HOBOFEST 2011 is the 3rd annual, all-day free music event with the themes of railroads, the hobo-lifestyle, and economic depressions. We present the concept in celebration of the volunteer, appreciating the unappreciated, recognizing the overlooked.

Sunday, September 4th, HoboFest starts with the arrival of the first train in Saranac Lake at 11:45am. Organized by Seward's Folly Productions + Api design and hosted by 7444 Gallery at 28 Depot Street, HoboFest will continue well into the evening. Chef Andrew Chase of the Culinary Institute of America will be serving a reasonable price plate for both Lunch and Dinner, see menu. Please also bring lawn chairs or blankets for lounging while listening to a line up of music.

This year we will introduce the Carhartt Fashion Show. Attendees are encouraged to assemble their best ensemble of new and vintage wear that expresses the style and look of the Carhartt lifestyle. The show will be judged and prizes awarded.

The mix of imported and local acts Bring your instruments and a Hobo song and jamb in the crowd in between sets.

"The idea of HoboFest was born when I heard local Saranac Lake’er Danny Ryan read his story about attending the National Hobo Convention in Iowa," says organizer Peter Seward. Danny will present his latest work at Hobofest. While not a Hobo himself, Danny does not own a car and journeys out of the region hitchhiking with his "not a weirdo" sign.

HoboFest embraces the railroad as a dormant resource in our remote mountain location. While the Scenic Railroad services mostly out-of-towners visiting Lake Placid, Hobofest hopes to attract the local population of Saranac Lake to the train and the area around Depot Street. We also hope to establish an event that is truly a grassroots effort, with community cooperation, and not much overhead. Admission is free.



11:45 am – Fanfare

NOON -- Steve Langdon

(train 11:45 – 12:30)

12:30 pm -- DUSTBUNNIES

1:00 pm -- Brian Dewan

1:15 pm -- Kurt Stager & Kary Johnson

Introducing MC Bob Seidenstein

1:45 pm -- BIG SLYDE


(train 2:45-3:30)

3:45 pm -- CRACKIN FOXY


4:45 pm -- BARN CATS




(train 5:30 - 6:15)

Introducing MC Pat MacAvoy

6:30 pm -- Meadow

6:45 pm -- BLIND OWL BAND

7:30 pm -- Rafe Spada & Jeff

7:45 pm -- FRANKENPINE

8:45 pm -- Shaun Ondak & Matthew Chase

9:00 pm -- MONSTERBUCK

Food by Andrew Chase:

Lunch (12:00-3:00)

New York cheddar-beer soup

Pulled pork sandwiches

Grilled zucchini eggplant sandwiches with pesto and mozz

Warm bacon potato salad

Pasta salad

Double choc cookies, ginger cookies

Dinner (5:00-8:00)

Chili with bread

Bratwurst with sauerkraut

Grilled Seasonal vegetable kebab with hummus

Pasta salad

Double choc cookies/ginger cookies

Hot chocolate

** Waters, Coffee, and General Provisions will be available.

In praise of HoboFest:

"Hobo Fest was as down home as Saranac Lake. The venue was idylic and the music and performers were as outstanding as our little village. Which is to say the whole thing kicked ass!" –Jason Brill

John Cohen and I were pleased to be among the fresh and lively group of performers at the first Hobofest in Saranac Lake in 2009. The opportunity to offer the music of the New Lost City Ramblers and Hally Wood as well as several railroading tunes from the period when the railroads were being constructed in North America was most welcome and the audience responded enthusiastically to the authentic sounds. Songs such as "Ruby" by Cousin Emmy, "Frankie Silver" by The Stanley Brothers, the railroading classic "Jay Gould's Daughter" are rarely heard and Hobofest is the perfect venue to keep this valuable music alive. -Annabel Lee

"From a musician's point of view Hobofest 2009 was a grassroots community event at its best -- well organized and promoted, attracted crowds of people of all ages, involved collaboration and support from local businesses, fantastic music and performances, and lots of smiles all day long. All of this, and a raising of awareness for an Adirondack cultural icon -- the train running from community to community." –Christina Grant (Big Slyde)

Hobofest was a fantastical merry-go-round of talent and entertainment. It smoothly showcased amazing, eclectic talent, and brought the community together in a sea of positively. It was such a delight to be a part of. –Mike Portal (big slyde)

The Hobofest was the right thing at the right time in the right place. It was totally a community effort, and accessible to all. Although it was strictly informal & casual, the focus on the music and on the place was significant. In one simple move, joining the spirit of old railroad with the beautiful landscape, and with local artists. while the music retained a handmade, accessible quality. All these good features kept the audience in good spirits. It was memorable to have so many forces converge at this festival. music, local history, community, and joy. Looking forward and backward are gracefully joined at Hobofest. –John Cohen

Hobofest is fun for everyone, and don't cost nothin'. In this era of fancy electronic entertainments, Hobofest demonstrates that all you need to have fun is a block of wood with a nail sticking out of it, and you can pretend it's your own private sailboat. –Brian Dewan

Even the world’s biggest bindle stick couldn’t contain the amount of fun we had at Hobofest 2009. Great musicians, great crowd, great scene. And where else can a person flatten a penny on the tracks, square dance barefoot in the grass, sneak off for a dip in the lake and come back for a burger and a few hours of the rootsiest music in the time zone? If it were up to us in Frankenpine, we’d play Hobofest once a month. –Ned Rauch

Last summer’s Hobo Festival was made of happy choices, both in tone and scale.

While it had plenty of spirit, it wasn’t Loud with a big L. The tone was relaxed and inviting; the T-shirts well designed and fun (not “laugh-on-Command”) so you would want to wear them time and time again.

The venue was totally appropriate: visitors actually “heard the whistle blow” and had a train stop in their midst!

The music: many of the musicians were local talent (another plus!), and performed on a cleverly improvised, wooden deck attached to a neighboring building instead of on a metal-tubing stage monstrosity. Amplification was hardly needed; the grassy space being flanked by the railroad station and other buildings.

The experience was one of a good, old-fashioned fair, on the scale of the small Adirondack town we all share, and reminded me of the very early Bennington (VT.) craft fairs of the early 1960s.

Hopefully this “Hobo Train” will pass our way again! -Will Tissot