Even though plans for a 50th Anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Festival have fallen through, “Big Lee” Mazzola has, for the last 12 years, created a musical celebration of ‘3 Days, 2 Stages, 1 Love, No Worries’ right in his own backyard off Hampton Road in Marlboro.
Last weekend Mazzola’s hard work and careful planning this past year made for a very successful Mazzstock. But he is quick to acknowledge several individuals who are critical to the success of the festival: his wife Merethe who is the ‘First Lady and Queen of Mazzstock’; Co-producer and right hand man Vinny “The Don” Pomarico who handles Booking, Stage Management and also performs; and Victoria Bourbeau, Consigliera, Graphic Designer, Marketing Guru and Website Overseer.
The weather was perfect all three days, swelling attendance to record levels who came to hear dozens of bands perform on Mazzola’s 10 acre festival site.
When looking back to the beginning, Mazzola said he is surprised that it took off so quickly and continues to grow each year.
“Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined this would have evolved into what it has evolved into today,” he said. “It started as a small little gathering of 100 people for my 50th birthday party.”
Mazzola said the festival flourished, “never by a plan, it just happened because people would come here, they loved the vibe of this place and they told their friends and they would tell their friends.”
Mazzola commented on the reasons he established Mazzstock.
“We as Americans are supposed to be free and I believe in freedom. I would live for this country, I would die for this country. My point was that I pay huge taxes to live here and I couldn’t see why I couldn’t have a party on my own property,” he said, adding that if someday he was prohibited from hosting the festival, “Then this is no longer America.”
Mazzola said the festival was initially a one day event, then two but when it went to three days he had to have an engineered site plan drawn up that was reviewed and approved by the town. He said the Town of Marlborough and the Police and the Fire Departments have, “been great to me. They have always supported me and we have never parked on town roads.” Town Supervisor Al Lanzetta is a regular at Mazzstock.
Mazzola has kept alive the values of the original Woodstock festival.
“The people who attend Mazzstock are not your average Joe on the street. It’s a wide brush of people, absolutely, because I think people young and old realize that with all this war and conflict there is a better way and if it has to be through music, then do it,” he said. “If the rest of the world lived like we do here, it would be a better place to live in. Look, people come here with their children who are running around free, they’re not even worried.”
Mazzola said people attend from across the states: Virginia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Texas, Arizona and California, to name a few.
Mazzola said he keeps this festival going, “because of my love of music, number one, and freedom. You can feel the love everyone has for one another when you walk in here. Talk to anyone here today and ask them would they come back here next year and the say yes and we’re bringing our friends because this is incredible. I’ve got three generation families here, grandchildren, children and parents, who are loving it, loving it.”