On Thursday, July 19, a friend of mine and I got in a car to drive to Thornville, OH (i.e. the middle of nowhere) for a four day music festival. I had hoped to go to All Good last summer, but it hadn’t worked out. Now, I was gonna get the chance to camp out and listen to some great bands.
After a three hour drive and a similarly long time spent in a line of cars, we finally were within the gates. Having set up our tent in a forested area and familiarized ourselves with the grounds, we made our way to the main stages. We caught the very end of Trampled by Turtles–the first band that played. Then, the Lumineers. Finally, my anticipation was rewarded as Bob Weir and Bruce Hornsby started playing, with Branford Marsalis adding some fantastic saxophone to the mix. Phil Lesh (the other former Grateful Dead member who played that night) and his band were equally great. However, we were exhausted and didn’t stay til the end of his performance, and ended up missing Shpongle play soon after.
The next day, my friend decided she didn’t feel like festival-ing after all and left me to fend all by myself in an eight-person tent. Thus, I spent most of the day with various people I ran into at the campsite.
In the morning, I was supposed to teach an art playshop for two hours, and was a bit sad to miss the early shows. However, no one showed up and I ended up joining the other playshop that was going on at the time–a girl named Rae Vena presented her beautiful artwork and gave us acrylics, a canvas, and the opportunity to paint with the music from a nearby stage. I never did end up leading a formal class. While I was glad to have less work, I felt embarrassed–almost like I cheated my way into a free ticket.
Later in the afternoon, I listened ALO, SOJA, Moon Hooch (featuring two fantastic saxophonists). Yonder Mountain String Orchestra played a few hours later, when I returned from a short dinner break. By this point, the weather had shifted, and my teeth were chattering. I shivered on the way back to the tent to change. The 20-minute walk itself warmed me up, and by the time I was back at the stages (now in long sleeves), I was ready to enjoy the Flaming Lips. They amazed me with their show, complete with fireworks. At last, Galactic played. I danced holes in my flip-flops.
Despite the great music, I felt slightly lonely. So on Saturday I was thrilled when another friend offered to drive down to join me. That afternoon, the main highlights were Dark Star Orchestra, the Allman Brothers Band, and Lotus. The holes in my shoes widened.
Sunday, after packing away the tent, we listened to just one concert–Micky Hart and his band offered a good conclusion to the festival.
I already can’t wait for next year! Except I have to remember a few things to change–
1. Find a group of people who are not afraid of portapotties and less-than-ideal weather
2. Bring my hippie skirts rather than shorts
3. Learn/teach a skill that people will bother to show up for. Perhaps I should start practicing glowstringing?