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Sqworm Fest a sustainable success

Article Published: Jun. 24, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Sqworm Fest a sustainable success

Andrea Brown joins The Native Sway's Kevin Quinn on stage, breaking them out of their instrumental jam and taking them to a new level of rock and roll.

Photo by Lauren K. Ohnesorge

Sqworm Fest wriggled its way into Valle Crucis Saturday with a "Native Sway" and left its attendees wanting more.

While the Valle Crucis Campgrounds aren't what this reporter thought of as a rocktastic venue, they overshot expectations, with cool breezes and shady scenery that provided the perfect backdrop and a grassy floor that served as fodder, both for casual sunbathing and barefoot dancing.

While the venue was the real star, the headliners, Philadelphia-bred Atley Moon (full name: Atley Moon and the Say Something Sound Machine) and Boone rockers The Native Sway didn't disappoint, ending the evening with a jam-packed set that had campers tapping their feet long after the last guitar chord dissipated.

Atley Moon's gritty old school rock and roll got the dance party started. It was simple, unrestrained motown jive with a hint of ska. It was the Philadelphia crew's first time in North Carolina, and, if the grass stains on the crowd's feet are any indication, they'd be a welcome and high energy addition to any Boone lineup.

The Native Sway took that energy and raised it threefold with a skillful mesh of a multitude of genres: electric-rock with a healthy dose of funk, with smooth transitions and bass that didn't stop.

The Native Sway then took it a step further, breaking out of their typical jam envelope Saturday with the healthy addition of sultry vocals, courtesy of Andrea Brown, and the crowd couldn't get enough, making her a new "one to watch" in the High Country music scene.

The Native Sway lived up to its hype and name, its sound feeding off the natural surroundings just as much as the unstoppable swing of the crowd. Amidst a mini-light show (courtesy DJ Fyah Babylon), The Native Sway accomplished its goal: Giving attendees something to "sqworm" to that they won't soon forget.

Perhaps as incredible as the show itself was the stage, which utilized solar panels, making the concert completely sustainable and setting a valuable precedent other festivals and concerts should explore. Expect to see the technology next utilized at the MusicFest 'n Sugar Grove this July.

As for the Sqworm Festival as a whole? According to Tracy Myhalyk, with its workshops and music, it surpassed expectations. While totals aren't in, she expects a large donation coming Valle Crucis Park's way.

"It was very successful, and we've got some great ideas for next year, and it's going to be a lot better and probably bigger, and it will just be a great time," she said.

Until next year, check out the Sqworm Festival pictures on to tide yourself over. For more information on utilizing sustainable technology at events, contact the Green Business Plan's Quint David at (

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