Andy Animal throws the best music festival to exist in this generation and it’s called Meltasia.
I’ve been going to the meltdown since 2016. That first time it was in a Catskill abandoned zoo, where I partied with Fat White Family and Bloodshot Bill. Last year it was in a Catskill resort with a swimming pool and bonfire where I shared a jug of whiskey with The Night Screams and Pete and Pete from The Adventures of Pete & Pete.
This year, the festival was held deep in the Catskill Mountains in Phoenicia, NY at a campground called Uncle Pete’s with absolutely zero cell phone service. The campground is usually an escape into beautiful landscapes, but this year it was home to three days of pure rock ‘n’ roll mayhem.
It was pandemonium from the start when I rode up with the wild punk rockers Gnarcissists in a torrential downpour. As music blared, we thought, “well, camping is going to suck.” However, when our booze, rocker and guitar-packed cars pulled into the muddy entrance of the campground, the rain stopped and the night fell heavy with humidity and fresh mountain summer air.
The weather was amazing the rest of the time—sunshiny days and cool crisp nights. But let’s be real, nothing could’ve stopped Andy Animal’s Great Meltdown Funnabration.
We arrived late Friday night in the middle of Shannon & The Clams’ performance. We set up our tents and ran into the middle of the crowd where the energy was contagious. We moshed and danced through the rest of the set and partied until the wee hours of the morning.
You might be thinking, “where did you party all night if the show was already over?” At The Nude Party’s campsite, of course. We celebrated Andy Animal’s birthday with a gallon of tequila. Everyone screamed happy birthday to the man of the hour as the jug of tequila got passed between him and the members of Shannon & The Clams.
As I trudged back and forth in the muddy festival grounds I made friends every step of the way. Strangers generously fed passers-by drugs, alcohol or water—the trifecta of survival for any music festival.
After only a single wink of sleep, day two was soon upon me.
The sun was bearing down on a 100 percent hungover crowd. Thankfully the swimming hole nuzzled behind the tents was ice cold enough to shock our systems back into party mode.
After the savior swim, I went back to the Gnarcissists’ campsite where they had a beer ready for me to shotgun. I don’t suggest beer as a meal replacement, but it’s one of the main food groups at Meltasia. So after that, the first band was starting and I ran over to hear the grungy ragers Paint Fumes.
After I sweated the beer I had just shot-gunned out through moshing and chatted with Elijah from Paint Fumes about haunted houses, I let loose for Gnarcissists. Streaked with fake blood across my cheeks, I thrashed through the crowd and shouted along to lines like, “we all just wanna get by/high.”
After, I caught the first half of Thelma & The Sleaze, but my body was begging to go horizontal. I took a quick mid-day disco nap and woke up feeling the most refreshed I had ever felt. Seriously guys, I think this was the best nap of my life. I woke up with a new pep in my step, a clear head and excitement in my heart. I was ready to go.
I woke right in time for The Nude Party’s set, and I danced with my newly regained energy. The party raged on with Surfbort, Andy Animal’s own The Brooklyn Bluebirds and ended with The Black Lips.
On this last night of rock ‘n’ roll abandon, everyone was on shrooms. I’m no scientist, but I’ve noticed that when big groups, like music festival goers, trip together they all tend to be on the same page. So when Andy Animal pointed out his mom watching from the side with a smile that screamed with pride, everyone felt tears well up in their eyes. And when The Black Lips went on everyone’s energy was at full-speed ahead with no sign of stopping. I got unintentionally flipped and landed it like I was a goddamn circus act. It was beautiful.
You could tell by this last night that everyone was a little burnt out. Though another bonfire roared at The Nude Party’s setup and the tequila still flowed, the night wrapped up for everybody around an early 4 a.m. instead of sunrise.
Sunday morning everyone arose slowly and people walked around like zombies looking for misplaced friends. (Remember, there’s no cell service, so everyone had to find their missing persons the old fashion way, something most of us don’t even know how to handle.) After some detective work, I found my missing friend asleep in a van, ate whatever food I could find, packed up the tent and laid in the grass until I was told it was time to go.
After stopping to get some road burgers at a nearby diner, we hit the road once again to head back to the city. It felt like we were traveling between dimensions. From Meltasia, a rocker’s dream of serenity and chaos, back to the fast-paced, business person’s world of NYC.
Once again, Meltasia was a rock ‘n’ roll haven for everyone who needs to be as intimate as possible with the music they love the most.
Meltasia & Burger Records Present: Andy Animal’s Great Meltdown Funnabration!!