Reminiscing 2015 & 2016 Original Festival

This was the official site for the 2015 & 2016 Original Festival held in Butte, MT.
Content is from the site's 2015 - 2016 archived pages and other outside sources.

The best place to get all the up to date news about the Original Festival is to go to their Facebook page at:


The Original Festival is Montana’s premiere music gathering, fusing electronic beats and soulful grooves with performing artists of every stripe. Now in its third year, it features the best of local and international groups that exhibit the fierce and loyal spirit of Butte.


2014 Original Festival crowds

In addition to musical variety, new this year to the festival is a Kids & Family area, sponsored by Butte TASC (Teens Advocating a Safe Community). It will include a bounce castle, coloring, face painting, sidewalk chalk, and children's games. Don't forget, children 7 & under get FREE ADMISSION!


Original Festival 2014 - Butte, Montana




The Original Mine Yard in Butte will be hopping today when a two-day music festival kicks off.

This is the third year for the Original Festival that has been put on by Butte native Matthew Boyle and will feature more than 20 musical acts and performers on two stages.

This year's event will feature a wide range of musical performers beginning early afternoon Friday and Saturday and running until 11 o'clock at night.

“It's unlike anything of it's kind, the combination of the music, the art and the location and the culture of Butte,” said Boyle. “I think is just something that sets it apart from anything else.



An Aside: it's so frustrating to watch a promising local festival grow, become popular and then for any number of reason disappear. The Original Festival is a perfect example of what to do right and keep the festival coming back year after year. Almost a perfect example since they took a hiatus for several years before returning in 2019. I missed the 2014 festival but had heard from friends that it was terrific. I had just graduated from college when the 2015 festival was announced. What an eclectic roster of artists. I was particularly excited to learn that "Sage" Francis would be preforming. I had heard him in Providence RI while at college the previous year when he released Copper Gone. And then the solo indie folk and acoustic guitar musician, Chadwick Stokes, was also on the bill. How cool was that! Fortunately I was able to catch the September show before leaving for NYC where I had a job on Wall Street. Yup, the Montana native is going to the Big Apple, as the folks on the East Coast refer to it, and work on Wall Street. My friends kidded me for feeling that I needed to buy a pair of popular mens eyeglasses before heading to my new job, but I wanted to make an impression. The site I found called I still am using five years later. They actually have an office in the Chrysler Building where you can make a personal shopping or fitting reservation with an experienced optician. I generally just order online, and have them fit my prescription lenses into the new frames or just get replacement lenses for an existing pair of glasses. I'll be back in Butte for the Original Festival this year just like I did in 2019. I'll be the city slicker once again returning home to see friends and family who have remained. This festival will certainly not be a eclectic as the Original Festival, but still should be fun to attend.




Original Mine Yard Festival
Music :: Electronic also Music :: Bluegrass
2:00 PM

2015 /

Festival Dates: September 11 & 12
Spreading from its roots in electronica, this year's Original Festival incorporates more than twenty musical acts in a variety of styles into two days of culture and entertainment. The event, set for September 11 and 12, will be held at the Original Mine Yard in Butte.

Acclaimed DJ SKisM will bring his signature and authentic dubstep presence as he headlines alongside the mellower grooves of Dispatch's Chadwick Stokes and the poetic rap of Sage Francis. The stage will also be rounded out with performances from Montana Native rapper Supaman, folk and bluegrass bands, aerial artists, live painters, fire spinners and more.

For out-of-towners, camping with on-site bathrooms are available at the Mountain Con Mine Yard. Camping passes are $20 per car and are sold separately from tickets. Some the best views in Butte are offered at this location.

Tickets are $15 for each day, or $20 for a two-day pass. They are available online at or day of at the gate. 


growing by the year

Renata Birkenbuel Sep 3, 2015 /

Founder Matthew Boyle, laser-locked into what’s good for Butte, continues to land like-minded, community-oriented performers and activists for the third annual Original Festival next weekend, Sept. 11-12, 2015 at the Original Mine venue.

Firmly rooted in electronica music, the Original Festival is spreading its eclectic wings to appeal to a wider range of ages, including kids.

“It’s an all-ages event,” said Boyle, who originally conceived the idea of the festival with former business partner Curtis Reid in late summer, 2011.

They spent that summer hitting festivals and concerts that inspired Boyle and Reid to hold an electronica show at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Butte for 400 music-crazed teens.

“That’s really kind of how it started,” Boyle, told The Montana Standard. “After going to all these shows and being inspired by all these festivals, we got back to Butte and there was nothing to do.”

So what do newbies do when they want to create an event unique to Butte? They pattern their creation after the best, of course.

“After seeing the Montana Folk Festival, we wanted to use the same venue but be more like the Sasquatch Festival at The Gorge and a mix of hip-hop, country and blues,” he said. “We wanted to do a clash of the two.”

After a hit with the electronica show, Boyle realized they were onto something viable for young music-lovers and fest-fans.

“As it turns out, we were fairly good at it,” he added.
The event has grown from 450 attendees the first year to double that number in 2014. Boyle, sans original partner Reid, who moved to Denver, aims to draw 7,500 fans this year – enough to cover the lawn in front of the Original stage.

Five years ago the visionary Boyle established Super Happy Giggly Fun (SHGF) Productions, a for-profit company sponsoring the Original with Encomp-Us Live, another Boyle company.


More than 20 musical acts epitomizing a range of styles will take to the stage this year. It is the most diverse lineup so far.

“We’ve worked hard to find acts that reflect the whole spectrum of musical talent,” said Boyle, “while maintaining the top-notch electronic that our returning fans love.”

He and his 30 volunteers are anxious to connect established artists like SKisM and Sage Francis with younger acts at the same festival.

Considered a DJ’s DJ, SKisM is a cutting-edge producer, manager and a forefather of “heavy dubstep,” a style of “mostly instrumental electronic music, originating in London, influenced by dub and characterized by syncopated rhythm and an emphasis on bass and drum elements.”

SKisM’s bio on the Original Festival website reads:
“His mixes gain almost as much, if not more attention than his tracks, and his inimitable 'Double Drop' style whips dance floors into a frenzy wherever he plays.’’

Variety is what it’s all about, emphasizes Boyle.

He’s especially anxious to introduce Sage Francis, an independent rap and hip-hop artist from Rhode Island.

“Sage Francis is a very big name on the roster,” said Boyle, 25. “He has a very big following in Montana. People my age definitely know who he is.”

Dubbed the forefather of indie hop, Francis is a lyricist who narrates, instigates and inspires from a rebel’s standpoint. “ … it’s more about storming the castle than about watching the throne,” reads his bio.

Another performer, solo guitarist Chadwick Stokes, 39, has traveled the country via freight train, the source of many of his songs. A socially conscious advocate for change, he has played Bozeman and Missoula with the band State Radio. He also plays with Dispatch, but he brings his solo indie folk genre and acoustic guitar to Butte.

A Boston native, Stokes grew up in a musical family playing trombone, then he switched to guitar at age 13.

“I like singing about political issues and struggles,” said Stokes. “Woody Guthrie is my hero and trains are a pretty interesting way to see the country.”

“Having Chad on this year’s lineup is huge for us,” said Boyle, as Stokes’ band Dispatch sold out Madison Square Garden in New York for three straight nights.


In keeping with Boyle’s community-oriented vision, the Original Festival will offer ticket discounts if fans donate a book or two to the Butte Public Library. He serves on the library board of trustees and seeks to imitate Stokes’ successful books fundraising initiative.

A Kids and Family area is a new element incorporated into the festival. Sponsored by Butte Teens Advocating a Safe Community (TASC), it offers a bouncy castle, coloring, face painting, sidewalk chalk for drawing and children’s games.

The Original will be designated the Burgman-Boyle Memorial Stage in honor of Boyle’s brother, Casey Boyle, and Casey’s best friend and roommate, Kyle Burgman, who died tragically in a car accident in early August. The Boyle brothers traveled far and wide to music festivals and shared a great love for the Dave Matthews Band.

An additional stage will be set up to the north of the Original, where food vendors row sits during the Folk Festival.

The second stage is designated the Tallahassee Bob Memorial for Robert Ernest “Tallahassee Bob” Peeples, 63, a harmonica player who gained a musical reputation around town. He died on July 24.

While honoring the community and loved ones, Boyle can’t help but look to the future, when he dreams of one day hosting the likes of Dave Matthews, Dispatch, DeadMau5 and even the Foo Fighters.

“There are some really big names that would really shock people,” said Boyle, ever optimistic. “I think it’s definitely doable.”

Tickets, books, camping info

Advance tickets for the Original Festival Sept. 11-12 at the Original Mine venue cost $15 for a two-day pass, or $20 with a car camping pass to the Mountain Con Mine park. Day-of tickets are $15 per day.

“The Mountain Con is the best view of the town and a prime-time camping spot,” said organizer Matthew Boyle. “It’s another way to feature the mines as a focal point of the festival.”

Gates open at 2 p.m., with music going until 11 p.m. each day.

At least 400 tickets have been sold. To buy tickets, see: or Tickets are also available at Headframe Spirits, Montana Buds, Muddy Creek Brewery, MacKenzie River Pizza and Sammi’s Smoke Shop.

“This year so far, we’ve quadrupled our ticket sales, so we’re feeling pretty good about things,” said Boyle. “The next few days tickets will pick up. It will be our best year so far.”

On the day of the show, anyone who donates one book at the gate gets $5 off the ticket price. If you donate three or more books, you get $10 off the price of a ticket. Books will then be donated to the Butte Public Library.




Internationally renowned DJ, pioneering producer, label head and artist manager - these are the job titles that summarize SKisM's illustrious career since blasting onto the dubstep scene in 2009.

As one of the forefathers of heavy dubstep, he has collaborated with and remixed the likes of Flux Pavilion, Excision, Zomboy, Porter Robinson and The Foreign Beggars, whilst his back catalogue of originals is punctuated with classics such as 'Rave Review' and 'Like This'. The seminal concept track 'Experts', which was accompanied by the video that infamously rocked the internet in 2012, continues to be referenced as his greatest musical contribution to the genre, and arguably the best music video within it to date.

Known to his peers as the 'Dj's Dj', SKisM's technical prowess and energy on four decks has cemented his name as one of the busiest and most electrifying DJ's on the circuit, and has seen him continually tour the globe over the past 5 years. His mixes gain almost as much, if not more attention than his tracks, and his inimitable 'Double Drop' style whips dance floors into a frenzy wherever he plays.

As a scene leader, SKisM is constantly pushing things forward...



BACHACO’s Reggae Rock and Latin Roots sounds perfectly blend feel-good Reggae Music with conscious lyrics and party jams to the beat of their own Afro-Caribbean Roots Rock inspired by new and classic sounds of Bob Marley songs, Latin Music and California Reggae.


Chadwick Stokes

A typical musician wouldn’t travel across the country by hopping freight trains or play shows inside fans’ living rooms throughout North America and Europe after selling out arenas like Madison Square Garden (for three consecutive nights), but Chadwick Stokes is anything but your typical musician.

Since forming his first band with two college friends in 1996, Chadwick Stokes has paved a path of independence, advocacy and social consciousness that’s impacted every aspect of his artistic life. In addition to fronting the bands State Radio and Dispatch, Stokes is also a co-founder of Calling All Crows, a non-profit dedicated to bringing bands and fans together to create change through hands-on activism and service. Calling All Crows has raised over $250,000 and invested more than 20,000 hours of service in local communities across North America and Europe.




In its fourth year, Original Festival is hosting two nights of live music in downtown Butte, America, culminating in a performance by Ghostface Killah.


The Original Festival
Music :: Rock also Music :: Hip Hop
3:00 PM

S.H.G.F. Productions present:

Original Festival
September 9th & 10th, 2016

Original Festival returns to Butte, MT for its 4th Annual event and will feature famed hip-hop MC from the Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah. 

Tickets are ON SALE NOW for just $5 while supplies last at

Hard tickets are also available in the following cities:
Butte: Headframe Spirits, Muddy Creek Brewery, Sammi's Smoke Shop, Smokin' Smitty's, and MacKenzie River Pizza
Bozeman: Cactus Records & Gifts
Billings: Discontent Billings
Helena: Impulsion Entertainment
Missoula: Rockin' Rudy's and Ear Candy Music
Boise: Sibbz Longboards
Idaho Falls: The Sickhouse and MacKenzie River Pizza
Spokane: Piece of Mind, 3 locations (4103 N Division St, 9303 N Division St, and 12101 E 1st Ave)


Ghostface Killah
Cave Singers
Jeff Crosby & the Refugees
Kitchen Dwellers
The Frights
The Soaks
Surf Curse
Chad Ball
Chloe Gendrow
Christy Hays
Filth and Foul
No Fancy
Sista Otis
Sound Beast

Champagne Drip
DJ Freeze
Vice Pope

Ghostface Killah is critically acclaimed for his loud, fast-paced flow, and his emotional stream-of-consciousness narratives containing cryptic slang and non-sequiturs. In 2006, MTV included him on their honorable mention list of The Greatest MCs of All Time, while the editors of placed him on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987-2007), calling him "one of the most imaginative storytellers of our time." Q magazine called him "rap's finest storyteller." Pitchfork Media stated that, "Ghostface has unparalleled storytelling instincts; he might be the best, most colorful storyteller rap has ever seen." NPR called him "a compulsive storyteller", and asserted, "His fiction is painterly."




Butte, MT | September 9 - 10 2016


How much will tickets cost day of show? Tickets will cost $10 on September 9th & 10th for a 2 day or single day pass.

Does Original Festival offer VIP passes? Original Festival does not offer VIP passes.

What time do the festival gates open? Festival gates will open up at 3 p.m. Friday, September 9th & 2 p.m. Saturday September 10th.

What time will music start? Music will begin at 3:30 p.m. Friday, September 9th and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, September 10th.

What time does music end? Music will end at 11 p.m. each night. After parties will take place at The Silver Dollar Saloon and Covellite Theatre each night for those ages 18+. Admission is $5 w/ festival wristband, and $3 under 21 surcharge.

Can I volunteer? We would love for you to volunteer! 

Does Original Festival offer camping? The Original Festival DOES NOT offer camping.  However, there are a couple locations where a person could pitch a tent: the Mountain Con or KOA Campground.

Where are the nearest hotels? Here is a list of recommended hotels:
1. Finlen Hotel & Motor Inn
100 E Broadway St, Butte, MT 59701
 (406) 723-5461

2. Roadway Inn & Suites
Address: 220 N Wyoming St, Butte, MT 59701
Phone:(406) 723-4391

3.  Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
Address: 2609 Harrison Ave, Butte, MT 59701
Phone:(406) 782-2000

4. The Miners Boutique Hotel
Address: 53 W Park St, Butte, MT 59701
Phone:(406) 723-8928

5. Super 8
Address: 2929 Harrison Ave, Butte, MT 59701
Phone:(406) 494-6000

6. Comfort Inn
Address: 2777 Harrison Ave, Butte, MT 59701
Phone:(406) 494-8850

7. La Quinta Inn & Suites
Address: 1 Holiday Park Dr, Butte, MT 59701
Phone:(406) 494-6999

8. Quality Inn & Suites
Address: 2100 Cornell Ave, Butte, MT 59701
Phone:(406) 494-7800

9. Days Inn Butte
Address: 2700 Harrison Ave, Butte, MT 59701
Phone:(406) 494-7000

10. Hampton Inn Butte
Address: 3499 Harrison Ave, Butte, MT 59701
Phone:(406) 494-2250

When will the schedule be released? The schedule will be released August 29th.

What's the age limit? Original Festival is offered to all ages with children 7 & under having free admission. Children must be supervised by an adult at all times.

Where are the after parties? After parties will be featured at The Covellite Theatre and Silver Dollar Saloon on Friday and Saturday night. 

What's the age limit for after parties? After parties are ages 18+ w/ a bar available for those 21+.

How much do the after parties cost? After parties are $5 w/ festival wristband and $3 under 21 surcharge,

How late do the after parties go? After parties go til 1:45 a.m. each night at both venues.

Are pets allowed to the festival or campground? As much as we love our pets, they are NOT allowed at The Original Mine where the festival is held. Exceptions are made for service animals.

What this I keep hearing about a meet and greet with Ghostface Killah? The rumors are true, but we can't give you the details quite yet. Stay tuned!




Founder of Butte's Original Festival says the event is canceled this year

SUSAN DUNLAP Mar 2, 2018/

The Original Festival brought multi-genre alternative acts aimed at a younger audience to Butte. Organizer Matt Boyle is canceling the festival this year but wants to revive it next year.

Original Festival, provided

While Evel Knievel Days’ future remains uncertain, fans of Butte’s summer festival season got another dose of bad news Thursday — the Original Festival has been canceled this year.

Founder Matt Boyle made the announcement on Facebook Thursday evening. In a heartfelt post, he wrote about the sacrifice of putting the festival together for the last five years and how he needed to take a break.

Boyle has his hands in many projects. Besides the Original Festival, which was focused on alternative, mixed-genre music aimed for a younger audience, Boyle also volunteers for the Mother Lode Theater, low-power alternative radio station KBMF 102.5, and the Butte America Foundation. He also runs the Montana Booking Agency, which books shows for musical acts.

The problem, Boyle said by phone Friday, is that he’s not in a position financially to put the festival together for 2018. Despite getting sponsorships and grants and, until last year, charging a fee, Boyle routinely lost money.

He called it a “money pit” but also “a labor of love.”

“I’ve decided to take a year off, reorganize things,” he said. “It’s for the best. There’s a chance that when we do come back, it might be under a new name, a new brand. I’ve got to take a year off and refocus things.”

The festival began in 2013 on a $15,000 budget. That budget grew under Boyle’s leadership to $91,000 by last year.

Boyle spoke of his other responsibilities as a factor in his decision. He is involved in an upcoming fundraiser for the Mother Lode to put in a new sprinkler system. The historically built theater needs upgrades to meet modern safety codes.

Now in its fifth year, the Original Festival features local and international musicians that exhibit the fierce and loyal spirit of Butte.

KBMF recently got a grant from the Superfund Advisory Redevelopment Trust Authority Board — more commonly known as SARTA — to do some improvements on the building on Granite Street and improve the radio’s equipment. Boyle expects to be busy with these projects. He is also the parade director and has to give attention to putting together Butte’s infamous St. Patrick’s Day parade that is upcoming in a few weeks and Butte’s Independence Day parade in July.

“There’s so many big projects this year. I want to make sure those go well. I would want to do the Original Festival at the same caliber as the year before. I’d never want to give less of a show,” Boyle said.

Historic Clark Chateau curator Christine Martin will miss the Original Festival. She attended in the past and sees it as a great draw for the community.

“I’m really happy he put it on as many years as he did,” she said. “It brought a lot of big names to Butte. I’m sad he’s not going to go do it. But hopefully after a break he’ll put it back on and take a different business approach and be more solvent.”

Martin said she has seen an uptick in the number of people Uptown during the weekend of the festival, which has generally been in September.

EK Days’ organizer Stephen Coe told The Montana Standard last month that the festival named after Butte’s famous daredevil is facing an uncertain future. That festival is struggling to raise enough money from businesses. EK Days is a free event.

'It’s been a long road to get here': Butte's Original Festival through the years

The Original Festival, a music gathering fusing electronic music and soulful grooves with performing artist of every stripe, is Friday-Saturda…

The Original Festival came with a fee when it first began five years ago. But last year, Boyle announced that it, too, would be free.

But, though Boyle does worry that taking a year off could cause the festival to lose momentum, it’s the best decision for now.

“It was not an easy decision; it was financially and emotionally a personal investment, and a lot of pride goes along with that,” he said. “That was the biggest thing to get over to make that decision, but you need to know when to call it quits.”