O and I have been going to Folk Fest since he was 5 or so. When he was younger, we rarely left our compound in the campground. We camped with a bunch of friends and neighbors with young kids, and were surrounded by many other similar compounds, so the kids would wander the field, stopping in and chatting, playing games, getting snacks and generally ruling the roost in a dozen different campgrounds.
Now that O is a teen, the Festival itself is folding a bit more interest for him. It was really cool this year, since he was a lot more aware of bands before going in and was far more interested in the performances (and the occasional bikini-clad, fairy-wing wearing teenage girl), than he was in the back stage kitchen or campground shenanigans that held so much interest for him in years past.
We were really looking forward to The Earl Brothers and were not at all disappointed by their show, even if they did get stuck in the 11am Shady Grove spot performing for the most hung-over crowd in the place. That One Guy, whom I've been raving about here, was a gem of Fest discovery. He played the mainstage on Saturday night, never one of my favorite parts of the fest to begin with, and he didn't impress me much, but then played at the Pope's Hill stage in the campground at a 1am show and it was just amazing. Total perfect blend of music, venue, audience, and artist (he was accompanied by film collage shorts put together by a Winnipeg Film Group artist, totally surreal 70's tv animated collages.) The crowd was just going nuts, at one point That One Guy remarked "This is epic" and it was. He plays a really dancy, electronica kind of music, but uses a "magic pipe" he built himself with strings, horns, tape loops, effects pedals, etc, all on it, so that he builds up and layers sound into something totally indescribable (so I'll stop trying.)
O was so glad he'd stayed up for the campground performance. He was just going to sit back in our little nook in the campground, playing "will it burn" with the guys across the path from us. As much as throwing pennies and various bits of camping equipment into a fire was appealing to him, he enjoyed the show even more. That's the great thing about Folk Fest, though, is you never really know what you're going to see, enjoy or get into before hand. There were a few shows that sounded great in the program, but we didn't really get into (and I can't even remember the names of the bands now), but it's always the stuff you didn't expect to be amazing that jumps out and grabs you (like T.O.F.U. at last year's Fest.)
Other than the shows, O bought himself a didgeridoo and has successfully been able to produce a drone in one note for several months now. I'm really looking forward to a 2 note drone (as are, I'm sure, the neighbors.) We enjoyed the back stage food prepared for volunteers, as always, and I ran into an old friend who told me that his wife is pregnant. I'm so excited for them and I'm already trying to put together a pattern for a skull and crossbone baby blanket.
Folk Festin' is hard work
A truly horrible picture of a truly fantastic show, this, cause you probably can't tell, is That One Guy with his Magic Pipe homemade instrument
The Earl Brothers Rock!
Fire dancers in the campground, unfortunately O was so tired from his wanderings that day he slept through the whole thing!
His folk fest buddy C. spent most of the weekend trying to get O to take off that hat, until some girls in bikinis told him they thought the hat was cool. Then he spent the rest of his time trying to steal the hat.