About The Festival
Finnegan's Wake Music Festival
Wake Music Festival is a 4 day gathering of some fine
local (and not so local) musicians playing a wide variety of eclectic
including blues, bluegrass, folk, rock, reggae, and even flamenco guitar.
While both traditional and non-traditional Irish music plays its part
festival, there are a wide variety of performers and styles guaranteed
satisfy anyone who enjoys good music and a good time. Give a listen
of the samples from previous Festivals on this web site and you will
what we mean.
Torramh An Finnegan, Inc, (Gaelic for Finnegan’s Wake) was registered
a NYS not-for-profit corporation in May of 1997, and the first music
festival was held on the banks of Summit Lake on the weekend after labor
in that same year. Since then, there have been 6 annual festivals held
year in early September, and this year we are looking forward to our
festival on September 4,5,6,and 7with a beautiful site, a great musical
line-up , and the addition of some new faces to our popular performers
the past few years.
Our new Festival site, features a great view of the Catskills , abundant
on-site parking and camping space, and plenty of room to listen to great
music , either in our large concert tent or outside on your blanket
chair. Own new site is still only a 15 minute walk or a 2minute drive
our original site on Summit Lake, and many of our veteran weekend campers
pack their bathing suits, fishing poles, and even canoes to take advantage
of the public access beach on the scenic lake. FYI, no motorboats allowed.
The lake, once the focal point of two heavily traveled Indian trials,
to the first settlement of Summit in 1794, is said by some historians
have once gone by the Indian name of Utsayantha, and to have derived
name from the story of an Indian maiden who drowned herself in its depths.
Though this story is probably apocryphal, there is no doubt that Indians
and Tories, led by Lieut. Col. John Johnson and Joseph Brant, camped
western shore of the lake in 1794 , on their way to a large scale raid
the settlements and farms in the Schoharie Valley henceforth known as
Schoharie Valley Massacre. Their campsite was the site of the first
Finnegan’s Wake in Sept. of 1997.
The Festival abounds with ties to the village of Summit’s past
place and stop over on one of the main stagecoach runs from Albany to
west. A small community of about 1000 inhabitants, Summit once boasted
large number of sumptuous inns to tend to the weary traveler’s
the arduous journey on the new plank road built in 1855.
Only one of these establishments still remains as an operating inn.
Lakeview House, adjacent to the first Festival site, was built in 1881
replace Mrs. Carrie Crow’s inn, the Crow’s Nest. Mrs. Crow
in the Catskills: $5 per week” and drew travelers from NY City
While the days of the $5 per week hotel are long gone, the Lakeview
will be the venue for the Festival’s legendary jam sessions or
“Afters” start at the Lakeview House at the conclusion of
concerts on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and often these impromptu
sessions last well into the morning hours.
In 1881, when the Lakeview House was new, it took over an hour and a
to travel the 1100-foot, five-mile climb to Summit from the Richmondville
rail station at the foot of the mountain. Today a five-minute drive
10 from Exit 20 of Interstate I-88, will bring the modern traveler up
same1100 feet to the Finnegan’s Wake Festival site. He or she
will pass the
old Mt. Wharton farm on his left, and then the old Toll Gate House on
right that used to bar the plank road, charging 5 cents per horse to
In another mile, passing Summit Lake and through the village of Summit,
music fan will arrive at the Festival site to spend what we know will
memorable weekend of fine music, good fellowship with friends new and
and a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
PO Box 217
Summit, New York 12175