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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

MAYfest Returns to Hudson Valley – Music, Arts and Yoga Festival: Friday-Sunday, May 27-29 2016, at Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Spring, NY


When the first MAYfest was held this time last year in Cold Spring, it was the natural culmination of two longtime professional passions and a shared love of the Hudson Valley community. Dave Marzollo produces music festivals; Melia Marzollo directs a yoga studio. Their joint project—a family-friendly music, arts and yoga festival—was a great success, and it will return to Surprise Lake Camp May 27-29, 2016. 

“The idea for MAYfest came from many different facets of our life together,” Melia Marzollo says. “In our professional lives, Dave has been producing the Catskill Chill Music Festival for the past eight years and I have been directing SkyBaby Yoga Studio, so a combination of the two worlds, music and holistic, seemed inevitable. We love working together to create unique and positive experiences for people. In our personal lives, our children are the center of our world, and we wanted to create an event that you could take your family to and everyone would have a wonderful time. And finally, we had a strong desire to bring this type of offering to our hometown, because community is incredibly important to us.”

Stay the weekend or spend just one day. Cabins and camping are available on site.

While the name synchs with the festival’s timing, she says, MAYfest really stands for Music, Art and Yoga. By focusing on all three areas, the festival allows participants to customize their experience so they get the most out of it. MAYfesters can immerse themselves in their yoga practice, their love of music or their creative side, or any combination of the three. They can choose to spend all weekend there or just visit for one day. There are cabins to rent for lodging, as well as space for camping on site.

Red Baraat performing at MAYFest last year
Red Baraat performing at MAYFest last year
MAYfest’s online registration program allows festival goers to create a schedule from a wide variety of sessions such as yoga and fitness classes, health and wellness workshops, art classes and children’s activities. In between sessions, they can shop for local and handcrafted goods in Vendor Village and receive holistic services from healers in the festival’s wellness area. After the sun goes down, the main stage lights up and the party continues with locally and nationally touring musical acts.

Musical artists this year include Trevor Hall; Turkuaz, a unique collaboration between Pink Talking Fish and American Idol contestant Elise Testone; Ryan Montbleau; Gaura Vani; Ballroom Thieves; Will Evans; the Primate Fiasco; Mike & Ruthy; Funky Dawgz Brass Band; Hayley Jane & the Primates; Adam Bauer; Srikala; Tall County; and the Breakneck Boys.

The second annual MAYfest will see the return of yoga instructors Sadie Nardini and Marti Nikko, as well as a new addition to the festival, Elena Brower. “Sadie Nardini, one of 2015’s headline yoga instructors, will return as both an instructor and artist,” Marzollo says. “She will perform with her band, Salt & Bone, on Saturday, in addition to teaching two of her popular yoga classes.”

MAYfest brings in some of the most highly regarded yoga instructors in the industry, locally and nationally.

SkyBaby Yoga Studio’s own Restorative Rhythms Ensemble will be on hand to teach while performing sound-healing music to students participating in their restorative yoga workshop—and that isn’t the only such collaboration planned. John Smrtic will lead a yoga class while Ryan Montbleau performs live music from the Grateful Dead, Justin Wolfer will be accompanied by live drumming, and Taraleigh Weathers will host a Blind Folded Dance Party with Funky Dawgz Brass Band.

Marzollo says MAYfest brings in some of the most highly regarded yoga instructors in the industry, locally and nationally. This year’s list also includes Raghunath, Sondra Loring, Julian Paik, Kelly Kamm, Meg Allen, Katie Collins, Ellen Forman and Linda Winnick, among others.

Again this year, MAYfest’s arts and creative events are made possible by a partnership with the nonprofit Garrison Art Center. Throughout the event, GAC artists will be teaching adult and children’s arts classes, giving MAYfesters a break from the more physical activities. Cathy Curto, Christina DiMarco, Emmett McLaughlin, Helen Michelsen, Jaanika Peekna, Justin Catania, Melissa Schlobohm and Tracy Strong are among the participating teachers. Robert Sturman, a renowned yoga photographer, will lead workshops in which attendees will learn to be both behind and in front of the lens.

In just a year, this homegrown Hudson Valley festival has already become a community gathering place for all ages, Marzollo says. “Think of it as place where everyone gets to go back to camp with the most amazing ‘counselors’ in the industry,” she says.

Tickets are available for the entire weekend, for a single day or for music only. Admission is discounted for children under 12 and free for children under 5 with an adult. In partnership with the Veterans Yoga Project, MAYfest offers a 20 percent discount to veterans. Parents can purchase tickets for children 5 and up to attend a supervised evening movie at the Kids’ Canteen while the parents attend the concert. For tickets and more information, visit or