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All Good Music Festival and Camp Out, Legend Valley, Thornville, Ohio – 7/19-22

It may have been a new location but it was still all good.

After nine years the All Good Music Festival and Camp Out moved from Marvin’s Mountaintop in West Virginia to Legend Valley, 30 miles east of Columbus, Ohio.

For All Good veterans it took a little time getting used the new surroundings. For Deadheads the site brought back memories of shows that took place here in 1988 and 1991-94 when it was known as Buckeye Lake Music Center.

Several of the performing artists acknowledged the change including Michael Franti and Jacob Hemphill of SOJA. After reminiscing about the band’s days playing and camping on the mountain top, he said, “We were worried that this year it wasn’t gonna be the same but it feels the same. Hope it feels the same for you guys.”

And it did. As soon as Trampled By Turtles opened the 16th annual event it was time to create new memories, and they arrived nonstop over the span of four days.

Thursday offered a healthy taste of what was to come — endless hours of music due to two stages resting next to each other and no overlapping sets that featured All Good favorites returning with the next wave of bluegrass and folk (the Lumineers, Devil Makes Three, Elephant Revival), reggae (SOJA), funk (Pimps of Joytime), livetronica (Big Gigantic, Papadosio, Conspirator) and artists that simply rocked the naturally landscaped bowl (Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons, Cris Jacobs Band, the Bridge, Tea Leaf Green).

Bob Weir & Bruce Hornsby featuring Branford Marsalis were backed by the Hornsby’s perpetually alert and highly talented Noisemakers. At times it seemed as if Weir was the chaperone for a first date that found Hornsby and Marsalis instantly in love. The two bonded over their improv abilities that weaved in, out and around tunes such as “Bird Song,” “Rainbow’s Cadillac” and “Franklin’s Tower.”

Later, Weir’s Dead and Furthur alum Phil Lesh led his Friends (and Family) through a set that brought together classics such as “Sugaree” and “Truckin’” with a nod to Levon Helm via a couple songs performed by the Band (“Chest Fever” and “Long Black Veil”). This version of Lesh’s band included sons Grahame and Brian, Larry Campbell, Jackie Greene, Joe Russo and Teresa Williams.

Honoring Helm came up again during the Allman Brothers Band’s set on Saturday with “Blind Willie McTell” and Greensky Bluegrass covering “Atlantic City.” The Allmans seemed quite relaxed and pleased to see each other with numerous moments of Warren Haynes sharing smiles with Derek Trucks and Oteil Burbridge. Still, it was all business when it came to playing “Trouble No More,” “Statesboro Blues,” “I Walk on Gilded Splinters” and “One Way Out” with artist-in-residence Roosevelt Collier of the Lee Boys. The intensity was amped up by Trucks’ solo during “Rockin’ Horse” and the interplay between Trucks and Haynes on the encore, “Whipping Post.”

That same intensity came through the previous day when Yonder Mountain String Band performed “Whipping Post” as part the quartet’s 90-minute set. Collier added lap steel to “Dawn’s Early Light,” which segued into the Talking Heads’ “Girlfriend Is Better.”

He also made guest appearances during sets by Michael Franti, Galactic, ALO, the Wood Brothers, Tea Leaf Green, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, Lettuce and the Rex Jam. What was impressive about all of his guest spots was the mutual joy Collier and his fellow musicians displayed as well as the ability to fit into whatever was happening onstage.

He didn’t appear during the Flaming Lips set, which was probably for the better. While the smoke, confetti and dancers give the impression of chaos, it’s actually highly-controlled madness that doesn’t seem in tune with musical improvisation. That’s okay because, as usual, the Lips brand of DIY rock spectacle did exactly what it was meant to do – make the more than 20,000 in attendance overwhelmingly happy to be alive.

Mickey Hart Band aimed for the same sensation but on a deeper, more spiritual level, with Hart imploring the Sunday afternoon crowd to take the feeling they had and bring it home.

There wasn’t much time to meditate on Hart’s words since Greensky Bluegrass moved through an exuberant set that featured songs from the group’s latest, “Handguns” and a cover of Paul Simon’s “Gumboots.”

Then, Michael Franti & Spearhead put the exclamation point to complete another All Good Music Festival and Camp Out. Playing for more than two hours on the stage, in the crowd and, at one point, running up the hill to get a little closer to those finding shade under the few trees in the concert area, Franti exuded the type of charisma that should be bottled, and left the sunbaked thousands wearing full-body smiles as they left the venue feeling all good.


There are 10 comments associated with this post

Tisk July 31, 2012, 16:56:50

The excessive lines, electronic wristbands (that malfunctioned in cases), the overbearing safety teams, and the lax staff members detracted mightily from this AllGood. I’m glad things were better on the field. Thank you, bands, for some great music. That being said, I will choose a different festival to travel to next summer.

joe August 2, 2012, 14:50:11

damn, that sucks if the orginaizers didnt have their shit together, cause Buckeye is one of the kewlest venues in the nation. and is not used enough.
i remember a Hookahville that i attended there with Ratdog(awsome fest all the way around that year) and there was none of what you memtioned.
i have never been to All Good, but it sounds less than. the Vibes is the shit. so is Hookahville, wherever they have it, those boys know how to have a party, and keep it gravy baby.
HOOOOOOOOOKAH come out west, i miss yah.

Kyle August 5, 2012, 09:55:41

I thought all good did a good job for a new site. I was lucky to be camped closer to the venue than most. The flaming lips however did not make me happy to be alive. Their music sucked and who cares about their show. My only suggestion for all good would be to work on the line up and I will definitely go back

Sunita August 11, 2012, 16:28:00

Hey there!So nice to hear from you! I’ve missed you on titetwr lately. Yep, been real busy here, still more work to do though, but that’s always how it is. Right now I’m starting the process of applying for artist residencies and attempting some grant writing, so now I’m really busy. Hope all is going well for you!

Lizzy August 15, 2012, 04:29:07

Lets see… I’ve been to all good for like 8 yrs and typically its a very fun laid back fest however the micro chip bands were beyond gay .I had to walk to a tent bc mine broke and the same happend to my boyfriend. The music was good EXCEPT for the illuminati bull shit by spongle and the flaming lips have gone from being pretty damn cool to complete idiots on lsd who should be thrown into a mental institution for the performance they put on at all good. What was with the face shot of the one guy for like over an hour? What was so great an him? He made no sense what so ever? Oh and my boyfriend got arrested forhanding my one month from 21 year old sister a beer by state police that were dressed as normal people while I trippin! k I really need to say some positive things.. Dark star was great, yonder was good, @ this new band moon hooch was amazing! Check them out on you tube. All good was thier first festival they were great def. My fav at all good 2012. Tim Walter boo hoo I will NOT BE GOING TO All Good 2013 you can keep it unless its moved. Ohio ok but all Good in oh no way!

Lizzy August 15, 2012, 04:32:06

And soja was also amazing tubeB-)

Liv November 12, 2012, 00:59:25

All good was very fun, but definitely did not like the arm bands. My boyfriend and I had trouble multiple times with it not working which was very annoying, and made it stressful (not what I wanted to feel), not sure if I’ll go back.

McGee November 19, 2012, 11:26:52

This festival was spectacular. The venue was beautiful (especially at night,) the lineup rocked, and the vibes were amazing thanks to so many fun, kind, generous people. The one complaint I have is the same for every festival: security douchebags and undercover cop assholes trying their hardest to suck out all the fun. I almost got caught at the security line and it killed my buzz for a good hour or so, but I got over it and was thankful I got through, so be careful, act cool, and know your surroundings. The electronic wristband things are pretty standard now. I’ve seen them at Moogfest and Bonnaroo so get used to them. I’m definately going back next year… can’t wait!

Luke February 7, 2013, 11:20:52

I have been to many festivals including multiple allgoods, i love allgood, however i will never be attending again as long as it is held in ohio. Marvins mountain top was great but now that its in ohio its seems to have become a police hotspot for athorities to pray on festival goers, i watched large amounts of people getting arrested every day. The police even set up a command camp in the festival grounds driving there gulf karts around busting as many kids as they could every day, there were also many under cover officers busting people for things like marijuana, it unestly discusted me to see all of these beautiful people getting arrested and being halled off to jail. A festival should work to protect the people attending but it seemed like the cops were brought in by the truck load. I understand haveing security but this seemed to be a set up more than anyplace i have ever been. The total reported number of arrest was around 50 but i belive there were many more than that. It was a very sad site to see. However the music was good and in the misic venue part of the festival it was very nice and peaceful. Just watching all those cops pray on all those kids ruined it for me, im sure several of them are still in jail. The drug war is not a war on drugs it is a war on people and this was a prime example of that.

Japes April 1, 2013, 13:55:55

I’ve responded to a couple other reviews of All Good and appreciate the info. I’ve not been to this festival and doubt I’ll be going in 2013. I don’t like undercover security and especially HATE getting searched AGAIN when going into each and every show. For those in the midwest looking for a hassle-free festival, check out Summer Camp Festival in Illinois. This will be my fourth year. By far and away one of the best. You’re checked ONCE going in. After that, it’s a free-for-all. It also caters to a more family atmosphere. And with EDC going on at the same time, there will be a lot more attention to Jam Bands.

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