Over the past few months, Live for Live Music has been giving our readers the 411 on the Equifunk V All-Inclusive Music Festival, set to take place August 17th-19th in Equinunk, PA, right in the heart of the Pocono Mountains (and about 2 hours outside of NYC). With a little over one week before the party starts, L4LM sits down with Eric Welles and Jeff Fischer, two of the main men behind the Equifunk idea and concept, to discuss everything about the All-Inclusive festival experience, origins, and how it all came to pass.
Hey guys, thanks for sitting down with us and taking the time to answer our questions. We are really excited for Equifunk, and thought it would be great to sit down with you both, to let our readers know just why this festival is so unique and different from your average fest. What are the origins of Equifunk, and how did you conceive the idea for Camp Equifunk?
It’s actually a pretty funny story. Eric Kamen, the founder of Equifunk, had a friend’s bachelor party at the camp that we all attended as kids one summer, “coincidentally” named Equinunk, and in the midst of all the fun realized he had to grow that experience for more to share in. By the next summer, Equinunk was transformed into “Equifunk”, and a Festival was born…and the rest, they say, is history. What started out with some friends partying to the Zen Tricksters that first year, has grown into a festival that now had bands like Galactic and Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk headlining, and the supergroup SuckerPunch playing a very-special late night set. We couldn’t be more excited.
What makes Equifunk different from other festivals?
First, it takes place on the grounds of a summer camp, where festival goers have the opportunity to sleep in comfy cabins, complete with a bed and shower to make their stay extra “homey”.
Second, it is the first “ALL–INCLUSIVE” Festival. Think about that for a minute. At the extremely reasonable price of $325 for a cabin, you get all of your meals for the weekend, a bed and shower, the chance to bunk with your best friends, unlimited beer, access to all facilities and, of course, incredible live music. Now compare that to a $200 ticket at another festival and add up all of the $8 beers/water you drink throughout the weekend, in addition to the overpriced food. The best part of the ALL-INCLUSIVE package is that it makes your weekend stress free. You know where the beer is, you know where the food is, and you don’t have to worry about walking to get what you want. We literally bring it to you. And if you like camping under the stars, our camping option for $195 is available as well.
Third, our festival capacity is only 1,000 people. You’re paying for an intimate all-inclusive festival with sets from amazing talent like Galactic, Dumpstaphunk, SuckerPunch, RAC, Orgone,Turkuaz and Bustle In Your Hedgerow to name a few, and you don’t have to fight for position to see the stage or fear the large crowd around you. It’s you, your best friends, and all the space you want. This is what it feels like to be a part of our family.
Why is a summer camp the ideal place for a festival?
Summer Camp = FUN, plain and simple. Anyone who has attended a summer camp as a kid or adult has experienced some of the funniest and most memorable moments of their lives. From a first kiss, to a food fight, to stealing candy from your bunkmate – why not take the best pieces of childhood and throw it together with some amazing music? This is the next level of festival-going.
On top of that, the setting of Equinunk, PA is like none other; fresh air, gorgeous hills/lake and an incredible night sky. What could be better?
There is a “Bus to Equifunk” option, correct? Does that mean people from NYC don’t need to figure out transportation?
Correct, we will 100% have buses to transport people to and from NYC. And it’s only $50 round-trip!!!
One of the more impressive and unique aspects of Equifunk is that it is considered the first All-Inclusive music festival; completely unlimited food and beer included in the ticket price. Will there definitely be enough food and beer for each camper?
Again, we are 100% all-inclusive. We have enough beer and food to kill a small herd of bears, dinosaurs, and rabbits. If you find yourself hungry or thirsty come find us and we will personally take care of you. Because that is what our festival is all about!
And there is a pool, right? TWO POOLS!!!! Awesome!!! We have heard so much about these epic pool parties. Tell us about them.
I don’t want to spoil the best kept secret about our festival. If you want to see what all the talk is about, check out the preview video below from last year’s pool party, and do yourself a favor and start the splashing with us this summer with sets from Orgone, Sister Sparrow and many more!
Being at an actual, fully functioning summer camp, the average Equifunk attendee may get a little nostalgic; what other activities outside of the music can one expect to find?
That nostalgic feel is exactly what we are trying to accomplish. Want to play hoops with Galactic? Tennis with Ivan Neville? Kick ball with Marco Benevento? We have every activity you could dream of and they are all steps away from the music and your comfy bed, or tent.
What have been some of your favorite acts to grace the stage at Equifunk in the past?
That’s a really tough question because there have been so many memorable ones to choose from. Let me go with an experience I’ll never forget – when Big Sam’s Funky Nation came into the crowd in 2010 and led a “Funk Conga Line” with everyone there on the floor. That’s something you’ll never witness and be a part of at any other music festival, and just exemplifies the intimate setting we’ve created at Equifunk.
Adam Deitch, Roberts Walters, and Eddie Roberts all played at Equifunk together last year, and have played together a few times since then. How did that come into fruition? Was that something that just happened naturally for Equifunk?
They were only playing as a trio for a select few shows in August (I believe 4 or 5), but loved the idea and were super excited to play together at Equifunk. The festival has been known to bring together some rare combinations of artists playing with one another, and we promise you this summer will NOT be any different! Take for example the return of SuckerPunch. You have Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner of the Disco Biscuits, Jamie Shields from the New Deal, and Mike Greenfield of Lotus; they haven’t played together as SuckerPunch in almost a decade, and will be making their triumphant return for the first time at Equifunk. It doesn’t get much more epic than that.
Equifunk is branded as a funk festival, but last year you brought in The New Deal to do one of their last shows. Explain to us the decision to broaden the horizons of the festival.
While funk music has, and always will be, part of the roots of Equifunk, we definitely made it a point to bring in some other genres and spice it up this year. Acts like Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, Bustle in Your Hedgerow, and RAC will for sure bring in some new elements different from years past. Not to mention some of the DJ sets we have lined up that will keep people dancing all weekend long…
While the option to sleep in an actual bunk is extremely appealing, the more traditional camping option is extremely affordable and unique in its own way. Tell us about this option.
For those looking to camp out and hold on to that “traditional” festival element, we’ve set up the perfect camping area situated steps away from the stage, pool, and main dining areas. Included within this extremely affordable rate is everything provided in the cabin package – all meals, beer, access to facilities, and all the live music you can handle. When it comes to camping in the mountains, what’s better than sleeping under the stars?
How is this festival evolving from last year? What, if any, changes have been made to ensure the best possible time for attendees?
Right off the bat, this is easily our best line-up yet. And that’s no easy accomplishment, as we’ve had some pretty awesome talent in years past. Aside from that, I’d say the biggest change is the emphasis we’re placing on camp activities this summer. Expect more of what you loved so much about being away at camp – a huge field to play Frisbee, softball games, basketball with your friends, hula-hoop lessons, arts and crafts (for some), and even more of your favorite activities.
With many festivals, there are schedule conflicts, and it is really difficult to decide what one wants to see. Equifunk doesn’t seem to have this problem. Was that something that was preconceived, or did everything just work itself out that way?
I’d say a mix of both. We’re definitely cognizant of other festivals/events taking place that weekend, but at the same time, Equifunk is so unique to anything else going on that it’s kind of like comparing apples and oranges. For those looking for the unique experience our festival has to offer, there’s nowhere else to be Aug 17th-19th.
Equifunk has a very close-knit vibe, smaller crowd, and intimate setting, would you ever want to take this festival to a grand scale? Do you have aspirations to make this a much bigger festival?
It’s only fitting that you end with the toughest question, huh? Here’s the thing – as the Festival is currently constructed, it’s so incredibly tight-knit and intimate that adding more people will hardly divert much from that feeling of closeness – it will still feel like a small Festival. And while we definitely want to continue to grow Equifunk, we never want to lose that intimate feeling and stray away from what makes this Festival so incredible and unique. At the end of the day, there’s definitely something to be said about being the best kept secret out there…
Anything else that you would like to add, that festival-goers may care to know?
Yes – expect the unexpected, because this weekend is unlike anything you’ve ever been a part of.
**To purchase tickets to the Equifunk V All-Inclusive Music Festival, use the link below. And don’t forget to use discount code L4LM to save $25 on your pass!
Check out this video from last year:
Check out this teaser video:
See how great the all-inclusive aspect of Equifunk is great:
***To purchase tickets to the Equifunk V All-Inclusive Music Festival, use the link below. And don’t forget to use discount code L4LM to save $25 on your pass!