Backwoods Pondfest has just released its final artist announcement. New additions include Lucid, Twiddle’s Mihali Savoulidis & Friends (a Twiddle and Lucid fusion), Balkun Brothers and artist-at-large Ian McGuire, and will be joining previously announced artists such as Melvin Seals & JGB, Pink Talking Fish Is Bowie, Spiritual Rez, The Nth Power, Sophistafunk, Hayley Jane and the Primates, and more (purchase tickets HERE).Full Audio Of Pink Talking Fish’s Tribute To David Bowie & Prince Has EmergedEntering its tenth consecutive year, Backwoods Pondfest is ready for its biggest year yet, and takes place August 4th – 6th at Twin Ponds Campsite in Peru, NY. This also marks the beginning of an indefinite hiatus for Lucid, as the band has set plans to take time off the road. Lucid frontman Lowell Wurster discussed the band’s decision to play the fest this year, “When we made the decision to take a break from life on the road – from playing live shows … Pondfest was always sort of a grey area. We’re really psyched that we’re going to be up there playing music for everyone, we felt like it wouldn’t feel right if we couldn’t make it happen”. For additional information, check the festival website.We had the opportunity to chat with Backwoods Pondfest organizer and owner of Full Circle Music Productions’ Derek Haviland about this year’s event.L4LM: Tell us your thoughts about this year’s headliners.DH: Melvin Seals and JGB has always been a personal favorite. Going back to ’80 when Seals first started taking the stage with Jerry Garcia Band, his style and his presence on that B3 is unique and unrivaled in the Grateful Dead musical community. Pondfest has never had JGB and Melvin Seals before, but they did co-headline Backwood Pondfest’s predecessor festival along with Pork Tornado for Pondstock way back in 2001.Pink Talking Fish is another first-year artist, and we’re looking forward to this special Bowie incarnation they’re bringing us for Pondfest. We’re pretty sure we’re going to see Hayley Jane, and maybe even an artist at large in there to jazz things up even more. Mihali & Friends featuring members of both Twiddle and Lucid is also one of the most anticipated performances of the weekend. With Lucid’s recent hiatus, and a ten year history playing at Pondfest for both Mihali and all the members of Lucid, the collaboration is really an awesome thing to have coming to fruition this year. We’re expecting a high-energy, electric performance from this fusion of artistry. L4LM: What are your expectations for this year’s event?DH: Expectations are high: we’ve got more bands, more days of music and more years of wonderful experience under our belts then ever before. L4LM: What do you think makes Backwoods Pondfest so unique? DH: Most festivals that are able to offer the scope and quality of bands that Pondfest does aren’t able to keep some of the little things that help make a weekend feel at-home and comfortable. Fans look forward to driving in and camping next to their vehicles, bringing their four-legged friends if they want to, and even having their own small campfire at night while they listen to bands and artists from throughout the country. L4LM: Which act on the bill do you think will surprise people the most?DH: The Lucid sets and Mihali & Friends are really going to blow people away, we can count on that based on experience. Lucid has always done two sets since the band and Backwoods Promotions helped create this thing ten long years ago. I can’t imagine Backwoods Pondfest without them, and a lot of fans made it clear that they couldn’t either. Mihali is another familiar face that’s never missed on opportunity for an on-stage appearance at Pondfest, and when you put the Twiddle boys and the Lucid boys together, ‘surprising’ seems like a bit of an understatement.L4LM: Thanks for your time, Derek!For ticket and additional information about Backwoods Pondfest, check out the festival website HERE.[Cover photo credit: Jerry Cadieux]
In response to the ongoing construction on and around campus, USC Transportation has made temporary changes to its tram and Campus Cruiser operations to minimize traffic delays and adverse effects on commuters.Waiting · Construction around campus has caused some delays to service by USC Transportation’s tram and the Campus Cruiser program. – Brandon Hui | Daily Trojan According to Jeff Shields, associate director of operations for USC Transportation, Transportation has experienced some periodic disruptions because of traffic caused by construction — particularly the construction of the new Exposition Light Rail Transit Line.Though the trams and Campus Cruisers are following their usual operational schedule, Transportation has made adjustments to its services because of detours and road closures.“[The construction] has certainly required us to think outside of the box in order to accommodate our customer base, and I believe we have done a good job of communicating changes to the campus community,” Shields said.Students who use the tram service to get around campus generally said the ongoing construction has not had any significant effect on their experiences.“It hasn’t affected me because I take the A route and it doesn’t go to where the construction is being held,” said Jenny Paredes, a graduate student studying accounting. “The construction is over there on Exposition [Boulevard] so I don’t see why it would affect my route.”Brittaney Robinson, a senior majoring in health promotion and disease prevention, said the natural variation in the tram’s arrival times makes it hard to tell if construction has caused any delays.“I feel like it’s the same. The Track a Tram on the [transportation] website has helped a little, but you never know when it’s going to come,” Robinson said.Students and faculty who take USC transportation from Union Station also noted the construction has had no discernible effect on their commute.“I haven’t noticed any difference,” said Jefferey Sellers, an associate professor of political science who regularly rides the USC shuttle to work from Union Station.Shields said he has received some complaints from commuters about the lack of updates about construction developments but pointed out that USC Transportation often does not have access to that information.“Unfortunately, we don’t always receive the information ourselves, [but] we have taken a very proactive approach by attending meetings with the various contractors on campus as well as the Expo Line in order to improve in this area,” Shields said.Timely communication with the public will be a priority while construction continues to minimize inconvenience for commuters, Shields said.“We try and e-mail the campus community timely in an effort to notify them of any potential delays and changes to the traffic patterns on and around campus,” he said.