The Meltasia music festival is a weekend of wild and wonderful troublemaking that you won’t be able to experience anywhere else.
The 2019 Meltasia lineup reinforces the festival’s epic reputation. Punk pioneer Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers) and old school rapper Schoolly D headline, with blues rockers King Khan & The BBQ Show providing nasty rock support along with tons of BTRtoday underground favorites like Flasyd, Gymshorts and Scott Yoder.
“It’s all kinds of crazy shit and beautiful souls, so come be a part of it,” festival owner Andy Animal tells BTRtoday. “Seeing new faces always makes me happy.”
This year, the festival takes place at Uncle Pete’s Campground in Phoenicia, NY for the second year in a row. Returning to the scene of the crime is out of character for the wild festival, which tends to roam in search of new adventures. Three years ago, the festival took place in The Old Game Farm, an abandoned zoo with an active mountain goat enclosure. The goats’ bleating was the perfect backdrop for festival goers’ mushroom trips and my interview with Bloodshot Bill.
I first went to Meltasia in 2016. I had interviewed The Mystery Lights a week prior to the festival and frontman Mike Brandon convinced me to hop in the band’s van “for a wild time. The Brooklyn band was heading over to play along with Shannon & The Clams, Pentagram, Sheer Mag, Natural Child, Fat White Family and many other killer bands.
Animal, a burly man covered in hair and tattoos who has the world’s lowest and most unforgettable laugh, held the first Meltasia in 2014 in Lafayette, Georgia. The banger eventually moved to NY and Animal, naturally, turned into a music festival. While it’s always been a good time, he’s happier with Meltasia’s in his home of Catskills, NY.
“It kinda started out even more Lord of The Flies though,” he says. “It’s just really beautiful, ya know? My vision has always been like old cartoons and Batman and monster toys and weird movies and all that.”
At the festival, Animal will cruise around the grounds on his motorcycle making sure everything is going smoothly and everyone is having a good time. Even though it’s work for him he says he’ll never get sick of it. “I get high on all the joy it seems to bring everybody,” he says. “Back in the day it was pretty much a non-stop party but It’s always been work, but like a high.”
Animal says that Meltasia still resembles the crazy invite-only party it was before it became an official festival.
“Come and party and try to pace yourselves as that makes for the best melting experience—drink lots of water,” Animal says. “I’m ready to boogie hard.” Animal will also be aiding his baritone voice in the vintage doo-wop cover band The Brooklyn Bluebirds this year on stage.
The festival is this weekend in upstate NY, so don’t sleep on this. Plus, it’s your lucky day, because Animal shared with us a word-of-mouth discount code for 20% off tickets on Eventbrite. Use the code “christmas” before the end of ticket sales on Thursday at 11:59pm. They will also have single day passes available day-of at the gate.
In the meantime, tune in to this week’s The Music Meetup to hear musicians that have been featured on BTRtoday and are playing this weekend at Andy Animal’s Meltasia Camping & Music Funnabration.