Diversity of music comes to SMITEFEST

Festival may ‘melt your face’ … with a friendly smile

Putting it all together, making it happen, local band SMITE decided seven years ago they were going to have a music festival, right here in Williamsport.

Well, it has been seven years later and SMITEFEST has brought together musicians and fans from all over to come in and enjoy a whole mix bag full of genres Friday and Saturday at the Red Roof Inn, 234 Montgomery Pike, Route 15, South Williamsport.

Twenty seven bands will take to the eight stages along with DJs will make the spectators jam, maybe mosh and most importantly show that everyone who likes all kinds of music can come together and have a great time.

“SMITEFEST brings more than just hard rock and hippies together, it fuses all walks of life together. We get stereotyped as ‘death metal,’ which we do have some, but the music transcends a bunch of genres and the whole festival is definitely founded on peace, love, family, friends and community,” Shawn McCallus, member of the band SMITE, who founded the festival.

Bands on the bill will come from Maine to Florida, and every state in between.

“And California to New Jersey. This year we will have around eight different states represented,” McCallus said.

He said the festival has carried this ‘death metal’ stigma throughout the years and that is something they are trying to show its more then that.

“Don’t get me wrong, there will be some bands melting faces off of people, but there will also be a barrage of other insane talent from many walks of life like Williamsport’s own Keystone Ska Exchange, who rock the house, but ska is definitely not death metal … and Buffalo’s best male vocalist four years running Jim Candytree, who’s new project Free Man is getting rave reviews nationally, getting compared to the likes of Muse and Modest Mouse style of rock,” he said.

There will be some acoustic performances by Jim Candytree and SMITE’s own guitarist, the legend Hunter Murray, as well as others.

“The festival was created to bring our family from all over the country together for a few days to celebrate our lives with love, music, family and friends,” McCallus said.

SMITEFEST welcomes everyone, McCallus said.

“The feel of the festival is always very friendly and welcoming. We have a large core of about 300 people who help make this event what it is every year. Many performers and spectators bring their children and everyone is like a huge family at a reunion, this reunion just happens to have a hundred tattooed musicians rocking on the best sound gear, usually at a campground on the river, but this summer it is at a hotel where everyone can have the luxury of their own bed and bathroom,” he said.

Check out the pool area of the hotel for a little something.

“There is a huge pool area where bands and DJ’s will be playing until sundown,” McCallus said.

He said with today’s DJ-obsessed culture, he wanted to make this part of the festival a focal point, and looking to draw a larger crowd.

“So I am bringing in a couple of well known and liked local DJs, a couple seasoned veterans of the game as well as some up and comers such as DJ Pyro Technik who is starting to make a name for himself in New York,” he said.

This could be it for SMITEFEST. Its in its seventh year, which SMITE has a song named 7 years, which serves as an importance to the band.

“And this is the seventh year, and may be the final SMITEFEST as we know it, so now may be the last chance to experience the phenomenon that SMITEFEST has truly become,” McCallus said, “People can see the diversity of music, people and culture that SMITEFEST has truly become.”

This is an all ages show, but also a BYOB (bring your own beverage) event.

“So in order to deter and prevent underage drinking, we will be IDing everyone and keeping a very close eye on all who enter the event area of the hotel,” he said.

More information is available by searching ‘smitefest 2017 rock n’ hip hop pool party’ on Facebook.

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