We have the Big Wu…The White Iron Band…local heroes the Smokin Bandits…Matt Monsoor…Joe & Vicki Price…lot of good bands (on 2021 performers).
We talk to Gregg “Cheech” Hall of Cheech’s Deecefest Family Music Festival, we discuss the origins of the event, putting on a festival during covid, the multi-day line-up, where to stay, how to grab tickets.
This podcast is sponsored by Artspire La Crosse.
Amy Gabay 00:00
This podcast is brought to you by Artspire presented by the Pumphouse Regional Art Center to attract, engage, and connect artists in the community through an Art Fair and Sale on Saturday, June 12. Information is at artspire.thepumphouse.org. We talk to Greg Hall. You might know him as Cheech, of Cheech’s Deecefest Family Music Festival. We discussed the origins of the event, putting on a festival during COVID, the multi day lineup, where to stay, and how to grab tickets. You can find more conversation, food reviews, live music, and events on our website, lacrosselocal.com. I’m Amy. And I’m Brett. And this is La Crosse Local.
Brent Hanifl 01:08
Deecefest, I mean, it’s basically a relatively new festival. You just kind of had a break in between the first year and then COVID. And then now this is the second year.
Gregg “Cheech” Hall 01:16
Yeah. Yup, exactly.
Brent Hanifl 01:18
So, can you tell us how Deecefest got its start?
Gregg “Cheech” Hall 01:21
Well, you know, I’ve had Deece Productions going now for well, going on 11 years of doing shows and tribute shows, random, you know, regional artists. And we never had actually done a festival. So, I just kind of got all my ducks in a row on one floor and it actually turned out very well. We had a really good response from the community, the people over there, the bands were great, our staff was exceptional. The Bluebird Campground crew was good. Creekside Before Sisters crew, they were awesome. So, we just figured, you know, go for it again this year. Obviously, last year, nobody did anything last year. But we’re just hoping by the end of July the CDC’s rules and regulations are something we can work with. And I’m just trying to promote it now. Just hoping for the best, you know, as all of us are.
Brent Hanifl 02:15
You know you kind of reference it there. But how do you go about putting together a festival, you know, especially during a time like COVID?
Gregg “Cheech” Hall 02:22
Well, you know, I didn’t you know, quite frankly, I just this time around, we just kind of are doing it like we did the first year. We’re just hoping that you know, once it gets closer to the date, you just keep checking those guidelines and how many tickets we can sell. And just trying to just go with the flow. Try to, you know, our number one goal is keep everybody safe. So, if it gets to be that point and we got to reschedule or something, you know, we’re going to abide by the rules and keep everybody safe. Hopefully, by then, we’ll be okay. So, we’re just kind of throwing out a hail mary and hoping for the best.
Brent Hanifl 02:56
I got to attend, and I came with the wife and kids. You know, it’s a really accessible festival in terms of, you know, if you’re an older adult, or you have children, there is camping component to it. But you could basically drive right up to where the music is and just get out and hang out.
Gregg “Cheech” Hall 03:10
Yeah, yeah. Yup, I mean, that’s how it works last year. Hopefully, you know. It all depends on how many tickets we sell, you know, sometimes the parking can get weird. But last year, it’s everything worked out, or two years ago, it worked out great. And we have a shuttle bus that went to and from Bluebird Campground, which is less than a mile down the road. Over the last couple of years especially they have, Melissa and Matt Frank the owners, have done a tremendous job of remodeling that campground. And me having been, you know, lived in that valley my whole life growing up, it’s a night and day difference. I mean, it looks really nice.
Brent Hanifl 03:46
So, what’s the lineup this year look like?
Gregg “Cheech” Hall 03:48
We have The Big Wu, they’re a new band this year. You know, it’s been a big part of my musical career, you know, in the late 90s, in the and still to this day. They got a real good reputation of being one of the high end jam bands. You know, they’re just, you know, I feel like a lot of us have a lot of history with The Big Wu. They kind of started it, I mean for all of us musicians my age and younger. I mean, The Big Wu are kind of the first one to say, hey, here’s this cool thing that we can do, and kind of got all the rest of us, a lot of us, motivated to become musicians. I mean, I’m speaking for myself, obviously. But uh, I feel a lot of people, you know around 40, as musicians in the early 2000s, when The Big Wu really blossomed, they were a big influence. And they’re a bunch of my really good friends. And then we have The White Iron Band. I’m actually in that band. They’ve been a band for 22 years out of Minnesota, the outlaw country thing going on. And local heroes Tugg and the Smoking Bandits and Matt Monsoor is a newer add on this year. I love Matt. Matt’s a great musician, a great person. Matt Mahlum that’s gonna have a full band. He’s working an album of his own right now. You know, and then we got, you know, a lot of returning musicians as well. Gregg Hall and the Wrecking Ball and Mr. Blink. And Joe and Vicki Price, they’re a new addition to this year. So, lots of good, a lot of good bands, man. Flibbertijibbet, they’re a local band. Outland, it’s their first gig out here, too. Dan Bergers, who do the songwriter thing at Bluebird. Cheeba, we’re going to do a little Sunday morning performance at Bluebird. We’re trying to, you know, just spread out the love with all the local bands in our music community as much as we can. And then a few outsiders to just mix it up a little bit, but it’s going great. So, everybody’s real excited just to get out and play, I think, more than anything.
Brent Hanifl 03:49
So, people can pick up single or weekend tickets, or even one with accommodations, so people can stay at the campground?
Gregg “Cheech” Hall 05:53
Basically, if you want to stay at Bluebird you can go online right now and get your spot. We don’t have tickets that include the camping. If you want to camp just go on bluebirdcampground.com and reserve your spot now. And then the day of, you can buy single tickets the day of at the door. We’re not selling those pre sale.
Brent Hanifl 06:15
So, if people want to find out more, what’s the best place to go to pick up tickets or check out the new announcements?
Gregg “Cheech” Hall 06:20
Cheechproductions.com is the only place for sale online. We’ll have them at Tree Huggers Co Op, Instrument Repair of La Crosse, The Garden of Eden, and then a couple other spots in town. Deaf Ear Records is usually our number one spot to buy all of our Deece Production’s tickets for all the shows we usually have coming out. They’re always a big help.
Amy Gabay 06:48
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La Crosse Local is an arts, food, and entertainment podcast and publication for La Crosse County and its surrounding communities.
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