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the 6th annual

Finnegan's Wake Music Festival
in Summit, New York
September 6th, 7th, 8th, 2002


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About the Festival

The Finnegan's Wake Music Festival

Torramh An Finnegan, Inc. (Gaelic for Finnegan's Wake) was registered as 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 Day in that same year. Since then, there have been five annual festivals held each year in early September, and this year we are looking forward to our sixth festival on September 6, 7, and 8 with an improved site, a great musical line-up, and the addition of some new faces to our popular performers of the past few years.

The Finnegan's Wake Festival is a 3-day gathering of some very fine local (and not so local) musicians, playing a wide variety of eclectic music ranging from the blues and bluegrass to jazz, fiddle music, and even classical guitar. While both traditional and non-traditional Irish music plays its part in the festival, there are a wide variety of performers and styles guaranteed to satisfy anyone who enjoys good music and a good time. Give a listen to some of the samples from previous Festivals on this web site and you will hear what we mean.

Our new Festival concert site, in use last year for the first time, overlooks pleasant Summit Lake surrounded by beautiful fall foliage and pines. The lake, once the focal point of two heavily traveled Indian trails prior to the first settlement at Summit in 1794, is said by some historians to have once gone by the Indian name of Utsayantha, and to have derived its name from the story of an Indian maiden who drowned herself it its depths. Though this story is probably apocryphal, there is no doubt that Indians camped on the rising ground on the west shore of the lake which now serves as the concert site and camping grounds for the Festival. As early as 1794 Lieut. Col. John Johnson and Joseph Brant encamped on this very site with a large band of Indians previous to the Schoharie County Massacre.

The Festival abounds with ties to the village's past as resting place and stop over on one of the main stagecoach runs from Albany to the west. Summit, NY, a small community of about 1,000 inhabitants, once boasted a large number of sumptuous inns to tend to the weary traveler's needs after the arduous journey on the new plank road built in 1855. Now standing on the site of one of the earliest inns is the Red Barn, constructed in the mid-1800's by Ananias P. Jump to house his shop which built and sold wagons and coffins. This same building, now the New Red Barn bar and restaurant, will host Dick Solberg (the Sun Mountain Fiddler) and his Sun Mountain Band for a Friday night "afters" concert when the main program of music comes to a conclusion in the large tent at the nearby Festival site.

Just a short walk around the lake stands the Lakeview House, built originally in 1881 to replace Mrs. Carrie Crow's inn, the Crow's Nest. Mrs. Crow advertised "Board in the Catskills: $5 per week" and drew travelers from NY City and beyond. While the days of the $5 per week hotel are now long gone, the Lakeview House will be the venue of the Saturday night "afters" concert with the great blues guitarists, The Hell Hounds. These "afters" concerts have usually turned into impromptu jam sessions bringing festival musicians and others together well into the morning hours.

In 1881, when the Lakeview House was new, it took over an hour and a half 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 up Route 10 from Exit 20 of Interstate I- 88, will bring the modern traveler up the same 1100 feet to the Finnegan's Wake Festival site. He will pass the old Mt. Wharton farm on his left and then the old Toll Gate House on the right that used to bar the plank road, charging 5¢ per horse to pass. In another half mile, the music fan will arrive at Summit Lake on his left and the entrance to Festival site parking and camping on his right, to spend what we know will be a memorable weekend of fine music, good fellowship with friends new and old, and a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

We just started this site, please return to see what develops

TAF Music
PO Box 217
Summit, New York 12175


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