Valley Ride Music Festival IN Review

Valley Ride Music Festival

On a weekend when a good amount of Delaware music lovers headed south to Dover for the eighth iteration of Firefly Music Festival, a couple hundred decided to skip the traffic and head to Yorklyn instead for the INaugural Valley Ride Jam Band Music Festival at Dew Point Brewing Company. 

The sun was shining brightly Saturday on Creek Road, and patrons would be happy to see a ton of cotton-swab clouds pass over, providing shade during the six hours of live music. On tap to play the first festival were Xtra Alltra, Cadillac Riot, Lower Case Blues, MEGA, and Stackabones, the band fronted by Butch Zito, who helped put together the festival.

“We wanted to try and get some jam bands to come together that weren’t Dead cover bands,” said Zito, who organized the festival along with Phil Matarese, of MEGA. “I mean, one or two Dead songs is fine, but we didn’t want to do another DeadFest.”

Considering Xtra Alltra covered the Talking Heads’ “Take Me to the River” in the first 30 minutes of their set, it was clear this wasn’t a DeadFest, but would include genres from blues to rock to country and covers from artists spanning the musical spectrum. 

Tickets for the day cost just $15 ($25 at the door), and Alexa Hoffman, event coordinator at Dew Point, was hopeful they would hit numbers similar to that of last fall’s DewGrass Festival. “We sold about 100 tickets before today, and are hoping for about another 100 walk-ups. If we can get close to 250 or more, that would put us close last fall and make it a successful day.”

As for the set-up, Dew Point couldn’t offer a more carefree space with plenty of elbow room. The stage was set up to the left of the brewhouse and completely out of the way of foot traffic. The outdoor bar was set just to the left up, offering various Crush drinks and four beers on tap. Most fans set up blankets and beach chairs all along the sloping grass, facing away from the sun.

Zaikka Indian Grill and Ole Tapas offered plenty of sustenance from their food trucks, and the cornhole boards kept fans active all day. The only slight drawback is the lack of cell phone service in Yorklyn. Be sure and text your friends where to meet ahead of time, and don’t count on checking your social media accounts while there, unless you head to the upstairs bar, where the Wi-Fi works, but can be spotty. In all, though, Dew Point should be set up nicely for the next three festivals they’re hosting: Morning Dew, a Tribute to the Grateful Dead (July 20), Dew the Reggae (Aug. 17), and Dewgrass (Sept. 14).