click to enlarge Waking Windows
- File: Luke Awtry Photography
- Rough Francis at Waking Windows in 2018
, the annual music and arts festival in Winooski, will not return in its usual form this year. In a statement released on Wednesday, festival organizers announced that, due to a variety of factors, they wouldn't be able to plan and stage the massive endeavor.
Since its founding in 2011, Waking Windows has taken place in May in locations throughout downtown Winooski. The festival featured 176 performers in 2019. It returned from a two-year pandemic hiatus last year, belatedly celebrating its 10th anniversary with 103 acts.
"Waking Windows has always been a labor of love," the organizers' joint statement read. "As the festival has grown and changed, so have the five of us, and over the course of the last 12 months, there have been some pretty seismic changes that have taken place in our lives."
click to enlarge
- Luke Awtry ©️ Seven Days
- Matt Rogers DJing at the Mule Bar during Waking Windows in 2022
Organizers Paddy Reagan
, Nick Mavadones
and Brian Nagle
, and Matt Rogers
, have all either taken on new jobs recently or welcomed new babies to their families — or, in some cases, both.
Between those personal developments and the typical stress that arises every year from putting on a music festival on a shoestring budget, they came to the conclusion that mounting a full festival this year had become "an insurmountable task."
click to enlarge
- Brian Jenkins Photography
- Waking Windows
The organizers are still planning on "throwing some kind of party in early May," but stated that whatever it is, it will look very different from past Waking Windows.
"We have to be realistic with our fans and ourselves and don't want to let either down after so many years of building this amazing community and event," the statement continued. "It's very bittersweet!"
As for next year and the future of Waking Windows in general, the crew is clear: They just don't know yet.
"In the meantime, you'll still be able to catch Brian deejaying around town, Ali at the Monkey House
, Paddy at a Paper Castles
show, see Nick behind the box at one of our DIY events," the statement read. "And with any luck, you'll get a chance to catch Matt doing a classic Johnny Miami set somewhere someday."