THE PARTY starts tonight.

The Nateva Music & Camping Festival will sprawl over the Oxford Fairgrounds over four days, drawing dozens of jam, indie and reggae bands and as many as 15,000 fans each day.

The big acts play Friday, Saturday and Sunday on a pair of twin stages set up side by side. Sets will alternate on each stage from before noon until midnight daily, and secondary stages in the camping area will host dozens of other acts into early-evening hours.

The Portland band Gypsy Tailwind begins everything today, with a one-hour set beginning at 6:45 p.m. at the Port City Music Hall stage, away from the main concert area. Two other bands play tonight: Lettuce at 8 p.m. and Lotus at 9:30 p.m. But tonight’s warm-up is just a tease.

Friday’s lineup includes Jakob Dylan, Umphrey’s McGee and Keller Williams, and concludes with jam heroes moe.

On Saturday, it’s Rustic Overtones, She & Him, Drive-Truckers and the Flaming Lips.

Sunday’s headliner is Furthur, with Bob Weir and Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead holding court. Furthur is scheduled for four hours and two sets, beginning at 8 p.m. The weekend’s largest crowds are expected for Furthur, which is playing a deep catalog of Dead songs.

Nationally, Nateva is being portrayed as a top summer festival and a destination for fans from across the Northeast and beyond. It’s received favorable advance press in Boston and in national magazines such as Rolling Stone.

Weekend passes are available, as are single-day tickets. On-site camping is sold out, topping out at about 5,000 campers. Remote camping, about three miles away at Oxford Plains Speedway, is available.


Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

[email protected]