About The Festival
More Music Festivals
A good list of festivals
Finnegan's Wake Music Festival
Wake Music Festival is a 4 day gathering of some fine
local (and not so local) musicians playing a wide variety of eclectic
including blues, bluegrass, folk, rock, reggae, and even flamenco guitar.
While both traditional and non-traditional Irish music plays its part
festival, there are a wide variety of performers and styles guaranteed
satisfy anyone who enjoys good music and a good time. Give a listen
to some of the samples from previous Festivals on this web site and
you will hear what we mean. Torramh An Finnegan, Inc, (Gaelic for Finnegan’s
Wake) was registered as a NYS not-for-profit corporation in May of 1997,
and the first music festival was held on the banks of Summit Lake on
the weekend after labor day in that same year. Since then, there have
been 6 annual festivals held each year in early September, and this
year we are looking forward to our seventh festival on September 4,5,6,and
7with a beautiful site, a great musical line-up , and the addition of
some new faces to our popular performers of the past few years.
Our new Festival site, features a great view of the Catskills , abundant
on-site parking and camping space, and plenty of room to listen to great
music , either in our large concert tent or outside on your blanket
chair. Own new site is still only a 15 minute walk or a 2minute drive
our original site on Summit Lake, and many of our veteran weekend campers
pack their bathing suits, fishing poles, and even canoes to take advantage
of the public access beach on the scenic lake. FYI, no motorboats allowed.
The lake, once the focal point of two heavily traveled Indian trials,
to the first settlement of Summit in 1794, is said by some historians
have once gone by the Indian name of Utsayantha, and to have derived
name from the story of an Indian maiden who drowned herself in its depths.
Though this story is probably apocryphal, there is no doubt that Indians
and Tories, led by Lieut. Col. John Johnson and Joseph Brant, camped
on the western shore of the lake in 1794 , on their way to a large scale
the settlements and farms in the Schoharie Valley henceforth known as
Schoharie Valley Massacre. Their campsite was the site of the first
Finnegan’s Wake in Sept. of 1997.
The Festival abounds with ties to the village of Summit’s past
place and stop over on one of the main stagecoach runs from Albany to
west. A small community of about 1000 inhabitants, Summit once boasted
a large number of sumptuous inns to tend to the weary traveler’s
needs after the arduous journey on the new plank road built in 1855.
Only one of these establishments still remains as an operating inn.
Lakeview House, adjacent to the first Festival site, was built in 1881
replace Mrs. Carrie Crow’s inn, the Crow’s Nest. Mrs. Crow
advertised “Board in the Catskills: $5 per week” and drew
travelers from NY City and beyond. While the days of the $5 per week
hotel are long gone, the Lakeview House will be the venue for the Festival’s
legendary jam sessions or “afters”. “Afters”
start at the Lakeview House at the conclusion of the Festival concerts
on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and often these impromptu jam sessions
last well into the morning hours.
In 1881, when the Lakeview House was new, it took over an hour and a
to travel the 1100-foot, five-mile climb to Summit from the Richmondville
rail station at the foot of the mountain. Today a five-minute drive
10 from Exit 20 of Interstate I-88, will bring the modern traveler up
same1100 feet to the Finnegan’s Wake Festival site. He or she
will pass the old Mt. Wharton farm on his left, and then the old Toll
Gate House on the
right that used to bar the plank road, charging 5 cents per horse to
In another mile, passing Summit Lake and through the village of Summit,
the music fan will arrive at the Festival site to spend what we know
will be a
memorable weekend of fine music, good fellowship with friends new and
old, and a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
PO Box 217
Summit, New York 12175