A sea of about 1,500 enthusiastic music lovers and beer aficionados gathered outside on an idyllic Saturday at the 's 13th Anniversary Celebration.
For the second consecutive year, Mickey Hart headlined the all-day festival. Hart is the legendary original percussionist of the Grateful Dead, the iconic godfathers of the jam band phenomenon. He brought his new eight-piece ensemble, the Mickey Hart Band, to Patchogue for their only Long Island show of the summer.
The festival also included the Michael Glabicki Trio, featuring Preach Freedom and Colter Harper (the three were original members of the multi-platinum sextet Rusted Root.) The charismatic front man, Glabicki, and his band performed Rusted Root hits such as "Send Me On My Way" and "Ecstasy," which they ended their set with, sending the tie-dye clad audience into a frenzy of ecstatic dance. In addition, they introduced the crowd to Glabicki's intense, more intimate new material from his upcoming album.
Other acts featured included Jam Stampede (with members of Ratdog, DSO and Zen Tricksters) along with Easy Chief.
The innovative brewing company also unveiled its latest libation, the new Blue Point White IPA.
Last year, Mickey Hart performed at the event with Bill Kreutzmann, the other original drummer of the Grateful Dead, as The Rhythm Devils.
This time Hart presented a new cosmic concept related to The Big Bang Theory.
"There's a connection between The Big Bang Theory and music theory," said Jim Faith, one of the event promoters. "It's a jam day. There's a very large jam community on Long Island."
Many in the audience had seen the Grateful Dead perform dozens of times.
"I saw The Dead like 70 times. To hear Mickey Hart in Patchogue — it's incredible," said Mike Jones, 52, from Manorville. He grew up in Bayport and has been following The Dead since 1978.
Paul Creutzberger, 54, from Blue Point enjoys the festive atmosphere with which the Grateful Dead is synonymous.
"It's the best party you can get on the earth, and then we have the Blue Point Brewing Company which is the best beer in the world," Creutzberger said.
Hart, who grew up on Long Island, began the psychedelic set by saying, "This is home for me, so we're going to play extra good for you tonight."
The spellbinding performance included new, spacey songs, infused with electronic elements, as well as plenty of the Grateful Dead crowd favorites such as "Scarlet Begonias," "The Other One," "Fire on the Mountain" and "Casey Jones."
"This is what The Dead were legendary for: Seamless transitions from one song into another," said Vincent Zangrillo, 56, from Hampton Bays. "[Hart] is trying to connect up what he's doing with the natural rhythm of the universe. If you get those two things in sync — something magical happens."