Waking Windows began in 2011 as a small, 12 day long festival at Winooski, VT's The Monkey House. Today, the festival is a multi venue, multi city series of events promoting music, comedy, art, food, drink and community. Here's why we can't wait for Waking Windows Winooski, happening May 5 - 7, 2017:
1. The Line Up is On Point
What was once a festival of local bands now includes world-renown artists from across the globe. Some of this year's acts are the New Jersey Rock band Real Estate, Baltimore-based electronic music composer Dan Deacon, the Californian dance-punk band !!! (pronounced chk-chk-chk), Pond, a psych-rock band from Australia, and many more from Vermont and beyond.
2. It's Urban
Do you enjoy drinking lukewarm beers from a soggy cooler after a sleepless night in a hot tent while your neighbors blast jam bands from a car stereo? Neither do we, and luckily, Waking Windows is not that. This festival takes place in the heart of Winooski, where 12+ businesses around the city's rotary turn into music and art venues for the weekend. Waking Windows omits the typical festival headaches while offering all of the aspects of a festival experience that music-lovers seek, plus comfortable lodging options. BTW, you can enter to win a 2 nights-stay during the festival at the Hilton Garden Inn!
3. There's a Restaurant for Everybody
Beyond the 200+ bands to enjoy, food & drink are aplenty. A row of local food trucks lines the outdoor stage, where you can find anything from fried chicken sandwiches to vegan dumplings, while outdoor bars serve up local brews, ciders and craft cocktails. Winooski has recently become a culinary hotspot, and each of the restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and breweries host a stage for music, comedy and poetry along with their own offerings.
4. Vermont Beer & Cider
Vermont is one of the leaders of the craft beer movement on the East Coast, and has become a mecca for beer and cider aficionados. You can drink world-renowned, award winning beers and ciders that were brewed down the street and across the state...all weekend long.
5. DAM - Downtown Artisan Market
Take a break from the shows and shop local! DAM is where local artisans sell art including clothing, jewelry, accessories, prints, photography, stickers, buttons, zines, and a whole lot more. Some vendors will be selling handpicked vintage items too. Did you forget your fashion-forward festival outfit or headpiece? Grab one here, and feel good about wearing it because you're supporting a local artist, not a sweatshop. DAM takes place on Saturday, May 6 from 3 - 8 pm outside Misery Loves Co., 46 Main St, Winooski.
6. The People Who Run it Are The Coolest
Pictured below from left to right is the Waking Windows Crew: Paddy Reagan, Matt Rogers, Nick Mavodones (pictured in cardboard cutout form), Brian Nagle, and Ali Fogel. They're a group of friends with a passion for music and a lot of experience with the industry. Paddy fronts the pop-psych band Paper Castles and you can catch Brian Nagle almost any night of the week spinning as DJ Disco Phantom. Matt Rogers is the Talent Buyer at World Cafe Live in Philly and formerly assisted with James Taylor's world tours. Nick is a widely known figure in the VT music scene because of his long career at Higher Ground, and recently took on the role of General Manager at El Club, a new music and art venue in Detroit. Ali manages Winooski's beloved music venue where it all began, The Monkey House.
7. It Benefits the Community
Over 5000 attendees from down the road and across the country spend the weekend in Winooski supporting restaurants, bars, hotels, musicians, comedians, artists, and numerous small businesses. Waking Windows has helped to revitalize a small city with a once struggling economy. The city of Winooski is so thrilled with the economic boost that they allow streets to be shut down so stages can be built, music to be played late & loud, and parking for the weekend is free.
Matt Hagen from the Burlington, VT based band The High Breaks sums up the spirit of this local festival perfectly: "The best part about the Waking Windows festival is the community aspect; not just what our community gets exposed to, but the community that gets exposed to the visiting attendees and musicians. We really have something special here."