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Falcon Kick!

O.K. Here's a slightly longer report about our little trip to the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. To start with, I'll say I had a much better time there than I expected to. It's not that I dislike folk music or anything like that. It's just that I'm bad with crowds, dislike being dirty, and hate porta-potties greatly. I also tend to get sick in the heat and burn easily, which isn't really a good thing when you're talking about a completely outdoor event spanning several days where there's no way to truly get inside.

We arrived Wednesday night and, just after we got our tent up, it started raining. Since we hadn't properly sealed the seams of our tent, Sarah had the idea to lash one of our tarps to the top of the tent, which I think helped out a great deal. We then put up a canopy that she'd bought at a flea market, but it was sort of flimsy. By the time we came back from getting a quick bite to eat, it was pouring and one of the poles on the canopy had bent. We quickly turned the canopy into a lean-to (which I think also helped keep the rain out of tent) and dove inside. Sleep came pretty quickly for me, but Sarah wasn't quite as lucky.

Thursday brought much better weather. We were both pretty groggy, but we had a good time. There wasn't TOO much going on that first day, but we saw a few good acts and had some excellent (though somewhat pricey... but, really, not TOO bad considering it was a festival) food.

Friday was a scorcher and you could feel it from the moment we woke up. Friday was also a day when a lot more people showed up, including a rather annoying family that set up right next to us. The kids wouldn't shut up at night and the parents weren't what you'd call disciplinarians by any means. There were a lot of good things to see that day, though, so we braved it, but both Sarah and I got completely cooked. At least we both showered that day. We'd brought a little solar shower bag. Unfortunately, we didn't leave it out in the sun long enough since we'd wanted to get to an early show, so it was an extremely cold shower. Still... it felt kinda nice. Around 2pm, we were joined by Sarah's friend Susan, who set up her little tent right by ours. A definite highlight of that day were the stars at night. It was breathtaking seeing so many stars. Since it was in the middle of nowhere up in the mountains, the only light around was the light being generated by the festival, which was fairly minimal. The skies were perfectly clear (which was probably why it was so bloody hot). I've never been in a place where the skies were clear enough to actually see the Milky Way. It was too cold for us to stay out and look at them for a long time, but it was beautiful and we saw many shooting stars (I'm guessing they were part of the Perseids, though I couldn't remember at the time what Perseus looked like to make sure...). Despite the burnt flesh, it was a good day.

Saturday turned out to be another hot hot day and the crowds were even bigger than for Friday. Sarah and I both had to retreat to the shade for a few hours during the middle of the day and Sarah actually had to hit the first aid tent, since her sunburned hand had started to swell. Some ice and an antihistamine helped bring the swelling down, but it remained an angry purple during the rest of the trip. We braved the sun that stung our delicate burns and saw some great shows on Saturday, though. A highlight for me, at least, was the Fab Four Forever workshop where a bunch of the artists did Beatles covers. Though sometimes words and whole verses were forgotten, it was still quite cool. Probably the best was Nerissa and Katryna Nields' rendition of Dear Prudence.

Sunday started with rain. I woke at 6am to rain spattering against the top of our tent and tarp. Luckily, Susan had stayed out later than we had to see Arlo Guthrie and the rain had started just before she'd gone to bed, so she moved our chairs and such under the lean-to. The rain had stopped by the time we'd gotten up for good. Sarah had planned to stay until Monday morning, but the rain and her sunburns changed her mind. So we packed up our stuff Sunday morning and moved our car down to the parking lot. We saw a few shows, got rained on a bit during Richard Shindell's performance, and decided to leave before Lucy Kaplansky's set because we'd seen her before and the skies were looking ugly. Of course, after we'd gotten on the road, my tummy (which had been behaving brilliantly the whole time, no matter what I threw at it, which was a true miracle) decided to start acting up. I think the sun, the heat, and the somewhat heavy food finally got to me, so I felt sick for most of the 7 hour drive home. But oh well. My stomach was quite a trooper during the whole thing, which astonished me, so I guess it deserved a little time off.

It was surprisingly a good experience, really. One thing that sort of struck me, though, was a bit of a contrast. While there were some truly friendly, generous, and kind people there, there also seemed to be far too much of the "me" thing going on. For a subculture that seems to be all about activism and helping and treating everyone as your neighbor and your neighbor like your best friend, there was quite a bit of rudeness going on. People smoking despite the numerous no smoking signs and the announcements about same, people walking in front of us during shows, people standing in front of us for several minutes during shows, people walking all over our stuff and not bothering to stop to say sorry... Sometimes it seems like a lot of people think freedom is the same as acting like an ass. It seems like people at festivals and shows want to have a good time, which is fine, but far too many don't seem to care about other people's enjoyment. I guess it's all part of our growing culture of rudeness.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 28, 2003 6:33 PM.

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