Tonawanda News


August 18, 2013

MUSIC NOTES: Potter discusses birth of Vermont music festival

Tonawanda News — For part two of my interview with Grace Potter in advance of her show in Buffalo on Sept. 11 at the Town Ballroom, we began speaking about something near and dear to her heart, The Grand Point North Festival her band hosts in Burlington, Vt. on the weekend of Sept. 14-15.

QUESTION: Let’s talk about Grand Point North.

ANSWER: Yes! That is going to be a great time.

Q: One of the things that really impresses me is how you give back to your community. I live in a small town in Western New York and we really struggle with the whole concept of community pride. The way you talk about Vermont is infectious, and the Grand Point North Festival clearly is an extension of your love for Vermont.

A: Burlington inspires us and it’s home. It inspires us and we have community pride and feel fortunate enough to be able to give back to the community. It’s a no-brainer, our only regret is that we can’t do it twice a year, once in the summer and have some people come and experience our crazy winter. I love looking over the sea of people and thinking, ‘We did this.’ I remember when we were the little band playing in the cafe down the road with the 7 p.m time slot everyone fought for. To see where we have come from to where we are now, it’s always a pinch-me moment.


Q: It must take a ton of work to pull of something like Grand Point North, especially with your touring schedule.

A:We had been planning it for years, I think every band has that fantasy baseball type thing in their mind and would like to plan their own festival. We used to play this game called ‘Living or Dead’ where you would talk about who you would want to play with, and have these crazy set list dreams. It was 10 years in the making, but we had a lot of reality checks because we play a ton of festivals. And it’s not a large space, and I love that, the area holds about 5,000 people so everyone gets an intimate experience. We aren’t just jamming people in like cattle.

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