Posts Tagged ‘Bonnaroo’

So much to say, so little time!

June 16, 2009

I have plenty to say, but I am waiting for all the photos I took to download. Sheesh!

I am sunburnt and happy. Well, not happy about the sunburn, but you know….

Because of the sunburn, I did not go and see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform. My body was tired. And by the time it was about the time for Nine Inch Nails to take the stage at 1 am, I had fallen asleep. But Trent and crew woke me up, and I could hear perfectly well from within my tent at my campsite. So it was not a total loss.

Felt much better the next day, was able to make a full day of it in the Tennessee sun, and did make it to see Phish’s second show, and who should show up to be a guest performer, but the Boss.

Turns out that Trey Anastasio as a 12 year old went to his first concert ever, and saw The Boss, and thought all concerts lasted three hours and were such high energy shows. So here was Trey performing with Phish, with the Boss, his shining role model of how concerts are done, performing with him.

Made me think, that you never know who you will have an impact on in your life, whether known or unknown. And how we all do impact one another, every day. Such a beautiful example….

More to follow…. just passed through another storm in Corinth, Mississippi and the sky was the most amazing color. Apparently Memphis was hit by a storm over the weekend, knocking out power and causing other problems. But there is electricity where I am, and internet access, what more do I care?

What Have I Been Doing with My Days?

April 9, 2009

I keep getting asked that question, and I really have no idea.

Yesterday, I inputted in an excel spreadsheet all the artists performing at the four music festivals I have tickets for (Lollapalooza has unfortunately not announced their lineup yet, won’t until April 21 and that would be number 5), sorted them correctly alphabetically (no The’s or A’s at the beginnings of names unless it is actually said) for each festival, then compared who was performing where and if there were any repeats. Now when set times are announced, I can make actual educated decisions about, well, perhaps if there is a conflict at this festival, I have a chance of seeing this band at a different festival. Or, this is their only performance.

This is what I do for fun. I play with excel spreadsheets. It helps me learn my new Excel 2007 version, since it is rather different from previous versions. And since most other people I know who are using Excel don’t use this version yet, I’m kinda on my own figuring it out. Some really basic simple things I used to know how to do, I no longer have a clue how to do, because I haven’t figured out where to access it. So it is very good practice. Maybe my expertise at Excel 2007 will get me employed.

And this is what I can tell you about the overlap of the four festivals Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo and All Points West:

Crystal Castles, The Knux and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs are the only three bands to play at all four festivals.

Fleet Foxes, The Gaslight Anthem, Girl Talk, Silversun Pickups, St. Vincent, The Ting Tings, and TV on the Radio are all playing at three of the festivals.

While A.A. Bondy, The Airborne Toxic Event, Alberta Cross, Animal Collective, Band of Horses, Beastie Boys, Ben Harper and the Relentless 7, The Black Keys, Blitzen Trapper, Bon Iver, Booker T (with and without the DBTs), Cage the Elephant, Calexico, Chairlift, The Decemberists, Electric Touch, Erykah Badu, Etienne de Crecy, Ghostland Observatory, Gogol Bordello, Grizzly Bear, Jenny Lewis, Lykke Li, MSTRKRFT, The Murder City Devils, M. Ward, My Bloody Valentine, Neko Case, Nine Inch Nails, of Montreal, Okkervil River, People Under the Stairs, Ra Ra Riot, Santogold, Shearwater and We are Scientists all play at two of the four festivals.

That leaves everyone else playing only at one of the festivals, so a more urgent need to try and catch them if I have interest in seeing them perform. But some I’ve seen before, and some I have no idea what they are like, so that leaves me to begin my research about the bands I don’t know, and to prioritize which ones I want to go see. Because if I enjoyed them before, maybe I want to see them again. But I also like to open my ears to bands I don’t know. Such a conundrum. Thus the reason for research. That and arranging where to stay, or what to get for camping, or taking care of my car to enable all that travel.

It’s exhausting all the work I need to do to be a music festival groupie, ya know? To be a prepared music festival groupie.

And in the meantime, I screwed up my perfect chance to be a Bonnaroo Pre-Festival volunteer, as I didn’t get my payment in on time (was waiting on a check to make sure I had the money to cover it) and all the positions got filled. But fortunately for me, since they couldn’t transfer the ticket I was purchasing through the payment plan over to the volunteer group (i.e., I would be buying two tickets, and only getting refunded one when I finished my volunteering gig) I still have a ticket, with no volunteering obligations attached. All my concerns about missing the bands I want to see thus erased. Just not the financial situation I had been hoping for. And I am still waiting to hear if the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the following weekend after Bonnaroo, will have me as a volunteer. This time I am not purchasing anything until I hear back from them, as I don’t have to drive through Colorado to get home. It would just be nice to have a place to stay for a few days down time before continuing the trek home, and this certainly seemed pleasant enough. I especially like the prospect of a Bluegrass combo performing only Radiohead songs.

So this, plus the classes I take, the weekly phone calls I am on, the volunteering I do, the arranging in advance of travel details, and purchasing tickets and following up on unresolved details, and keeping track of my finances, that’s what I do with my time. I’m also researching cars, so if and/or when my car dies, I have a backup plan of what car to purchase next. Because I like to have backup plans to my backup plans. It has come in handy previously!

Bonnaroo Reprised

March 22, 2009

This year I will do it right. I have just been approved to be a pre-festival volunteer, which means all my volunteer obligations are done before the festival begins, so no conflict of schedules between the music and the obligation. Phew!

Now I can go from my visit to friend in Canada, visit friend in Spokane on way to visiting parents in Great Falls, MT, then another friend in Bozeman, MT, and on to Tennessee for Bonnaroo!

Another full month of travelling again this year. I am so excited! Now I just need to put my life in order to make all of that happen easily. I am halfway there, up to Canada.

Just gotta get a roommate, and some income and off I will go!

Sasquatch vs. Lightning in a Bottle

February 19, 2009

Well, the Sasquatch Music Festival 2009 website is up, announcing the lineup for this year’s festival. Nine Inch Nails, whom I can never seem to get enough of, are playing. That being the case, no one is seriously wondering if I will be trying to make it there? I should hope not. In fact, I will be at a conference in San Francisco the preceding weekend, which I will drive to, so what’s another 1,000 miles of driving to get to George, Washington? (Yes, you read the name of that quaint burg correctly. Their tagline is George in the Gorge, since it is on the Columbia River Gorge. Oh! Such a beautiful place to see any band, gorgeous scenery surrounding the stage. Current band sucks and don’t want to lose your great picnic spot? Appreciate the sunset or the clouds drifting by or the river flow curving down below.)

Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA

Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA

Sasquatch is a great music festival because there are only three stages, so chances are even if two bands are playing at the same time you want to see, there might be some place to stand where you can catch both. I found the perfect place to sit while waiting for a specific band to take the stage, such that I could still enjoy the other acts while waiting. No, I am not telling you where that is, what, give away my carefully gleaned secrets?

Like many festivals, the main stage caters to the huge mega-bands that are known internationally, and are supposedly the big draws. Bands like Nine Inch Nails. For Coachella, one of the nights it is Paul McCartney. But for me, one of the best draws of music festivals is most have the smallest stage devoted to, if not local regional bands, then at least small, undiscovered bands. These are the gems, I think. I haven’t been doing this long enough to see what the track record of discovery is if they first appear on a small stage at a major festival, but I would suspect that for many bands, it is the exposure they need to build a larger following. And if that isn’t the case, well then at least one person (me) appreciates hearing of musicians I never would have heard otherwise. At Sasquatch, Voodoo and Austin City Limits, I found myself gravitating to this smallest stage, and grateful that I did. Only at ACL is the stage prominently placed such that going from either of the two main stages, one is most likely to pass by the regional stage. It is also conveniently near the food vendors, so even if you weren’t meaning to listen, you do. At Voodoo and Sasquatch, this regional stage is placed away from the other stages. Oh well. My gain, as they frequently are less crowded, and easy to have seating close up front and personal.

Sasquatch is a camping festival. Never heard of George, Washington? That’s because it is tiny. So to accomodate all the thousands of people descending on the tiny town, camping is the way to go. There are the music festivals based in cities (Bumbershoot, Lolla, ACL, Voodoo), and then there are the music festivals based in far distant places, that camping is pretty much the only option (Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Rothbury). Thus my driving there makes it easier, as I just need to pile that camping gear in, pick up some groceries, and I am good to go. Last year (whilst still employed) I had to think hard about the packing, since I flew and then rented a car. So my food selections were limited to things not requiring refrigeration nor cooking. These days I own a propane stove, cookware and will probably buy a french press too. I ended up giving food away before I left, not wanting to take it on the plane. This year too, I have my eye on a cool stand up tent, perfect for privacy needs while changing, and also tall enough to use a solar shower effectively. Sasquatch does have showers, and they are even free (unlike hippie-haven Bonnaroo), but once word got out, the line was several hours long to take one. And Sasquatch has the most efficient and frequently cleaned porta-potties I have ever experienced! I did not find a single one NOT stocked with toilet paper. And almost always the squeeze soap was available too. What a godsend when camping for three days, to know that the very basics are handled. Be ready to walk though, as the campgrounds are up a hill from the festival entrance. Or down a hill. The campgrounds are on one hill, the festival on an adjacent hill. A stream and pond are between the two.

Anyway, Sasquatch is even doable for those with weekday jobs without missing a day of work because instead of being the traditional Friday-Saturday-Sunday festival, it is always on Memorial Day Weekend, so it is Saturday, Sunday, Monday. Just make sure you can get there and back without missing any work, and no one will know you were ever out of town.

The same weekend, traditionally, is Lightning in a Bottle, an eco-green, music festival leaning towards dance music. Another camping extravaganza, with some awesome djs, and held near the scenic Santa Barbara, CA region. I have nothing to say about this festival since I have never attended, but heard it was fun. If you go, expect to dance! That’s the point of it, a weekend long rave in the woods. “A Magical Forest Adventure!” is the tagline for this event. Check out last year’s site to get a feel for it, since the current year’s site is not up yet. Maybe next year I will forego Sasquatch and attend Lightning in a Bottle. Just like one of these years I will go to Bumbershoot on Labor Day Weekend rather than Burning Man.