Dance Around the Maypole to Local Music

MayDay Family Gathering is an opportunity to get the camping and music festival season started with a celebration of Corvallis’ own. Running from Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5, MayDay is now in its 21st year as an annual tradition with an ever-expanding group of local musicians, artists, and others who appreciate when music and art collide in a beautiful setting.

Entirely run by volunteers, with a community-run kitchen that serves free meals to all attendees and a ridiculously low entry fee, MayDay is more than just camping for a couple of nights while listening to cool bands. In a secluded slice of natural splendor, it’s also a chance for the local “family” to come together each year and catch up, and meet the new crop of people who have found their way to the event.

Expanding to two stages for the first time this year, the lineup—in no particular order—is: The Deep Woods Band, Tuesday Nights, Mightiest Monster, Exit Electric, Infamous Unknown, A Crab’s Life, Maca Rey, Rain on the Rockz featuring Creed, Inebriated Species, Radion, Brown Town, Farm Stand String Band, Symbiotic Quintet, Wups, Big Outside, Space Neighbors, Audiophilia, The OutLetz, Fool’s Road, Curtis Monette, Jordan Norton, and Amber Walker & Linden Wood.

This slate of acts covers a lot of ground, all the way from strummy sing-along acoustic to outer space funk, and back into a low orbit of good time rock and roll. The only common thread is a commitment to enjoying the experience and a love for the Corvallis local music scene. MayDay styles its security people “vibe adjusters,” but they are never really necessary; with all those bands it’s going to be hard to not have a good time.

The musicians won’t bear full responsibility for keeping people moving all night, with dance performances of the regular and fire varieties scheduled from American Tribal SEED’s, Starena Sparktacular, and Combust-a-Move. You’ll want to keep yourself moving as it’s normally still a bit chilly at this time of year, but it’s the first camping trip of the season and c’mon, you’re an Oregonian. You own a good sleeping bag and a knit hat, right?

Admission is $25 per person or $50 for three or more in a car, so please carpool! Or—if you have the time—volunteers are needed even at this late date. If you want to get in for free, float on over to the “Mayday Family” Facebook group and you can sign up to help. Additional information and directions to the site can also be found on the Facebook page—it’s less than 30 miles west of Corvallis.

As always, all are welcome, and feel free to bring food to donate to the community kitchen, but please leave your dogs and glass bottles at home. See you out there, MayDay People!

by Jesse Tomaino