Over the past 15 years, Pickathon has honed itself into one of the country’s most idiosyncratic and celebrated music festivals. With a verdant farm and forest setting (putting the Happy in Happy Valley), it now offers an unbeatably eclectic musical lineup and all of the civilized things other festivals lack: space to camp and roam, good food, art and crannies to explore, Port-a-Potties aplenty, family activies, and on and on. With a bump in ticket price this year, they reined in attendance even more, and the result was downright luxurious: almost always a spot to sit and great view lines to any show but the smaller stages (with the exception of the film crews working to turn Pickathon into a streaming online event or make a documentary about Andrew Bird).

But, of course, the focal point is the music. Whether seeing headliners like Feist and Bird get intimate on the Woods Stage or discovering new acts like the dance-inducing, sartorial gospel kings the Relatives, there were aural gems practically growing from trees. Here were a few of our favorites:

Feist’s stripped down acoustic performance in the forest chapel that is the Woods Stage—her first solo performance in seven years, she said—was a trademark “only at Pickathon” experience. Which is to say: magical and absolutely riveting. Her pianist and drummer joined her midway through, and she climbed onto the piano to sing “Limit to Your Love,” causing some audience members to weep. Serious. Also, sing-a-longs.
Image: Tim LaBarge