The Freedom Festival was a major hit for the people of North Troy this past Saturday, June 7th. The day was spread out between 1 PM until sunset with many different events and happenings that took place. At the beginning, there were many people who came out and participated in the different events each table around Freedom Square had to offer. People made Tibetan Prayer Flags, got their bikes fixed by Troy Bike Rescue, learned how to make and consume their own yogurt thanks to the DIY Yogurt Stand, and drank smoothies produced by solar energy thanks to Solarize Troy and Anasha Cummings.
Many people also took part in the fishing trip on the Hudson led by environmental activist Brandon Ballengee. This trip helped to make people aware of the effects that toxic waste and pollution has on our aquatic environment. It also allowed kids to catch fish and be apart of an environmentally aware project that Ballengee prides much of his work effort upon.
Once 4 o’clock rolled around it was time for the free food to start flowing onto Freedom Square. Thanks to Pastor Willie and Chef’s Consortium there was an abundant supply of food for everyone at the Freedom Festival. There was an array of BBQ options such as cheeseburgers and hot dogs as well as healthy options like salad, rice, beans and many other greens. The supply of water was plentiful as well as each and every person a part of the Freedom Festival ensured that everyone was satisfied with their meal.
After the meal concluded the first act, Oobleck, commenced. Here’s how Oobleck desrcibes themselves: “Oobleck (ooo-bleck), founded in 2008, is an original, analog funk band out of the Capital Region of NY. Our funk is that raw, in your face, booty shaking funk. Gritty funk, like that forgotten 78 you just found in your basement. Mix that with the poly-rhythms of afrobeat, add spacey weirdness and improvisation, add the sensibilities of jazz and blues, the blast beats of hardcore, the distortion of grunge and you’ve just made Oobleck. Oh, and if youcan;t dance to it, Oobleck doesn;t play it. No gimmicks, or synths, or fluorescent jumpsuits, just horns and funky beats to get your feet moving.”
Oobleck’s band members are as follows:
Audrey Van Genechten – Trumpet/Percussion
Scott Vorwald – Tenor Sax
Bill Murray – Guitar
Sam Parker – Bass
Kevin Van Genechten – Kit
Oobleck gave the crowd a terrific variety of different instruments that created positive vibes and allowed for a great amount of audience movement. Oobleck performed a short setlist of songs:
Waiting For Ryan
Jekyll + Hyde
In The Pocket
My Kid/Elusive/Anti/My Kid
Then it was time for the Pitchblak Brass Band to take the stage.
The Pitchblak Brass Band provided a terrific musical atmosphere for everyone gathered at Freedom Square. Their mixture of jazz, rock, and hip-hop was an intriguing and entertaining combination. The amazing part of their performance was their ability to incorporate mulitple different instruments and tones.
Their band consists of 10 members:
Chanelle Crichlow – Sousaphone/MC
Alison Shearer – Alto Saxophone
Brayn Walters – Trumpet/MC
Brian Lotze – Trumpet/MC
T.J. Robinson – Trombone/MC
Alaina Alster – Trombone
Max Sholl – Trombone
Ben Brody – Guitar/French Horn
Chris Johnson – Percussion/MC
Ashely Baier – Drums
Their setlist consisted of multiple different songs:
Blak Snare Dark Horse
Coup de Tat
1988 Gregorian Swagger
All To The III
Wine Dat Gyal
My co-intern, Jacob Freeman, said, “Pitchblak Brassband provided high energy, and so many people so that when they would sing for awhile they would have backup. Something especially interesting rather than bass guitar they had a sousaphone which is better for walks/scales and different types of sounds.”
Overall, the two bands shredded the stage and provided a great amount of entertainment for the people at Freedom Square. After the sun went down, Brandon Ballengee provided a nighttime insect watching workshop where people who stayed around could observe the different type of wildlife at Freedom Square.
The entire day was a success and there was a great amount of entertainment and different activities which everyone enjoyed. When it comes to festivals this one had an immense variety and was extremely enjoyable for everyone who attended.