Forming in Annapolis, Maryland, Bumpin Uglies is a four-man band rooting in East Coast SKA/Punk/Reggae genre.With several albums, including their newest album, Buzz, their music has been rising to the top of the charts.
Performing with bands such as Ballyhoo! and Tropidelic, the Bumpin Uglies fan-base family has grown tremendously over the years. In November of 2013, they created a Facebook group called Uglies Nation, where a little over 10,300 members are able to interact with other fans and the band members. Not only are there exclusive contests and giveaways, Brandon Hardesty, Lead Vocals/Guitar of Bumpin Uglies, does live streams. The group has grown with the band. In Uglies Nation, you are not just a fan but a part of the family.
Dawn Gialelis, their promoting and marketing agent, plays a huge role in the Uglies Nation and in the bands lives. Not only does she monitor Uglies Nation, she puts out the exclusive contests and giveaways that us fans absolutely love.
“We couldn’t do any of this without the awesome fans of Uglies Nation.”Dawn Gialelis, Marketing/Promoting Agent
By that being said, that just shows how much they truly love their fans.
After years of shows and creating music, Bumpin Uglies hosted their very own music festival called Weekend at Wolfie’s. This festival took place June 13th – June 15th in the mountains of Bedford, PA at the Fort Royale Farm.
After months of planning and excitement, it was finally here. We brought a couple friends, Wolfie’s being their first festival and first time seeing Bumpin Uglies live. By Monday, we kept telling ourselves we only had a couple more work days until we were off. Before we knew it, Wednesday night rolls around and we began loading up the cars.
The next morning, the sun began to rise and we were ready for the day. We got in our cars and began our adventure. With a 3 hour drive ahead of us, we wanted to get there by the time gates opened at noon. After driving for a while, we reached the Pittsburgh Turnpike which felt like we were on forever. After driving several miles, we finally reached the Allegheny Mountains.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by Bumpin Uglies very own, Chad Wright. Once we reached the ticket booth area, Bumpin Uglies, Wolfie, greeted and checked us in. After being checked it, we drove up a steep hill that lead to the camping area.
We were camping with our group of friends, some of which we already knew, some we have yet to meet. The thing about a music festival such as Wolfie’s is, you meet people who were once strangers, and by the end of the festival, they become family. It is the most incredible feeling meeting people for the first time and becoming great friends with them.
Most people name their camps and our camp was known as “Camp Conscious Coyotes” or “Bullshit Blvd.” Once we reached our campsite, we were full of excitement and quickly unpacked the cars to set up. After setting up, we met some of the people we were camping with, being such a blessing because we are now friends.
We went out exploring, looking for those we already knew. We found some of our friends who were camping in the RV section. These people were incredible. It’s crazy how you feel so connected to someone you just met, because you have a lot in common. The love for the music being the most important.
After exploring the grounds of Fort Royale Farm, we made our way to the stage area. At the stage area, vendors who sold not only great quality products but handmade products as well, were set up. Bands were in the process of getting their Merch tables ready for the four day weekend we had ahead of us. There was a Bear Care First Aid tent for emergencies of all kinds and a Kids Zone specifically for those who brought their families with them. The Kids Zone was ran by Stephanie Rogers, who also was hosting the Potluck Dinner Thursday afternoon. Stephanie put together a big potluck dinner where everyone pulled together and brought a dish, to get to know one another while also spending time chatting up with the band members.
The potluck was held at David Walbert’s RV camp site, where some of our friends were camped at. As 3:00 rolled around, it was about time for the potluck dinner. We began preparing for the Potluck dinner when it just began to downpour and storm. Trying to run for cover, we all huddled together underneath the canopy to avoid the rain and strong gusts of wind that quickly took over the sunlit sky.
About 5-10 minutes later, the storm slowed down into a steady shower. We went back to camp to check on everything. When arriving back at the potluck, there were a lot more people who showed up. It is such a great feeling knowing that everyone pulled together to have such a great dinner the first night there. Not even rain could stop this family reunion!
By the time everyone was done eating, it was time for Thursday’s lineup. This consisted of Saltwater Slide, Green Knuckle Material, Chad Wrong (Bumpin Uglies one and only, Chad Wright), Bumpin Uglies, and Humandala. Each of which, put on great performances.
After a long day of traveling, walking, dancing, and hanging out with everyone, we made our way back to camp for the night.
The following morning, I woke up to the sound of my friend Shealyn’s voice as she walked up to our camp. She and our friend Kassy were on their way to Ragamaru: LITZ Family Ball, when they decided they had to stop and see their Bullshit Blvd. family. I quickly got my shoes on and ran out to greet them both with the biggest hugs. Although some of were celebrating different festivals that weekend, we all still were connected. We decided to cook a big breakfast while we all gathered around to celebrate the love and friendship we all shared. After breakfast, Shea and Kassy were on their way to Ragamaru.
Friday’s lineup started at 11:00 A.M. Consisting of some of my favorite bands such as Joint Operation, Oogee Wawa and Tropidelic, there were so many other great bands that I discovered such as The Harbor Boys, P-Funk North, Audic Empire, and many more!
Although I was already a fan of Joint Operation, it was my fiance and I’s first time seeing the guys live. My friend Ed Bell, who is very close with the band, introduced me to a couple of the guys before they hit the stage. When JO took the stage, I was awestruck because they were even better live.
As a beginning photographer, I had the opportunity to get some great shots of the bands performed. This was like a dream come true for me. I have always had the passion for photography and getting the opportunity to photograph my favorite bands, made me so happy.
As Audic Empire performed I noticed Jesse and the other guys from Oogee Wawa standing in the crowd. My friend Sammy and I went up and sparked up a conversation with them. With it being his first festival and first time hearing the bands, he wanted to meet them, getting the whole festival experience.
During Oogee Wawa’s set, members of all the bands collaborated in doing a cypher, leaving the crowd roaring in excitement. Singers such as Ray Wroten and Vana Liya performed solo sets between the bigger sets, keeping the crowd smiling and in tune with themselves.
After some epic performances by all the other bands, Tropidelic took the stage. If anyone knows me, they know how much of a Tropi-holic I am. The vibes and energy released from the guys is incredible. As they performed, I went back stage with a couple other photographers and was able to photograph them from different view points. As they were performing, Roads look over at me, and nodded. My heart was full. Knowing that these bands were more than just a band who we go see. They are our friends and family.
Half way through their set, I put my camera away and ran to join the rest of the crowd. Would it really be a Tropidelic show if I weren’t front and center screaming for the guys who stood in front of me rocking out?
Right after Trop was done performing, there was a wrestling match between El Sex and The Ambrosia brothers. As everyone gathered around to watch this epic battle, Derek of Tropidelic, planted a smooch on one of the twins, while the other twin was leading his team to victory.
Soon after, Bumpin Uglies took the stage, performing two different sets. One being the Sublime With No One. Putting on breath taking performances as always, left the crowd wanting more. YAM YAM finished the night off, leading us into the next morning.
After awhile, we decided to go back to our camp and meet our friends. At our campsite, we created a “glow stick fire” since we were not allowed to have individual fires at our campsites. We all gathered around our little “fire” laughing, singing, and sharing stories that will never be forgotten.
Soon after, The Uglies held a Kickball Tournament in the upper field near the RV Camping. Brandon and TJ, picked their teammates one-by-one. After the teams were formed, the game had begun. As I watched my fiance, my friends, and members of the band that I loved, play kickball before my eyes, it made me realize that this is life. Little things like this is what makes everyone come together as a family and have an amazing time. It was a close game, although TJ’s team being the winners.
Following the kickball tournament, Stationary Pebbles took the stage. Bands such as The Grilled Lincolns, Joey Harkum, and People’s Blues Of Richmond performed right after. Leading into another great night of Bumpin Uglies.
Weekend at Wolfie’s was a festival of memories! I can’t wait for next year!
I had the opportunity to ask Brandon some questions regarding the band, their music, and the success of Weekend at Wolfie’s.
How did Bumpin Uglies form? When and Where?
“Bumpin Uglies started in an Annapolis basement in the summer of 2008. It was initally a bunch of friends jamming and playing ping-pong. Somewhere in 2009, we got our act together and started playing some shows in the bars of Annapolis. 10 years and many line-up changes later, we’re on the road about half the year with the other half of the year spent writing and recording.“– Brandon Hardesty, Bumpin Uglies
What and Whom is your biggest inspiration?
“Depends on the day. Sublime was the bigger influence for our initial. Lyrically, I’ve always dug Johnny Cash, Connor Oberst, and other singer-songwriters.”– Brandon Hardesty, Bumpin Uglies
What made you choose to go with the SKA-Reggae genre?
“We like playing it. We play a bunch of other styles of music that we like playing as ell. We try not to pigeon hole ourselves with one genre. If we like doing it and we’re capable of doing it, we do it.”– Brandon Hardesty, Bumpin Uglies
What is your overall goal of creating music?
“To make dope music on our own terms and to make a living doing it.”– Brandon Hardesty, Bumpin Uglies
How do you feel about the successful turnout of Wolfie’s?
“Overwhelmed and humbled. Already thinking about next year. We collectively agree that it was one of the most beautiful experiences of our lives.”– Brandon Hardesty, Bumpin Uglies
Is there anything you would want to change for next year?
“We wanna get shuttles running from the stage to campgrounds. A little more lighting around the grounds. A few other small changes like that.”
What makes Weekend at Wolfie’s stand out from other music festivals?
“Uglies Nation. Our fans are a unique entity and they provided the vibe for the fest. There’s nothing else like it.”– Brandon Hardesty, Bumpin Uglies
What is your overall goal for Wolfie’s?
“Provide a great weekend of music for our fans. Wanna make it an adult playground where people can safely have fun while also keeping it wholesome and appropriate for families and children.”– Brandon Hardesty, Bumpin Uglies
What was your favorite thing about the festival?
“I had alot of fun during the kickball game. I’m super competitive so that kind of stuff is right up my alley.”– Brandon Hardesty, Bumpin Uglies