The Meltasia Festival, which happens between Friday, September 8 and Sunday, September 10, offers much to differentiate itself from ordinary music festivals: B-movies, a haunted mansion, wiffleball games, pool parties and goats, to name a few. For some reason, however, I just can’t get past the first entry on this year’s roster of musical acts: Roky Ericson. The name jumps right off the poster with it sheer improbability. A vastly important underground legend of American Outsider music and acid-fueled Texas garage rock, the 13th Floor Elevators frontman Erickson also makes for one of the most unlikely comeback stories in the history of rock. No one can accurately describe the places from which he has come back.
The Meltasia lineup stays strong and surprising quite a ways down the page, including Wu Tang survivor Raekwon and British skiffle revivalists Mungo Jerry, best known for their megahit “In the Summertime.” Further down the page we find the Craig Brown Band, the solo project of Liquor Store guitarist Brown, now signed to Jack White’s Detroitcentric Third Man Records. For good campy measure, Meltasia is hosted by Pete & Pete + Randee of the Redwoods.
Last year, Meltasia was held in the high-concept setting of the long-abandoned Catskill Game Farm. Great in theory, but this year they’ve upgraded the digs to the Blackthorne Resort in East Durham. Ticketing options start at $40 and include one- and two-day passes, as well as several tiers of luxury and lodging. For a complete lineup, tickets, lodging options and a lot of pretty wild imagery and rhetoric, visit www.meltasia.com. The Blackthorne Resort is located at 348 Sunside Road in East Durham.