Get Ready! The Fourth Annual Ziontific Summer Solstice Music Festival Is Drawing Near

STOCKBRIDGE, VERMONT – On June 20-23 Ziontific Productions will present the fourth annual Summer Solstice Music Festival in scenic Stockbridge, located in the heart of Vermont’s beautiful Green Mountains. Standing Room Only is a proud sponsor of this year’s festival and in conjunction, Ziontific Productions is currently offering at their website, a special SRO discounted rate of only $65 for a "complete weekend" festival ticket package. We also recently caught up withZiontific Co-Founder and Creative Director Shannon Marie Mauro.


Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Ziontific Productions. Lead photo by Jenna Johnson.

“One thing I feel that many don’t realize about the Ziontific Festival is that musically, our focus is Reggae, Hip-Hop and Funk, whereas most other fests today are more geared towards the jam band and electronica crowds,” Shannon said. “We feel this musical aspect sets us apart and contributes to our unique ambiance. Reggae makes you feel happy; play it on the first weekend of summer and you won't have a care in the world. The Hip-Hop acts on the bill all have the same underlying themes — positivity and knowledge... and well... who doesn't want to just get funky?

“I would also like to add that I am personally, super-stoked to add The Movement into our family this year. The music has that perfect energetic, carefree summertime vibe. Hands-down, the best summer of my life was five years ago and sound tracked by their Set Sail album. I'm so happy these guys are still on the upward grind.”

This year’s Ziontific lineup will feature some 35 artists hailing from all over the Northeast, including (the aforementioned)The Movement, The Alchemystics, Fear Nuttin’ Band, Royal Hammer, Sophistafunk, Dub Apocalypse, Jeff Bujak, The Big Takeover, Danny Pease & The Regulators, Strange Machines, The Aztext, I Anbassa, Political Animals, Lynguistic Civilians, All Good :: Feel Good Collective, Trails, The Hornitz, Roots of Creation, People with Instruments, Juicy Grapes, Joey Batts& Them, The Romano Project, Rhythmic Circus, Satellite Rockers, DJ Benny Black, HannaH's Field, Dubbest, Blue Collar, Rhythm Inc., Rebel Alliance, Cheatcode, Harsh Armadillo, Masla, Lion-Bird Soundsystem, and I-ganicSoundsystem.

Jeff Bujak will also host a ‘Silent Disco,” which will keep the music pumping through your wireless headphones until the break of dawn... Yes, plenty of headphones will be available for free after the Main Stage ends on all three nights. There will also be a cool "fire show,” as audiences were dazzled by last year’s BMX Fire Stunts created by Cosmic Karma Fire!

How about a spiritual get-away where your soul can thrive? Ziontific will also once again, be hooking up with The Conduit to provide a Wellness Village experience that's proven to change lives. Sound meditation concerts, intro to sound healing tools and techniques, Tibetan singing bowls workshop, River Tai Chi and Oi Gong, late-night audio-visual experience, consciousness video screening, labyrinth meditation and various Yoga classes are some activities you can partake in to help induce your relaxed state.

“The Wellness Village will of course, be as hypnotically relaxing as ever before,” Shannon added. “This is another piece, we feel, that sets us apart from other festivals. It creates more of a spiritual retreat-type of vibe which is perfect to start off your first day of summer in the right state of mind.”

Another aspect settingZiontific apart is the family-orientated, ever-popular and newly improved kidZone, which offers a packed schedule of daily activities for young people including music classes, hat decorating, field day games, mask-making, photography nature walks, kids yoga, river rock painting, nutrition/healthy snack-making, hoop building and decorating, hula lessons, playgroups for the little ones, or just jumping around in the bounce house… there is no doubt the kids will be impressed! “We've completely restructured our kidZone, but don’t worry,” Shannon said.

“All of the favorite activities will still be there... we’ve just added more! Over the years we've learned to just let kids be kids. So this year instead of scheduling every activity, we're going for a more fluid approach. All of the crafts and such will be ongoing, as tables will be set up for constant painting, hat making, soap molding, hula hoop making and all the rest. This should avoid the ever-dreaded ‘sad face’ over missing his or her favorite activity.

“Each year the number of children increases drastically. So this year the physical kidZone itself will be much larger to accommodate our ever-growing family! We're so excited for this expansion and hope all the families out there will pack up and come out to play!”

Of course, there is also the unique community responsibility that Ziontific holds for the nationally recognized Strangers Helping Strangers, who will be organizing a food drive during the festival. Donations of non-perishable food, toiletry, feminine, personal hygiene or baby products will be welcome and greatly appreciated. Also, Mother Nature’s Army will be hosting daily clean-up activities, including a cigarette butt picking-up contest with prizes throughout the weekend.

New to the Ziontific experience and launched last year, are scheduled “Pre-Party” musical events scheduled at various area venues throughout New England, including Fury’s Publick House in Dover, New Hampshire, Outer Space in Hamden, Connecticut, Bishop’s Lounge in Northampton, Massachusetts, The Lucky Dog in Worcester, Massachusetts and The Hungry Tiger in Manchester, Connecticut.

“After Ziontific I and II, our fans were constantly asking ‘Is it time yet?’ … so in 2013, we inaugurated the ‘Pre-Parties’ for everyone to come out and celebrate the countdown to summer,” Shannon added. "Since the majority of our attendees come from outside of Vermont, we have these pre-parties all over New England.”

Yes, the Ziontific Summer Solstice Music Festival continues to be an annual, ever-evolving family reunion in which everyone is welcome with open arms. So, whether you prefer a slightly private wooded camp site or a field spot in the middle of the action, you will feel right at home with your newfound Ziontific family. Shannon said it best: “The magic of Ziontific really has to be felt first- hand. Please come out and experience it...“

For up-to-date Ziontific Summer Solstice Music Festival information or to purchase “full weekend” tickets at the special, Standing Room Only discounted rate of $65, please visit www.ziontificproductions.com/sro. Get your tickets now, for the show is just days away! SRO is a proud sponsor of this wonderful, Vermont summer event.