Epic Day • 4/20, 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Feat. Dubtown Cosmonauts, Mike Pinto and Reel Big Fish, and 24
Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
Tickets $40-$50 • epicdayatgla.com
“We wanted people to come to this beautiful setting, hear great music, and, for the first time inside the Amphitheater, be able to sample 24 different, high-gravity microbrews from 12 great brewers, without spending extra money,” Chris Lee, owner of Pipeline, says. “It gets a little old spending $30 on a ticket then an extra $20 or $30 on $5 light beer.”
For a mere $40 folks will be able to listen to and see three live bands—Dubtown Cosmonauts, Mike Pinto and Reel Big Fish—and taste a slew of craft brews. Seven North Carolina breweries will be featured, including Carolina Brewery, Natty Greene’s, Triangle Brewing Company, Lonerider, Huske Hardware House, Cape Fear Kind beers and Aviator Brewing. There will be regional and national breweries featured as well, including SweetWater out of Atlanta known for their 420 and Goose Island Beer from Chicago, Kona Brewing out of Hawaii, Shock Top Brewing, and Copa Divino wine will have whites and reds available for tasting.
“Whether you are interested in lighter beers or transitioning into darker, more complex beers, the different styles will be on hand,” Mike Stone, craft and specialty beer manager of R.A. Jeffreys, says. “Golden ales, hefeweizens, pale ales, IPAs, brown ales, stouts and even a tripel will be available to taste. Featured on ‘The Shark Tank,’ Copa Divino will showcase its new innovative packaging.”
Considering microbrews don’t run cheaply, the all-encompassing price makes for quite a steal, as folks are handed a cup upon entry to meander between brewers set up around the venue. According to Lee, the organization will provide easy access from vendors to the stage.
“It’s not a normal beer festival where you are herded like cattle from one booth to the next,” he promises.
Not new to event planning, Pipeline has hosted nearly 150 shows in Wilmington in their two-and-a-half year existence. Each year thus far they’ve had a 50 percent increase in events from the last, held with 50 volunteers and three part-timers on staff.
To give Epic Day the perennial festival vibe, free-spirited in attitude and focused on outdoor enjoyment with sips and sounds, Lee and company have chosen artists that radiate high-energy showmanship. Reel Big Fish is known for their music’s intense danceability.
“Their horn section is my favorite part about their sound,” Lee notes. “It just adds that extra layer of depth—ska never gets old, [with] its slight undertones of reggae.”
It will be enhanced by the surf/punk of Mike Pinto from California, who also peppers in reggae. “He’s a great storyteller, very real,” Lee says.
The jamband aspect will come thanks to Wilmington’s own Dubtown Cosmonauts. From the Grateful Dead to Phish, The Allman Brothers Band to STS9, “they have been making waves locally with their tight, timely jams,” Lee notes. The group plays at least six or more shows a week up and down the southeast region.
Between sets, Kimberly McSmith, the Night Nurse of Reggae Redemption, featured Sundays on Modern Rock 98.7, will introduce the bands. Also from 98.7, Vaughn will be broadcasting live and emceeing, as well as introducing Reel Big Fish.
Vendors will run the gamut at Greenfield, as Thrive Studios will be onsite doing live art and selling their works. Shellie Jobe Venters will hold a Thread Heads Trunk Show, selling Synergy organic cotton clothing. Food and non-alcoholic beverages and other snacks will be sold through Greenfield Lake Amphitheater concessions, run by the City of Wilmington.
“This is more focused on a full package for the micro brew and music lovers,” Lee distinguishes. “Greenfield Lake is such an incredible setting for music. Now, add 24 brews and the ability to walk around and appreciate its beauty and size. . . . We want to show everyone that they have a gem of a venue in their backyard that is being managed and run professionally, and you don’t have to travel to Raleigh, Charlotte, Myrtle Beach or elsewhere to see quality shows and events. We’re keeping local money local and saving money in unnecessary expenses at the same time.”
Tickets to the event are halfway sold out as of press. They can be purchased early for $40 at www.epicdayatgla.com or at Althea’s Attic on Eastwood Road, Gravity Records on Castle Street or Momentum Surf and Skate on Front, or for $50 at the door. VIP tickets are $50 and allow for early tasting of select brews at 3 p.m.; general admission is at 4 p.m. The tastings last until 7 p.m. with the concerts ending at 8 p.m.