Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Jackie Greene & More Rock Out At 4 Peaks Music Festival [Review/Gallery]

first_imgIt’s hard to imagine a festival more friendly and intimate than the 4 Peaks Music Festival. Located a few miles outside of Bend, Oregon, 4 Peaks has been in business for nine years and, while growing very modestly, hasn’t lost its relaxed and welcoming vibe.The kid friendly nature of this event has obviously been embraced by parents around the region, as witnessed by the large number of kids enjoying and adding to the weekend’s events. A large area was designated the kid’s zone, where youngsters were encouraged to play instruments, juggle, make bubbles, and otherwise entertain themselves and others. Indeed, games for kids and adults, along with the small size of the festival, where a large percentage of faces in the crowd became familiar over the course of the weekend, gives 4 Peaks the feel of a nice backyard party when compared to a lot of other, bigger festivals.You could be camped in the far corner of the festival grounds, and it was still only a five-minute walk to get back to your spot. Musical acts switched back and forth between the main stage and the tented side stage, making for a natural flow back and forth and no musical downtime. Honey Don’t and the Student Loan String Band provided entertainment on Thursday for those arriving early for the weekend.Rain arrived on Friday, coming down hard enough to put an end to the Jeff Austin Band set. The music for the rest of the day would be playing inside the tent. It can always be a letdown when bands don’t get to play their allotted slot, but such is life at an outdoor festival. And the more intimate side stage ensured that everyone was up close and personal to experience a scorching Jackie Greene Band performance. He confidently led his band through a set of originals and offered some well-received covers. The Grateful Dead’s “New Speedway Boogie” was especially ripping, and the “Shakedown Street” > “Another Brick In The Wall” > Shakedown Street” extended more than a few jaws to the floor.After an encore of “Jack Straw” and the Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down,” the stage was quickly reformatted to allow Poor Man’s Whiskey to jam into the night. This set was dominated by cover songs and special guests. Poor Man’s Whiskey is well-known for applying their high octane bluegrass style to popular albums, including Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon and, more recently, Paul Simon’s Graceland. They pulled from those two albums, and played numerous other rock, pop, and Americana songs with a seemingly endless stream of guests, which helped attendees forget all about the rain.On Saturday, as the skies slowly cleared, fans shed layers of clothes and soaked up stretches of sunshine. Early on, the main stage remained empty and sets were played on the side stage in the tent.Saturday featured an eclectic array of music that melded together nicely and included something for everyone. From Jellybread’s funky opening set that got bodies warmed up early in the day, to the all-female Della Mae offering soothing yet springy acoustic music that featured strong original compositions along with a choice Dolly Parton cover. Rabbit Wilde stared off on the mellow side but built in energy until dancers of all ages were getting down and stompin’ it out. Blues guitar legend Robben Ford, who has collaborated with Miles Davis, George Harrison and Joni Mitchell, offered up a strong set of driving blues numbers with his power trio.World’s Finest plays infections reggae-infused string music, and they had fans in the tent feeling the groove. Poor Man’s Whiskey has been a staple at 4 Peaks since the beginning, and fans showed their appreciation during their main stage set. Grant Farm, led by National Flatpicking Guitar Champion Tyler Grant, delivered a well-received set of their “Cosmic Americana.”Folks were excited all weekend for the Chris Robinson Brotherhood headlining set on Saturday, and they were not disappointed. There was a bit of a chill in the air but no sign of rain as the band took the stage. Although it’s getting rarer as this band continues to tour and make albums, there are still fans who assume they will get a show heavy with Black Crowes tunes, or even a nostalgia act. What they get instead is a set of highly original psychedelic rock n’ roll from a band that is clearly having fun and connecting with their audience. CRB staples like “Narcissus Soaking Wet” and “Beggar’s Moon” were accompanied by new songs such as “California Hymn.” A closing “Hard To Handle” had the entire crowd singing along.Portland darlings Crow and the Canyon had the honors of closing out Saturday’s side stage, and it was a solid celebration of American roots music. Much like the night before, special guests flowed to and from the stage. As glowing headphones started filtering into the crowd at the back of the tent (a silent disco and late-night movie were new additions to 4 Peaks this year), the band played on. It was apparent, whether you were listening to music from the stage or through the airwaves, that dancing and smiling had won the day.Sunday, after the last notes were played, festival organizer Stacy came out to thank everyone, and let people know that next year the festival would be held at a different location. Although the new location has yet to be determined, the family-friendly, neighborly vibe that organizers and fans have manifested going into their 10th year, is sure to remain intact.A full gallery of images from Greg Homolka Photography can be viewed below. Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Armenia’s virus battle crippled by disinformation

first_img“[The authorities] want to use their own people as experimental animals to test a vaccine,” said Khachatryan, who also believes the virus was created in a laboratory.The Armenian government has come under fire for responding too slowly to the pandemic, which has seen the country’s prime minister infected, quarantine rules ignored and hospitals overwhelmed.But critics also say authorities are failing to stamp out viral disinformation like Khachatryan’s posts that fuel the pandemic and undermine lockdown rules.”Quarantine didn’t work in Armenia,” virologist Nuneh Bakunts told AFP, because people believed disinformation online and didn’t “take the threat seriously.” Claims that the virus is a global conspiracy led by the US business magnate Bill Gates and that 5G telecommunication technology is being used to spread the infection are commonplace in the country.A recent investigation by the UK-based website openDemocracy found that controversial local news portal was spreading “incredibly dangerous” virus disinformation. ‘False rumors’ One article described vaccines currently being developed as “biological weapons” and warned Armenians against participating in vaccination programs.The post was viewed at least 131,000 times and had 28,000 Facebook likes — a huge number for a country of just three million people.Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who announced on his birthday on June 1 that he had tested positive for the virus, has admitted failings in his government’s response to the crisis.He conceded earlier this month that overwhelmed hospitals can no longer cope with the number of coronavirus patients and that people are dying due to a lack of intensive care beds.But he has placed blame for widespread quarantine violations on “false rumors that the pandemic is a fiction”.Armenians largely ignored a lockdown to contain the outbreak imposed in late March, with many continuing to gather in public without mandatory face masks.”Armenian media is full of false information about the coronavirus and that harms our fight against the pandemic,” government spokeswoman Mane Gegorgyan told AFP.Analysts said, however, that the government had also sent mixed messages and unclear guidelines to the public. ‘Dangerous disinformation'”Officials were calling for the wearing of face masks, but didn’t wear them themselves until recently,” analyst Samvel Martirosyan said.Adding to that, rights campaigner Zhanna Aleksanyan told AFP that the government’s response to false virus news had fallen short, and that it had “only recently engaged in a dialogue with the public about dangerous disinformation.”The Caucasus nation has seen new infections rapidly increase in recent weeks to a total 17,064 with 285 coronavirus deaths, while the situation looks set to further deteriorate.Pashinyan last week compared the pandemic to “hell” and said the real number of people infected could be as high as 100,000.Officials have scrapped the idea of reimposing the lockdown they lifted on May 4 citing frequent violations and they have yet to devise a strategy to tackle the disinformation that undermines anti-virus guidelines.The government “doesn’t have a recipe ready against this,” said Gegorgyan, the government spokeswoman, referring to false news about the pandemic.”What we can do is to have an open dialogue with people.”center_img Marina Khachatryan is not the only person in ex-Soviet Armenia who believes the coronavirus is a government conspiracy. But her large following online means her skepticism has a wide, potentially even dangerous reach.The unemployed surgeon runs the Facebook page of a local group critical of the government’s health policies, where thousands of followers are treated to a regular dose of false claims about the pandemic. Topics :last_img read more

Playtech opens Bucharest live gaming studio

first_img Playtech goes live in the US with bet365 August 7, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 Romania’s ONJN adds 20 sites to blacklist August 14, 2020 Submit Related Articles Share Seeking to optimise its live gaming content services, FTSE-listed gambling technology firm Playtech Plc has confirmed that it has opened a ‘state-of-the-art’ studio facility in Bucharest (Romania) to cater for growing demand in licensees in newly regulated Eastern European markets.The Bucharest studio will employ native dealers in live broadcasts for Playtech gaming content clients. The new studio will further support Playtech live casino operations and studios in Manila, Latvia, Spain and Belgium catering for local audiences.Complying with national regulations relating to online gambling technology provisions, Playtech supplier services and technology have gained approval from OJNN the Romanian gambling regulator.The facility, that was delivered ahead of schedule, offers licensees a huge range of new and classic game variants including live blackjack, roulette and casino hold’em. All products are streamed using the latest HD camera equipment and next generation live gaming platform offering available across all desktop and mobile devices.Mor Weizer, Playtech CEO, commented on the opening of the Bucharest live gaming studio:  “The opening of the new studio further solidifiesPlaytech’s position as the market leader in global, cutting-edge, regulated live casino.“This is just the beginning of our growth plans with a series of exciting new products and variants in our 2017 live casino roadmap as well as significant expansion plans for our other facilities,”last_img read more