Otis attracts UVM students

Anya Kauffman, Staff Writer

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Among the abundance of beanies and flannels was a large group of UVM students able to put their affinity for the outdoors to good use.

Attendees made their way up the mountains in Elizabethtown, New York to set up their camping gear.

(Image courtesy of Benjamin Collins) Students stand in front of the stage at the annual Otis Mountain Get Down, Sept. 7. The festival, which has been happening since 2012, takes place in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York.

On Sept. 6 to 8, students from surrounding colleges as well as local families gathered at Otis Mountain Get Down Music Festival, for a weekend of dancing and camping in the Adirondacks in upstate New York.

Besides the tents, there was an assorted collection of hammock and tapestry configurations. These unique displays  guided students like the North Star on their way back from concerts late at night. 

Cell service ceased to exist, so time was nothing but a construct at this festival. More often than not, phones were abandoned in tents for the day.

Attendees frolicked in the grass, danced in the downpour of rain and threw themselves into  raging mosh pits. 

“I thought it was so fun to just walk around and be like ‘does anyone know what time it is?’” sophomore Eva Mazura said.

There were a variety of music groups performing at Otis including 99 Neighbors, Goth Babe, Ric Wilson and Habibi. 

Mazura said these were among some of her favorite performances.

With such a range of listeners and performers, the crowd was diverse and accepting. At one point on Saturday, a voice rang out from the loud speaker stressing the importance of sexual consent. 

Due to the accepting nature of Otis, festival-goers felt free to let loose sophomore Hannah Wong said. 

“No pressure to act, wear a certain thing, or be into a certain type of music.” Wong said.

The personalities of attenees shone through their attire. Mazura saw someone wearing a bee suit, while junior Ben Levy saw a lot of great onesies being sported. 

“It was very wholesome,” Wong said.

Sustainability was also a value at Otis. Refilling reusable water bottles was encouraged, and  recycling and compost repositories were also easily accessible.

Up a hilltop sat a telephone booth where attendees could leave a recorded message for future Otis inhabitants and listen to past artist’s messages.

Wong appreciated that Otis brings together a unique collection of outdoorsy folk as well as music fans.

Other amenities included a variety of food trucks. One served fresh sushi and another served wood-fired pizza. There was a wide selection of workshops, morning yoga classes, craft-making and even an informal limbo competition.

Suffice to say that those from UVM who attended Otis this year brought back good spirits to campus. 

“It’s definitely a good timed activity, because it’s right at the start of the year — puts everyone in a pretty solid mood,” Levy said. “Overall it was just a good ol’ time.”