PHOTOGRAPHER’S NOTEBOOK: The Best of the Fest for me, by far, was the part of the Leftover Salmon set when Lukas Nelson (son of Willie) came out as a guest performer. They did a Neil Young cover, “Down By The River.” It literally made the crowd go silent for a while as everyone was just jaw-dropped. This was the best attended, best organized Hangtown Musical Festival ever. The lineups were superb, the weather was fantastic and the only complaint I heard was that the camping was quite packed, but that’s to be expected with such great attendance. This is now a seasoned festival, with so many return attendees and everyone wishing each other a “Happy Hangtown” like it’s a beloved holiday. I overheard so many first-time patrons saying what a good experience they had and how they can’t wait to come back next year. I am impressed with what organizers have accomplished with this festival and it rivals anything I’ve seen, including Telluride and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.
— Larry Sabo