Tie dye meets plaid in Bartow
The Camp Barefoot 6 Music and Arts Festival took place last week in Bartow for the third consecutive year. The festival featured live music on three stages with more than 70 bands playing throughout the four day event, including headliners Keller Williams, Dumpstaphunk, Ghostland Observatory and Kyle Hollingsworth.
Vendors were in attendance selling arts and crafts, homemade jewelry and food, and artists were on scene doing live art demonstrations and selling their work.
This was the first year organizers held the Camp Barefoot Bluegrass Jamboree on Sunday. Artists included Grammy-winning Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass, and local favorite, the Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys.
Philip Grinter, of Richmond, Virginia, was painting skateboards at the show for Beaster Boards, and he said he comes to Barefoot every year.
“I travel as much as I can, really — local festivals and three or four of the bigger shows every year. Barefoot is pretty cool, you meet a lot of cool people,” said Grinter. “Always a good time.”
Grinter said Barefoot is a good fit for him, he either meets skateboard enthusiasts or artists every year — both are his kind of people.
Grinter makes the boards in Richmond out of veneered Canadian maple and air brushes them at shows and festivals. He said he's been skating pretty much his entire life, and his knowledge of boarding helps him customize boards for specific riders.
“So if you're a three hundred pound guy that's just learning how to skate, you can have it sized to your weight and your height, or if you're a more advanced rider you can have a more intricate cut,” explained Grinter. “If it's a kid — you want to set them up with something symmetrical and something easy to ride. Some people even have different kinds of boards for different kinds of cruising, in the city versus the mountains, that sort of thing. There's all these different factors that kind of come into play with a board.”
Grinter said his artwork is always a hit at festivals.
“Most companies just have their stock size and their standard graphic, it's just not as personal. With these, you can adjust everything from how thick the board is, to how wide it is, to how long it is. You can get online and buy something off eBay, but people appreciate something handcrafted.”
The skateboards offered by Beaster Boards are often cheaper than what can be found online or in a skate shop.
“I try to price everything for a hundred bucks or less. Sometimes up to $150 or $180 depending on the trucks or wheels. Most stores are about $180, so it's lower than the stock, name-brand stuff. It's a good deal,” said Grinter.
Beaster Boards said they have a great relationship with Barefoot and even donated a skateboard to event organizers and the Pocahontas County Humane Society for a drawing they held.
The band Family Tree was back for its third year in a row performing at Barefoot. Family Tree was formed in 1998 and consists of Derek Smith on guitar and vocals, guitarist and vocalist Kevin Turner, Kevin Johnson on bass, Alex Clark on drums and vocals, and percussionist Kevin Brown.
The band, from Norfolk, said they play a couple shows every month in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. They said Barefoot is the first festival they've played regularly so far, and they always enjoy themselves.
“We love the location and the nature around the area, juxtaposed with the music, art, and the kind of people who attend. Camp Barefoot is a great smaller-scale music festival, with a lot of big potential. Every year that we've participated, it's gotten bigger and better,” said Smith. “And this year's acts were much more nationally known.”
Smith said Camp Barefoot showcases a wide range of music — jam, jam/electronica, reggae, folk, bluegrass, and rock.
“We really enjoy being a part of the diverse atmosphere and getting to mingle with the musicians. We thought our set went really well, and a we had a lot of fun performing,” remarked Smith. “We were on the third stage, which is a little harder to get people out to than the others, being up on the hill, but all the same, we had a pretty nice crowd.”
Smith said the show went well for Family Tree, even in spite of a technical malfunction.
“I had a spring pop off my floating bridge on my electric guitar, so it went horribly out of tune,” laughed Smith. “We're really good at recovering from issues like that. I had a friend find a screwdriver for me and I fixed it while the other guys held down a groove. Didn't phase us too much!”
Smith said he enjoyed the beautiful weather and being in Pocahontas County.
“Very much so. This is a beautiful area and the folks seem really friendly,” said Smith. “I feel pretty confident that we will be back. The organizers are friends of ours and told me to hit them up real soon.”