The Budgiedome - Wandering Minstrels Adopted

About The Budgiedome

What Is The Budgiedome?

The Budgiedome was conceived as a communal camp space for ourselves and a couple dozen friends, after Steve Martin spotted another large camp structure made of a tarp and lots of PVC piping and decided "I can do that!" The 'Dome is not intended to be sleeping space, but serves as a combined kitchen and living room, approximately 15' by 30', where we can sit down and chill out, have a cup of coffee or cocoa, cook a meal, take a nap in the shade if it's quiet, enjoy the sounds of mainstage while shielded from sun or rain, and enjoy a semi-enclosed, lighted performance space when the main stage has closed for the night.

We encourage performers to stop by, both amateurs who can join our friends in jamming to songs they like, and professional musicians whom we gladly will schedule for short, informal sets after mainstage has closed for the night.

The name "Budgiedome" derives from the Canadian band Moxy Früvous, whose cartoon mascot is a half-bird, half-dog miscreant called a budgiedog. As a group of people who became friends through a shared interest in Moxy Früvous, it was a foregone conclusion that our camp would harken back to them in some way.

Who Is In Charge Of The Budgiedome

Steve Martin is the main engineer and tech guy at the Budgiedome. Consult him for any structural problems or questions. Lori Martin is co-owner and camp "Mom" when she's around, as well as being the webmaster for this site. Gordon Nash is in charge of the performing schedule. Other camp regulars include Paul Mischler, who serves as Budgiedome emcee each night at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, singer-songwriter Carey Farrell, Neal Shankman, and Traci Poli. If you are in the camp area and have any questions or concerns -- or just want to say hi! -- please see any of them.

How is the Budgiedome constructed?

Steve Martin, owner of the Budgiedome, uses the following materials:

  • 20' x 40' heavy duty silver sunblock tarp -- this has lasted since July 2000. We retired it after the 2005 festival season.
  • 90' of 2" PVC schedule 40 pipe, cut into 9 10' lengths
  • 10' of 2.5" PVC sched. 40, cut into 6 18" lengths
  • 400' of rope
  • 30' of 1/2" re-bar, cut to 2' lengths for stakes
  • Additional large tent pegs
  • Caution tape to mark site
  • Duct tape (homage to the indispensible, much maligned tape of ducts.)
  • Various little clips and rings to attach rope to PVC
  • Lots of bungee cords
Tools Needed:
  • Step ladder
  • Big mallet to drive in rebar stakes
Tips we've learned over time:
  • Use bungee cords to anchor the tarp to the ground. Do NOT tie the tarp to the PVC frame - that way, when the tarp lifts in a wind gust, it won't pull the PVC off the stakes.
  • Caution - re-bar very easily cuts and scrapes skin. Use gloves, and watch your bare legs and arms.
  • Use lots of stakes and bungee cords. They help the dome survive the wind much better.
  • Mark the ropes and bungee cords with something bright -- day-glo paint or caution tape is good. Otherwise people tend to trip over the ropes, especially at night.

Are there any rules for the Budgiedome?

We've had to establish some common-sense standards to ensure courtesy and an enjoyable time for all

Who has played at the Budgiedome?

The full list is here. Some independent artists, including Russell Wolff, Kevin So, Christopher Williams, Eric Schwartz, Alistair Moock, and Jim Infantino, have started out as "New Artist Showcase" performers at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, played "after hours" at the Budgiedome, and in subsequent years have played full-length festival sets. Others, such as Butch Ross, have gotten gigs elsewhere as a result of someone hearing them at the 'Dome. We like the idea of providing a small, casual setting for people to play to friends and supporters, and have their music heard by passerby, before they get so big that such a setting is impractical for them. Hence our motto, "Wandering Minstrels Adopted."

How do I get to play a gig at the Budgiedome?

Professional performers who wish to schedule a time to play a short set (30 minutes or so) at the Budgiedome after the mainstage performances have ended, please contact Gordon Nash. If you're not a pro but you love to make music, anytime the mainstage is quiet you're likely to find some people having a singalong, jam session or song swap at the 'Dome.

About Falcon Ridge

When is the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival?

The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival begins the Friday afternoon before the first weekend of August (this changed in 2013), and runs through that Sunday evening (Friday-Saturday-Sunday). If you can take the time off from real life, it is a good idea to try to arrive Thursday afternoon or evening to set up your camp, meet people, and share in some of the pre-festival activities at the Budgiedome and other camps, including informal jams and singalongs. If you are a festival volunteer, you may be scheduled for training or duties as early as the Sunday before.

How do I get to Falcon Ridge

Directions to Falcon Ridge are on the Falcon Ridge website.

How do I find the Budgiedome at FRFF?

To walk up from the festival mainstage and lower camping area, just walk toward the right side of the hill, heading for the break in the trees. The giant silvery tarp with several flagpoles is just beyond the tree line. We added beacon lights and a Budgiedome sign to help people find the place in the dark.

If you need a map, we have one here for you.

What do I need at Falcon Ridge?

The first thing you need is a ticket -- a pass with camping, if you want to be there for the whole festival. If you stay at one of the local motels or bed-and-breakfasts and have no need to drive into the camping areas, you won't have to pay the camping fee. Ticket prices are discounted in early spring, and increase as the the festival dates get closer. Price information can be found at

If price is a prohibitive factor you can volunteer, which gives you free admission and free meals for the weekend. Volunteers have to buy a t-shirt "uniform" for a nominal fee, and are expected to work 20 to 24 hours over the course of the festival. There are a variety of crews, including setup and breakdown, so you may be able to schedule your work shifts before the music has started, or during off hours.

For basic provisions, you will need enough food and drinking water for whatever time you plan to spend at the festival, or you will need money to buy food.

There are many food vendors at the festival, and most of the food is delicious, with many vegetarian options as well as pizza, hamburgers, breakfast sandwiches and snacks.

Free water is supplied in tanks to the camping areas and to drinking fountains near the stages, but if you prefer bottled water bring your own. Each person should plan on requiring a minimum of a gallon of water a day, depending on weather conditions and how many drinks you plan to buy from vendors.

If you are camping you will need a tent (or tent space shared with a friend), bedding, clothing for both warm and cool extremes -- it is not uncommon for a 90-degree-Fahrenheit day to be followed by a 35-degree-Fahrenheit night temperature -- as well as raingear, and toiletries.

You will need something to sit on -- at minimum a blanket or small tarp you don't mind getting dirty, to lay over the ground, or if you want to be comfortable bring a lightweight, low-backed folding chair. Small tarps and blankets are also useful in claim seating space in front of the stages for performances where a large crowd is expected (especially for Friday and Saturday nights.)

You may want to bring extra money to buy CDs, FRFF t-shirts and other gear, and crafts, instruments, clothing and trinkets from the dozens of vendors.

A fairly comprehensive checklist of festival necessities can be found at here. If you do forget anything, there is a small booth in the vendors' area with basics such as sunscreen, bug repellent, toiletries and rain ponchos. The town of Hillsdale is just a few miles south of the festival on NY Route 22, and features a supermarket and a building supply store with some camping supplies.

How do I keep in touch with the outside world during the festival?

Cell phone service has been getting better year after year at the festival. Service may still be sketchy in some areas of the farm. In 2013, we found that there was no coverage for Sprint at the farm.

Can I bring my pet?

Pet policy is posted on the FRFF web site, and can be summarized as "Please leave your pet at home unless it is a guide animal".

Been in the news?

The Budgiedome was featured in an article in the Montgomery Newspapers "Ticket" section, August 3rd, 2005