Equifunk V 2012 @ Camp Equinunk – August 17 -19
Words: Chadbyrne Dickens
Photos: Dino Perrucci
“We are gonna laugh, jump and shout, so keep the music playin” – Brian J, The Pimps of Joytime
Imagine if one could recapture their youth for one weekend. One would harken back to the loss of innocence, the uninhibited fun and revelry amongst like-minded souls on a summer’s day. This past weekend at Camp Equinunk in the heart of the Poconos, nearly 1000 young adults embarked on a full-throttle summer camp type euphoric experience. With two non-stop days of top quality musical entertainment, a swimming pool with a water slide, exquisite summer weather, endless beer and food, at an all-inclusive price, there was nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile. In its 5th year, original founders Eric and Sara Kamen, now in partnership with 5 others, have improved the Festival exponentially, to an impressive level. The staff was friendly and devoid of any tough-guy security antics prevalent at so many other venues. By all accounts, Equifunk Festival V was a smashing success.
[All Photos by Dino Perrucci]
The “all-inclusive Festival” that Hidden Track once dubbed the “Anti-festival”, because at a reasonable price, Equifunk offers every Festival necessity their bigger and ultimately more expensive rivals promise. With 24 sets mostly rooted in the funk genre, performed by 19 different acts over 2 days on 3 stages with no over-lapping sets, the avid concert-goer grows fully satiated with a superior funkadelic musical explosion. The accommodations split between the Equinunk Cabins located on the main campground and the Blue Ridge cabins located nearby across a quaint wooden walking bridge overlooking a glistening lake that offered spectacular sunrises and sunsets on one’s way to and from music. Equifunk is not simply an excuse for debauchery like its brethren, as activities such as a pick-up softball game, 3 on 3 basketball, yoga and a pool party complete with a water slide bustled with energetic attendees. A menu consisting of a varied selection for different tastes was included in the reasonable price as was the unlimited amount of Coors Light draft beer. If one felt hunger pains late night, offerings included pizza and grilled cheese.
Friday’s Musical Highlights
Pimps of Joytime / 8:30pm-10:00pm / E-Rena Stage
The Pimps of Joytime are that band one so immediately falls in love with their energetic and funky dance party grooves that one is immediately torn: you can’t wait to share your discovery to impress your friends that you found them first, but you also consider not telling a soul so it can remain your secret. POJ are a funk-laden, soul-shakedown machine guaranteed to turn any curmudgeon into a laid-back hipster within moments of catching the first beat. A multi-ethnic band mirrors the genre-transcending rhythms and lyrics that only prove this band will soon be the ultimate party experience complete with bombastic bass thumping, heavy beats and a recurring phat jam that gets the blood pumping and shoes kicking up the air. Composed, articulate and driven, band leader Brian J epitomizes the type of cool cat mirrored within his music. Although his style could easily supersede substance, it only adds fuel to the fire and completes a sound concert-going experience. Although the similarities will draw endless comparisons, modest Brian J didn’t abhore the moment the discussion turned to the Purple One, “I don’t mind being compared to Prince, although it’s a bit silly to do so with an icon in that talent stratosphere.” Someday soon, we may be talking about Brian J and the Pimps in a similar manner, as they bask in success; they have the talent and they are starting the ascent.
Setlist: Brooklyn Midnite, Joytime Radio, Take These Blues, L Train>Blues with You, Janxta, San Francisco Bound, Keep That Music Playin, Stop Wastin