Karoondinha Music and Arts Festival
Penn’s Cave, John Legend, and the Magic of Happy Valley
By now, you have likely heard about Karoondinha, the music and arts festival coming to Happy Valley in the summer. If you're like me, your first thought was COOL!, followed immediately by HOW? It seems like Karoondinha Music and Arts Festival (July 21-23) appeared out of thin air, headlining names of world-class performers like John Legend and Chance the Rapper.
HappyValley.com got more of the story of how Karoondinha started, and now we’re more excited than ever!
First off, the details: Karoondinha takes place Friday, July 21, Saturday, July 22, and Sunday, July 23, with a kick-off party on Thursday, July 20. The festival site is Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park – 1,600 unspoiled acres of rolling hills and rich farmland with acres of sunflowers, world-class trout fishing, off-road tours and native North American wildlife like mountain lions, wolves, bison, bears, longhorn cattle, bighorn sheep and more.
Festival-goers will enjoy an incomparable experience with amenities including daily yoga sessions, dance workshops, art installations, gourmet food vendors, multiple levels of camping options and all-water tour caves.
The three-day, multi-stage, camping festival will highlight over 80 artists, including Chance the Rapper, Odesza, John Legend, Paramore, Sturgill Simpson, The Roots, Porter Robinson, Dillon Francis, Young the Giant, Chromeo, Alessia Cara, Leon Bridges, X Ambassadors, The Revivalists, Daya, Maren Morris, Needtobreathe, MisterWives, Jon Bellion, AlunaGeorge, Marian Hill, Broods, DNCE, St. Lucia, Coin, PVRIS, Grace VanderWaal, and Jacob Collier. (see the full lineup at the end of the article or at their website here.)
How it got started:
Brother and sister team Kaleena and Paul Rallis have always been entrepreneurs and are extremely passionate about music, visual arts, food, nature, and travel. When they combined this with the backdrop of the property where they grew up – Penn’s Cave – they knew that creating the festival was something that they had to do. They’ve spent most of their adulthood between Los Angeles and New York City, but wanted to shine a light on Central Pennsylvania. Almost two years ago, they started to take the steps to make this festival a reality. They say they can’t really pinpoint the exact moment the idea came about, but feel like it’s been a part of their lives from the start. They’ve worked to create a one-of-a-kind experience that will spark joy, excitement and bring happiness in all those who attend.
How to say the name:
Karoondinha is pronounced ka-roon-din-ha with an accent on roon, which rhymes with moon. The word comes from the Seneca Tribe and is the original name of the creek that generates from Penn’s Cave, and also translates as The Land of Shining Waters.
What kind of Festival is Karoondinha?
Karoondinha is designed to connect people to the Happy Valley landscape, to each other, and to music. Kaleena and Paul spent the better part of last year going to major music festivals – Austin City Limits, Coachella, Governor’s Ball and Firefly – and took inspiration from each one. It will be an experiential, destination event that goes far beyond an incredible artist lineup.
It’s for all of us:
It’s for any age! When we talked to Terri at Penn’s Cave, she said her mom even got in on the fun of reviewing the lineup for the event (spoiler: she likes John Legend). It’s a curated lineup filled with amazingly talented singers, songwriters, and musicians (see the lineup here!). Everyone from our younger cousin to our grandmother will easily find someone they are excited to see at Karoondinha.
This is what makes it so special:
Karoondinha’s secret sauce is something that all of us Happy Valley fans already know: it’s BEING HERE. When you take a world-class festival and stage it in Happy Valley (the idyllic setting of Penn’s Cave’s all-water cave and wildlife park to be exact), the results are full-blown magic.
The story with the lineup:
The lineup was created with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears! Booking a first-year festival is not an easy task, and Kaleena and Paul spent countless hours along with their talent buyer custom-curating every part of the lineup. They were passionate about making the lineup unique and appealing, giving festival-goers the opportunity to see acts that they otherwise may not see at other festivals this year.
Giving back to charities and the local community:
Because they see the festival as a way to be a positive force in the Happy Valley community and beyond, Kaleena and Paul are supporting nonprofits including The Bestwick Foundation (www.bestwickfoundation.org), Wildlife for Everyone Foundation (www.wildlifeforeveryone.org), and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank (www.centralpafoodbank.org). They want Karoondinha to be something we here in the local community can feel proud of, benefit from, and call our own!
Full 2017 artist lineup:
CHANCE THE RAPPER
YOUNG THE GIANT
US THE DUO
DRAKE WHITE AND THE BIG FIRE
BUSTY AND THE BASS
CITY OF THE SUN
MAIL THE HORSE
BAD BAD HATS
PURE CANE SUGAR
TED MCCLOSKEY & THE HIFI’S
MISS MELANIE & THE VALLEY RATS
THE TOMMY ROBERTS
COUNT BASS D
ERIC IAN FARMER
DJ ALEX NEPA