2013 Festival Season
For the past couple of years I've had to skip the summer festival season in lieu of other priorities, i.e.. getting married and moving to Key West, those are the two big ones. Now that I'm back to reality, living in Maryland I suppose its time to plan my escape again.
I've definitely missed the music festivals. The weekend camp outs, living out of a cooler and a tent, days packed full of eclectic live shows, interesting eats ranging from snacks bought from a hippies satchel to delicious breakfast sandwiches and falafel from the vendors, cold beer, long lines at the plastic outhouses, plenty of people watching, and so much more. An otherwise unsuspecting grass field is turned into a small city for a long weekend.
In my history I've mostly frequented the larger scale festivals, like 10's of thousands of people and counting. Originally this was out of convenience, and later b/c that's just what I was used to. I've heard plenty of great things about the small gatherings too (hundreds as opposed to thousands), but my experience lacks there, so it's on my to-do list.
Where it all started, All Good
My first festival experience was All Good Music Festival, which took place on Marvin's Mountaintop, just 20 some minutes from where I went to college.
Living the broke college student lifestyle, I got out of work one day and my friend asked me if I wanted to go, she had an extra ticket, I said yes and grabbed my tent and sleeping bag and off we went. Boy, was I unprepared, I had never been to a music festival, didn't know anything about it, showed up with no food, not enough beer, no money (remember, broke college student), and it rained, oh did it rain. My one friends tent actually got washed away and we found it at the bottom of the hill in a drainage ditch with his clothes still in it. Lesson learned, don't camp on the side of a hill, bring food and beer.
Even with the rain and the interesting events, the music was amazing, I had a blast. So much to see, so many people to meet and so little time to do it in. I was hooked. I think I attended All Good for 5 seasons, until they moved to Ohio. I'll return when to All Good when they come back closer to Maryland.
And then there's Tennessee, Bonnaroo
Bonnaroo was also an amazing experience, but much different than All Good, logistically at least. I only attended one Bonnaroo, had a great time, saw Petty, Radiohead, Widespread, and so many more. The only drawbacks for me was the distance (10 hour drive), the heat and the dust. I swear I had dirt in my snot for a week after that festival from breathing so much dust.
I definitely made the trip to Vegas one year to go to a music festival, but by the time my buddy and I got there we couldn't afford the whole weekend festival anymore so we went to a String Cheese show on Halloween night, talk about an amazing show! Quite the crazy weekend, I must say. Not too many details to share here, as they say, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
That brings us to Michigan, Electric Forest Festival
My first experience at Electric Forest Festival was in 2011, I believe. Prior to that there was another festival in Rothbury MI, but that went away for some reason and the String Cheese Incident took over a year or two later.
I bought my ticket for EFF last week, and a day hasn't passed that I haven't thought about it.
It's definitely a long drive from Maryland, but well worth it. I love the temperate climate, I'm used to waking up to a baking sensation when the sun rises and heats my tent, this isn't the case in MI. Even nicer is the fact that it's flat, not so much in West Virginia (All Good), so getting around is much less tiresome. The venue at EFF is pretty amazing too, they light up Sherwood Forest and set up hammocks for patrons to lounge in. Even better, the forest is close enough to the venue that you can just post up and enjoy the sounds of the much while lounging in the woods.
All in all, I'm stoked to be heading back to a festival this summer. Hopefully I will see you there!