Lovers of psychedelic music, jam bands and tie-dye clothes should feel right at home at the third annual Weekend at Bertha’s counterculture festival in Townsend this weekend.
The three-day camping festival returns to Fire Base Lloyd from Friday, July 28 through Sunday, July 30.
The lineup features a variety of food trucks, craft vendors, and over three dozen musical acts. They include Dose Hermanos (Saturday), including two musicians who have played and toured with the Grateful Dead.
Other notable bands include Artimus Pyle Band (Friday) with a drummer from Lynyrd Skynyrd, along with the rising Asbury Park group named Dogs In A Pile (Saturday), a band that mixes elements of funk, rock, jazz and psychedelia.
Fellow Jersey band Divided Sky (Sunday) will play Phish’s full set from their concert on April 5, 1998.
Single ticket holders who might be too tired (or woozy) to drive home will receive complimentary day camping. That means someone who buys a Friday ticket will be permitted to camp until 10 a.m. Saturday, and the same goes for Saturday ticket holders sleeping over to Sunday.
Sunday ticket holders can camp until noon on Monday.
Weekend at Bertha’s offers more music this year
Festival co-organizer Shelby Sachs said one thing that’s new this year is fans will get to hear more music Sunday.
Instead of ending the festival on the last night at about 10 p.m., the music will continue until at least 3 a.m.
Since that’s going to be the case for each night of the fest, don’t be surprised if a band is still jamming when the sun comes up.
“That’s part of that counterculture festival vibe … we’re sort of just completely winging the whole weekend,” Sachs said.
Grateful Dead associates in Dose Hermanos
Dose Hermanos is unique as it features keyboardists Bob Bralove and Tom “T.C.” Constanten, who both played with the Grateful Dead.
Constanten played keys in the band from 1968 to 1970, and Bralove was as an engineer, programmer and occasional performer with the group from 1987 to 1995, according to Bralove’s website.
Weekend at Bertha’s co-organizer Richard Todd, who is engaged to Sachs, said both musicians had a major impact on the Grateful Dead.
Bralove injected experimental vibes into the group’s live shows with the unconventional way he played synthesizers, which helped take the Grateful Dead into “Space,” Todd said.
“T.C. was kind of at the forefront of making the Grateful Dead transform from a blues band almost into an avant-garde, exploratory jam band,” he added.
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Constanten played the first Weekend at Bertha’s festival in 2021 with the band Live Dead ’69/’71.
This weekend Dose Hermanos will include special guests Pete Lavezzoli (drums) and Paul Avrutin (bass).
Why’s it called Weekend at Bertha’s?
The name “Weekend at Bertha’s” is a play on words. It was inspired by the Grateful Dead’s iconic, colorful skeleton character named Bertha (and song by the same name).
The fest’s name also pulls from the comedic ‘80s film “Weekend at Bernie’s,” which was about two goofballs who tried to pretend their murdered boss was still alive.
For Deadheads, the festival comes as the Dead & Company have wrapped up their final tour.
Hippies to ‘doctors’ come to festival
While the festival may be popular with Deadheads and jam band fans, Sachs said Weekend at Bertha’s attracts a melting pot of guests.
The festival co-organizer said the event even draws attendees from million dollar homes.
“We have people that are business businessmen and women, or lawyers and doctors, all the way down to people that are in the Dead scene to [hippies],” she said.
“No matter what your background is, we are all interacting … with the same goal in mind, which is just to enjoy our time with one another, enjoy the music and enjoy the overall vibe.”
(Speaking of hippies, if Weekend at Bertha’s festival goers want to keep the good vibes alive, they can also look forward to Hippie Fest, which takes place Aug. 19 in Milford.)
Bands coming to Weekend at Bertha’s
Organizers said more than a dozen acts are coming to the festival. Here is a tentative lineup of artists, according to the festival’s Eventbrite page:
Dogs in a Pile Juggling Suns FlowPoetry Steal Your Face Urban Shaman Attack Stackabones Rootsetters One Eyed Jack Divided Sky Ayreheart Organ Fairchild Mr. Mota Fragments of Greatness KnightsReign Riko and Whaler Collective Psychedelic Elders Howl Train Reality Check Experiment The Forsaken Creatures of Content Dave Koster Noah Lehrman The Chops Trip Hazard Brian Corcoran Tricia Murphy Wonderbred Dee Maple Red Smith Theresa Ratliff Xtra Alltra
Weekend at Bertha’s (Fire Base Lloyd, 474 Fleming Landing Road, Townsend) will be held on Friday, July 28 to Sunday, July 30 from noon to 3 a.m. each night. Day Passes start at $60 on Friday and Saturday; and $40 for Sunday; Weekend Passes start at $100. For more info, visit weekendatberthas.com.
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