Midnight Sun music festival brings mind-bending music to John and Peters

Mike Kiker of St. James & the Apostles

Mike Kiker of St. James & the Apostles

The 2015 Midnight Sun Music Festival being held at John And Peters in New Hope on June 5 and 6 is being billed by promoters as “two days of nothing but mind-bending music” that brings the region’s best psychedelic sounds to New Hope at a price that’s worth the trip.

The brainchild of lead band St. James & the Apostles and John and Peter’s producer Cheyenne Justine Courtois, the two-night festival features ten acts — five each night — for a $10 cover per night. A mind-blowing price point for fresh, live music along the lines of “Animals meets Queens of Stone Age,” as Courtois puts it.

Said Mike Kiker, who performs organ, pianet, bass pedals, and vocals for St. James & the Apostles, “Our first show at John and Peter’s was more than a year and a half ago. Every time we play New Hope, there’s been nothing but goodwill. We and the other bands want to bring a new spin to the psychedelic genre, plus spread the goodwill around a little.”

And that spin for the Philadelphia-based St. James & the Apostles is decidedly on the blues/soul side, led by Kiker’s retro keyboards.

“Psychedelic music has gotten a kind of stigma lately,” observed Kiker. “Like because it’s psychedelic, it must be all fuzz pedals, and ‘wa-wa-wa,’ and hippie-dippie — but we’re on the heavier side, and a good amount of the bands on the bill are heavier-type bands.”

posterSo, how did such heavy dudes come up with the idea for a psychedelic festival? “It started with Jamie (James Mahon – guitar, vocals), said Kiker. “It has a lot to do with putting some of the newer bands in front of the right crowd, and we appreciate John & Peter’s for providing for that kind of thing.”

Kiker is also quick to point out that while the groups have gathered under the ‘psychedelic’ banner, many defy traditional definitions of the genre.

“For example, the Orange Drop is more ‘psychedelic pop’ reminiscent of early Pink Floyd, while Ruby the Hatchet is more ‘stoner metal,’ more Black Sabbath,” explained Kiker. “These days, ‘psychedelic’ means a lot more than it used to.”

Sounds like a wild ride, and the price is right. Check out the Midnight Sun official YouTube playlist, or try the links below to sample the tuneage. Doors open at 7 p.m. on June 5 and 6, with bands hitting the stage by 8:30 p.m.

There’s a $10 cover each night; 21 and older only, por favor. John & Peter’s is located at 96 S. Main St. in beautiful downtown New Hope.

The lineup:

Friday, June 5
St. James & The Apostles
Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells
The Orange Drop


Saturday, June 6
Ruby the Hatchet
Sun Voyager
Heavy Temple

VISUALS by Boss Battle.

About the author

Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein


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