The Dave Matthews Band revealed the final two Caravan festival sites and dates today: New York City's Governors Island August 26-28, and the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Wash., Sept. 2-4.
As with the previously announced events in New Jersey and Chicago, the Caravans are full-blown festivals with diverse lineups and three nights of DMB headlining, their only shows this year.
In addition to DMB, the Governors Island show will include Dispatch, the Roots, Gogol Bordello, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, the Head and the Heart, Vieux Farka Toure, David Wax Museum, and others TBA.
An online presale for this event will be offered Monday for DMB Warehouse Fan Association members at http://www.warehouse.davematthewsband.com/.
The Gorge dates will mark Dave Matthews Band's only West Coast performances of 2011. The group has a long history at the venue, having headlined 37 shows at the Gorge since 1997. In addition to Dave Matthews Band, the lineup for the Gorge will include Dispatch, the Roots, John Butler Trio, Gogol Bordello, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band, Blind Pilot, the Belle Brigade, the Moondoggies, Lindsay Fuller and others TBA. The DMB Warehouse Fan Association presale will begin April 28.
As DMB announced they would be taking 2011 off from touring, the Caravan festivals are the only way fans will be able to catch the band live this year.
"The Dave Matthews Band, in looking at taking a year off, ultimately decided to do something creative in lieu of touring and felt like they had a unique opportunity put on something special for their fans," says DMB manager Coran Capshaw. "It's about mixing it up and offering something unique. There's an opportunity to do so much more here than with a normal concert."
The Caravans are part of a growing trend of bands hosting their own events. Phish, also managed by Capshaw, are the kings of the concept. The band's Super Ball IX in upstate New York July 4 weekend is "IX" because this will be the Phish's ninth band-staged event, a concept that Phish pioneered at the major league level beginning with the Clifford Ball in 1996 in Plattsburgh, N.Y. All of their mega-events have sold out with robust grosses typically in the millions of dollars.
Capshaw's Red Light Management, based in Charlottesville, Va., is a company with a wealth of assets that can aid artists in festival production. Phish, though, has been in the fest business on its own for years and has influenced the entire industry in this regard.
"Phish pioneered the concept of artist-themed festivals, which I think, along with the influence of the European festivals, helped pave the way for festivals like Bonnaroo and the vibrant festival environment we're seeing in this country now," says Capshaw, referring to the Bonnaroo Music & Arts fest in Manchester, Tenn., in which he is a partner.
The trend in artist-curated festivals will likely continue to grow, and the Bonnaroo site, now owned by the fest's producers, is positioned to host them. "Investments have been made in staging, electrical and other infrastructure to enable the Bonnaroo site to host artist-themed festivals and other events in the future," says Capshaw.