In 2011, I remember gawking at a hand-printed poster, crudely affixed to a power box, advertising the first-ever Waking Windows Festival in Winooski, Vermont. I was living in Burlington at the time, and the idea of an alternative music festival in neighboring downtown Winooski– a kind of a tiny ghost town punctuated by a massive and seemingly unnecessary rotary– seemed ludicrous.
Five years later, Winooski is peppered with bars and eateries– it’s safe to say it’s no longer a ghost town. And Waking Windows is not only still a thing, but kind of a big thing. This years’ fest runs from Friday, May 6 through Sunday May, 8, and is worth the trek through the Green Mountains. Headliners include Waxahatchee, Speedy Ortiz, Yacht, Protomartyr, and Guerilla Toss. Staying true to form, there are plenty of local artists featured as well– my picks would be surf-rockers Barbacoa (Friday), Kalbells, and Ryan Power (Saturday).
Plus, Waking Windows has branched out from taking place in only one venue five years ago (The Monkey House) to now taking over several, including Oak 45, Misery Loves Company, Mule Bar, an added outdoor stage at The Monkey House, and others. There are also food trucks, comedians, and an artist market, to boot.
Check out more info on the Waking Windows website.