredible journey and we’re looking forward to making new memories, new friends, and new family at Jomeokee Music and Arts Festival!

But first, let’s reflect on some of our favorite Smilefest and Reunion musical moments from over the years:

1996 – Ekoostik Hoohah played for 3 hours and two long sets to end out our festival, even though it was their first time playing for us.

1997 – Back in those days, the artist’s toilet was right behind the stage. During Keller Williams set the Porto guy decided it would be a good time to clean the toilet behind the stage! Keller has it on video and even talked about it in Relix Magazine… So fitting that he would open with “Porta Pottie” in ’06!

2000 – This was the first year we were blessed to have Vassar Clements at our event. An amazing man, and incredible fiddler and a wonderful friend.

2001 – David Grisman Quintet (with Vassar sitting in) played a moving tribute for John Hartford. John passed away earlier that week and they all came straight from his funeral to our festival. The energy was electric.

Also in 2001 – Leftover Salmon’s set on Saturday night turned into a “cluster pluck” with just about every musician from earlier in the day joining them on stage. It was also the last time we saw our great friend, Mark Vann, Leftover Salmon’s banjo player who passed on in the next year.

2002 – Who could forget Karl Denson’s late night set that lasted WELL PAST curfew? He played so long he missed his flight the next day!

2003 – Vassar Clements led a talk and workshop on the homegrown stage, and we watched an amazing set from Sam Bush.

2004 – What a killer lineup! From Yonder Mountain String Band into Burning Spear into Galactic in one night! We had Sanjay Mishra, Rob Wasserman, Darol Anger and Mike Marshal. Don’t forget Antibalas, Tony Rice Unit, Derek Trucks Band, Keller Williams, and Umphrey’s McGee. And we danced until 6 am with Garage Mahal. Woo! -”

2005 – This was the year of Acoustic Syndicate’s epic 5 set performance just before they went into retirement (of course to come out again).

2006 – Again, so many great sets! Everyone Orchestra featuring Adrian Belew, Jimmy Herring, Jeff Sipe, Darol Anger and many others. Especially the tribute to Vassar with Danny Knicely singing “Good Woman’s Love.” -”

2010 – It was a big family moment when Michael Franti invited lots of the Smilefest kids on the stage to sing and dance for “Say Hey.””

2011 – Melvin and JGB made our heart leap! Spirits were soaring during this set″