The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival Returns This Weekend August 01, 2017 15:46


Photos by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

While festival season may be slowing down a bit, one of our favorite annual weekend lies ahead at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio. After finally making it up for The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival last year, we immediately knew that this would be a can't miss occasion moving forward. Host band The Werks put in countless hours preparing and planning for this weekend each year, and one can only imagine what's in store for this festival's eighth installment this weekend.

This year's lineup promises to satisfy cravings for a wide variety of genres, with many of the festival scene's hottest acts coming together for the weekend. Several elements of this year's Werk Out have us particularly excited, and that all starts with The Werks headlining the main stage on all three nights. This includes a special 'Werktronic' set on Friday night, which promises to bring a serious dance party and even a few special guests. There is absolutely no telling what these guys will do at Legend Valley, and this year should be no different.

Two of last year's Werk Out favorites, Dopapod and Twiddle, will both return this year for two nights each. While Dopapod has been a staple for several years, Twiddle made its debut just last year, and it's hard to imagine a Werk Out without them in the future. This year will also feature the second installment of Twerkapod: Tribute To The 90's, which will include a rotating cast from The Werks, Twiddle, and Dopapod. This set is scheduled for 2:15 AM on Saturday morning, and one can only imagine what these guys have planned for round two.

Watch highlights from Twerkapod here:

Fans of the jamtronic scene are in for a major treat this year, as Gramatik and Emancipator are both scheduled for late night sets, and The Floozies will be on the main stage before Friday night's 'Werktronic' set. Werk Out veterans Zoogma also returns for two nights, while Future Rock will be handling the final set of the weekend at 3:00 AM on Sunday morning. Friday night's SunSquabi set on the Side Stage also promises to be a wildly entertaining hour of music, while Ivan Neville & Dumpstaphunk will surely have funk-filled party planned for their set on Saturday.

One of our favorite elements of this festival is its focus on bringing in many of the hottest 'up-and-comers' from across the country. Between BIG Something, Reed Mathis & Electric Beethoven, Spafford, and CBDB, its tough to decide who we're most excited about. The Electric Beethoven lineup features some serious players with Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green / Billy & The Kids), Todd Stoops (RAQ), Jay Lane (Ratdog/Primus), and Clay Welch. The entire concept of 'classical dance music' and this band's reinterpretations of Beethoven's symphonies is mind blowing. BIG Something, Spafford, and CBDB have each had huge years thus far, and they have certainly been in heavy rotation on our personal playlists. The weekend's sleeper set could easily come in the form of Funk You on Saturday afternoon. There is a reason that the Georgia-based funk outfit is crushing the southeast market.

While we already touched on the Twerkapod tribute set, there are several other tributes worth checking out this weekend. Last year's Broccoli Samurai set was one of our weekend highlights, and this year's Lotus tribute will surely be a hot topic. Additional tribute sets will come in the form of Oh Kee Pah: Tribute To Phish, Bulls On Parade: Tribute To Rage Against The Machine, Any Colour: Tribute To Pink Floyd, and Arrows of Neon: Tribute To The Grateful Dead.

While the lineup never disappoints and the operations of this festival are first class, the true magic lies within the sense of community. Those who have attended know exactly what we mean, and those heading to Ohio this weekend will feel it as soon as they arrive. The Werks have created, maintained, and grown one of the best parties in the midwest today, while always keeping the focus on the fan experience. The band members make a point to roam around, speak with fans, and enjoy the experience themselves. The sense of community that surrounds this band is the main ingredient in this festival's success, and we look forward to enjoying the ride for many years to come.

Watch The Werks perform "Carry Me Back Home" at The Werk Out 2016 here:


The Werks Announce Initial Lineup For The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival March 09, 2017 12:22

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Veteran jam band The Werks has revealed the initial lineup to the 8th annual The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio on August 3rd-5th.  Quickly becoming one of the most anticipated festival of the summer, The Werk Out consistently features several established national headliners, along with many of the hottest up-and-coming bands from across the festival scene.  Host band The Werks is scheduled to headline all three nights, while additional performers include 

Gramatik, The Floozies, Emancipator, Dopapod (two nights), Dumpstaphunk (featuring Ivan Neville), Future Rock, Zoogma (two nights), Sunsquabi, Big Something, Spafford, Jonathan Scales FourchestraJahman BrahmanJoe Marcinek BandCBDBBrother's GowSubterraneanElectric Orange Peel, and many more to be announced. A collaborative TWERKAPOD: A Tribute to the 90s – Vol. 2 set was also announced following last year’s debut featuring members of The Werks, Dopapod and Twiddle. 

See below for highlights from last year's Werk Out 2016, and make sure to head over to the festival's official website for further details and ticket options.  Stay tuned for future updates and lineup additions!

The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival Initial 2017 Lineup

  • The Werks
  • Gramatik
  • The Floozies
  • Emancipator
  • Dopapod
  • Dumpstaphunk (featuring Ivan Neville)
  • TWERKAPOD: A Tribute to the 90s – Vol. 2
  • Future Rock,
  • Zoogma
  • Sunsquabi
  • Big Something
  • Spafford
  • Jonathan Scales Fourchestra
  • Jahman Brahman
  • Joe Marcinek Band
  • CBDB
  • Brother’s Gow
  • Subterranean
  • Electric Orange Peel

Throwback: Looking Back On Purple Hatters Ball July 14, 2016 19:41

Words and Photos by Amanda Franklin: Live & Listen

Last month, funky friends from across the southeast gathered at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park for the annual Purple Hatters Ball, a festival that was established as both a memorial and celebration of the life of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman.  The festival is known for its diverse lineup and intimacy, and this year was no disappointment.  Featured artists included The Floozies, Papadosio, The Polish Ambassador, Earphunk, Roosevelt Collier Band, The Mantras, Sunsquabi, and more.  Dynamic lineups always bring interesting crowds—there were those who fell for the allure of The Floozies’ funky style and Polish’s eccentric performances as well as those who mainly came to catch Earphunk rock the stage and groove to some late night Dosio.  Regardless of who people came to see, every stage at every set was booming and bustling with dancing bodies. 

Thursday night was a reunion of sorts.  Old friends embraced and sat on the deck of the music hall to share cigarettes and stories of daily life that happens in between festivals.  In hospitable Suwannee fashion, new folks were just as readily welcomed.  Around midnight, Sunsquabi began drawing a crowd inside for the pre-party headlining set.  The couple hundred or so people who had managed to get work off on Friday and get to Suwannee a night early gathered in the music hall to drink and boogie into the late night. 

The days at Hatters were long, bright, and beautiful.  Once more people arrived at the festival, the river became the place to be during the day.  After snagging a golf cart ride, I made it down to the river just in time to catch Funk You at the Beach Stage, which was jam-packed with jams all weekend.  14 bands played that spot over two days, and shorter half-hour/hour long sets kept the atmosphere ever evolving and interesting.  Down on the water, beer, sunlight, and laughter kept attendees dizzy and joyful.  Everyone piled together onto huge floats in the middle of the river.  A few friends decided to maximize their chill factor by floating the river in their beloved blowup festival couch.  I’ve seen that same couch several times around Suwannee, but I had to double take and chuckle when I saw it come drifting on the current, touting three guys comfortably in its seatJacksonville’s MZG took the opportunity to film a new music video on the river’s beach, featuring hundreds of smiling faces and a few hilarious tumbles down the giant slip n’ slide. 


As the sun settled its way low into the sky each day, people headed back to their campsites to prepare for the night of music ahead.  Friday evening treated us to delicious jams from The Mantras and an absolutely raging set by Earphunk.  Part of my face may still be at the Amphitheater stage after lead guitarist Paul Provosty proceeded to shred it off with riff after wailing riff.  Papadosio provided the crowd with a smooth set that seamlessly traversed between faster and slowed down psychedelic grooves.  Every note was carried on the beat of drummer Mike Healy, who skillfully controlled the group’s tempo and vibe  

Saturday night was nothing short of dance party.  Following The Hip Abduction and MZG, The Polish Ambassador did not disappoint, keeping things interesting as always, right down to the classic mid-set outfit change.  The Ambassador also stopped to share some powerful and reflective words on death and Rachel’s legacy before taking the crowd back into a celebration of life and music.  The Floozies closed the night with their signature sound: funky samples, distortion, and irresistibly danceable beats. The Amp stage crowd became a flowing sea of moving people—not a single body was still.   


The Polish Ambassador

When the last band left the main stage each night, by no means did the party stop.  In fact, it seemed to mark the official start of all late-night shenanigans.  For those who couldn’t kick off their boogie shoes, the Silent Disco was popping until the sun rose.  Those who wanted to adventure explored the grounds on golf carts, acting as a taxi service to random strangers who became friends within minutes.  People gathered again on the beach, but the mood was much different at night.  The Suwannee River flowed slowly in still silence, reflecting the moss-laden trees that tower over it in a perfect mirror image.  Creatures of the night swam in the river, bathed in the moonlight, and reveled in the pure natural beauty that surrounded them.  

On Sunday, Rachel’s mother shared some words before releasing butterflies into the air to honor a sweet spirit taken too soon.  The gravity of death, especially young lives lost, always spurs many thoughts and emotions.  I think most people can agree that life is too short, and we should use what we’ve been given to know and love as many people as we can.  Though her time on earth was brief, Rachel lived her life in that way, and everyone who knows her attests to that.  All weekend long, I watched relationships blossom before my eyes.  While this isn’t uncommon at music festivals, there was something special in the air at Hatters—call it the Spirit of Suwannee, call it Rachel’s legacy, call it the magic of music, but the unadulterated love and joy that drifted on the wind that weekend was truly ethereal.  Purple Hatters Ball reminded us to stay positive, present, and loving, and I hope people will carry that message with them and pass it along… Until next year, Purple People!

The Polish Ambassador

Michael Comeaux of Earphunk

Purple Hatters Ball 2016

Mark Hempe of Earphunk

Dave Johson of The Hip Abduction

Purple Hatters Ball 2016

David New of The Hip Abduction

Purple Hatter's Ball Releases Daily Schedule + Yoga and Arts Village Programing June 02, 2016 12:40

Purple Hat Productions has released the daily schedule for the ninth annual Purple Hatter’s Ball (PHB) taking place at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP) in Live Oak, Florida June 17-19, 2016.
Purple Hatter’s Ball Schedule:
PHB 2016 will utilize four stages including the famed Amphitheater Stage, a Beach Stage located along the wild black water Suwannee River and a Campground Stage, which will morph into the Silent Disco late night, keeping the party going until the wee hours of the morning.
Closing out each night on the Amphitheater Stage is Papadosio on Friday, The Polish Ambassador followed by The Floozies on Saturday, and Melvin Seals and JGB on Sunday.
The Thursday Pre-Party will take place in the SOS Music Hall right after the Action Day with activist The Polish Ambassador where PHB attendees are invited to unite in action with their choice of awesome activities and tangible regenerative projects that will make SOSMP a better place for everyone. As a thank you for their work, Action Day participants are invited to attend the Thursday Night Pre-Party for FREE. To sign up for the Action Day visit:
The Yoga & Art Village Program will offer 25 fun, informative and healthy living activities and classes including: Kirtan Morningstar; BoomYoga Spiritual Warrior with Joaquin Antonio; Sound Healing Meditation; West African Drumming with Luke Quaranta; Live Music Vinyasa Flow; Creative Expressions Drawing; AcroYoga; Contact Hooping and many more.
Purple Hatter’s Ball benefits The Rachel Morningstar Foundation (a non-profit 501c3 organization) in honor of longtime SOSMP friend and music festival lover Rachel Morningstar Hoffman. You can learn more about the horrific story of her loss in this feature, “How One Mother Turned Tragedy /Into Triumph: The Rachel Morningstar Hoffman Story” which includes a touching one-on-one interview with Rachel’s loving mother, Margie Weiss (aka Mama Margie). Rachel’s story has been featured on 60 Minutes, Dateline, and 20/20.
The most memorable moment of the Purple Hatter’s Ball weekend is when Mama Margie leads an emotional ceremony celebrating her daughter’s memory. Each year, they released 24 monarch butterflies – 23 to represent Rachel’s age when she was taken from this world and 1 for her spirit that lives on.
Purple Hatter’s Ball 2016 features organic livetronica artists Papadosio, cutting edge producer/guitarist and drummer duo The Floozies, jumpsuit wearing musician and activist The Polish Ambassador, Jerry Garcia Band founding member and longtime collaborator Melvin Seals and JGB, New Orleans’ prog-funk five-piece Earphunk, the conscious world-reggae sounds of DubConscious (Rachel’s favorite band), progressive rock and jam band The Mantras, the one-and-only sacred steel master Roosevelt Collier and his band, rising stars The Hip Abduction, and many more.
Purple Hatter’s Ball is the perfect opportunity to experience the beautiful Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park festival grounds, famous for hosting Wanee, Suwannee Hulaween, AURA, and more, during a laid-back and intimate event. Festivalgoers are encouraged to take advantage of the park’s endless activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, biking, and disc golf.
The park also offers guest comforts including a general store, a full-service restaurant, showers and water stations. To join the wait list for cabins, golf cart rentals, and RV hook-ups, please contact SOSMP at (386) 364-1683.
Tickets are currently on sale at along with Morningstar Miracle VIP Packages that include VIP area access, dinner (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), an official poster and t-shirt.
Purple Hatter’s Ball 2016 Lineup:
The Floozies
The Polish Ambassador
Melvin Seals and JGB
The Mantras
Roosevelt Collier Band
The Malah
The Hip Abduction
Voodoo Visionary
Catfish Alliance
Trial By Stone
Scott Campbell band with Avis Berry
Funk You
MZG Live featuring Allen Aucoin
Flat Land
Herd Of Watts
Kaleigh Baker with The Groove Orient
The Corbitt-Clampitt Experience
Post Pluto
SPORE with Zahira
Leisure Chief
Heather Gillis Band             
Late Night Silent Disco + Beach Stage:
Ancient Deep
Big Bucks Crew
Cat Party
Charlie Hustle
Elliot Mess
Jeff Randall
Paten Locke
Ricky Raw
Sir Charles
Taste Tester
Triclops I
Vlad the Inhaler
Zachy Nix
Thursday Night Pre-Party:
Savi Fernandez Birthday Band
Space Kadet
Gypsy Elise
About The Rachel Morningstar Foundation: The Rachel Morningstar Foundation exists to help the public understand the benefit of guidelines for law enforcement's use of confidential informants (CIs). Currently each state, county, city, college campus or law enforcement agency sets their own standards, laws or guidelines as it relates to recruiting and using CIs. The efforts of this foundation are dedicated to the memory of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman (December 17, 1984 – May 7, 2008) a 23-year-old Florida State University graduate. She was murdered while acting as a police informant during a drug sting that started on May 7, 2008. The first of its kind in the U.S., Rachel’s Law, a Florida law that went into effect on July 1, 2009, established new guidelines for law enforcement when dealing with confidential informants.


Purple Hatter’s Ball Information: