SHAKER MOUNTAIN YEAR 2: A PARTY IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
Shaker Mountain is a small yearly gathering in the woods of upstate New York, held for 48 hours in upstate New York on the border of Massachusetts in the picturesque Taconic mountain range, Shaker Mountain welcomes New York’s best DJ’s and producers. The weekend party is a nature-minded, music-driven party on a secluded mountaintop, created by Nikki Cohen of This Place and Andrew Giugno behind Low Res NY and The Level Party. We asked them a few questions.
Where did the idea to throw Shaker Mountain come from and how would you both describe it if someone asked who was thinking about going?
Nikki: I’ve spent the last few summers in Stockholm and have attended a lot of open air parties in the woods during these trips. I’ve always wondered if it was possible to find an outdoor, secluded place in nature for New Yorkers to party in. When I stumbled across this crazy mountain facility i knew I’d be able to put these two things together. Then I met Andrew at a party and it just became obvious we could make it happen if we put our ideas together.
For someone thinking about going? You should! Shaker Mountain is a small gathering of like minded people with good taste in music and friends in the middle of nowhere. Come see it for yourselves.
Andrew: It’s a very communal space and last really proved this. It essentially started last year with our two friend groups coming together, which grew into something so much bigger beyond the actual party. We are excited for more people to experience this in year 2.
Everyone's got a back-story in the city, what's yours? How did each of you get started in the community?
N: I’ve had a huge private backyard in my last two apartments in North BK, which is where I first started throwing parties. We’d set up turntables and a PA, and friends could jump on, and/or spend a Sunday hanging out. I didn’t realize how lucky I was at the time to have the space, and mostly chill neighbors. Since then, I’ve been working in event production and throwing the occasional thing when I find the right space to do them in.
A: For me it started about 5 years ago at The Level Party with Andew Devlin, throwing parties in the basement of Bizarre Bushwick. From there it blossomed into running underground warehouse parties by ourselves. My role was largely behind the scenes and behind the lights, which grew into Low Res. From there it spawned Shaker Mtn and my new party Conduit.
How do you guys split tasks for the festival leading up to the event and during?
N: This one is pretty easy for us. We both have complimentary but different skill sets so it makes task division obvious.
Andrew does the lights as Low Res, i do most of the event planning & logistics, and together we work on artist bookings, production, aesthetic/design related stuff and ticketing. All of this would not be possible without our regular pastrami salmon “#1” bagel meetings at Frankels.
Andrew, what's Low-Res involvement in the Shaker Mountain weekender?
It’s largely an aesthetic involvement from lighting to overall feel of the party with input from Nikki on the beautification of the space. It’s really the stuff that happens on the stage and also hidden in the woods for you to discover.
How do you two both approach the lineup when programming Shaker Mountain?
N: Our musical tastes are pretty aligned, and while it is mostly anchored in house music, we want Shaker Mountain to be musically diverse.
A: Year 1 started with a very jazzy house center, radiating out with artists who moved a little further, from techno to straight party vibes.
For year 2, We are trying to keep what worked for us last year while also adding artists a bit out of the norm and less well known. It’s just as much about music discovery as it is about recognizing a few names on the bill. We want it to be an inclusive, fun party, with an accessible lineup for people who might not be so involved in a particular scene or take themselves too seriously.
What are some of your favorite hallmarks of the Shaker location? How did you choose where to hold the weekend?
N: Shaker Mountain would not exist without the location it takes place in. The name comes from the location being one of the first Shaker Communities on the east coast. The Shaker Museum is 5 mins down the road, and the people who run the location live on a campus below the mountain that is also a Shaker property. It’s super strange and special, and you feel that as soon as you reach the mountain top. Fave hallmarks are the overlook bridge where you’ll watch the sunsets of your dreams, and the 10 foot wind chime if u need to zone out.
This year the festival has started pulling artists from Montreal, what type of relationship are you hoping to build with your Canadian cousin?
N: We want this party to be a place where you meet new people. Given its proximity to Montreal, it makes sense to book Canadian artists and have Canadians cross the border to attend. It’s as international as a small event like us can be and we are super happy to form a community with the friends we already have up there.
A: We wanted to include some of our fav DJs north of over the border and given that it’s not always easy for them to come all the way to NYC, this was an obvious decision. We also want our BK friends to realize there is music beyond the 5 boroughs.
Any inside info or things you would like to announce?
N: Not yet
A: Stay tuned. Sign up for our email list.
Shaker Moutain will be from June 8-10, 2018 in Lebanon, Springs, NY.
While waiting, you can join the Shaker Moutain Party Saturday at Black Flamingo