I spent the last weekend of my summer at Adventure Camp Music Festival. I wasn’t there last summer, I’ve never been to Chimney Rock, and I knew it was a small festival, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew several of the performers, including my brother, and I was scheduled to teach a couple yoga classes throughout the weekend. Initially, I was frustrated because I had had a hard time getting in contact about where and when my classes would take place, where to get materials for signs, etc. I’m a bit OCD about planning and organization, so I was trying to keep Zen about everything!
However, once I was there and had everything set up and ready to go, I proceeded to have the BEST time! There were only about 900 people at the festival, and the campgrounds were small; four stages with the parking lot in the middle and tents pitched wherever we could fit them. I could walk about ten feet and run into someone I knew, so I ended up turning off my phone on Friday night and didn’t turn it back on until we left on Sunday. Quite liberating for those of us who are attached to our various forms of technology!
Everyone I met at the festival was wonderful. Some of the coolest, nicest people came to my yoga classes, and I would run into them over and over throughout the weekend. The venders were super nice, too; I think I ate about eight mushroom tacos over the course of the weekend! Water was readily available and the shows were all really fun. Although I didn’t use it, there was also a shuttle bus that ran into town for five bucks a trip. I know people were using that to stock up on beer and cigs!
Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better last weekend of summer. Everyone was in a good mood and was clearly there to have a great time and support their friends. I highly recommend this festival; although, I can’t decide whether I want it to grow much bigger or not! The intimacy was great, and I have talked to several people who made several lifelong friends. We will see what the future holds for ACMF!
A week ago today, I was driving back from what might be four of the best days I've ever had to date.
At about 12 a.m. the morning of June 17, 2013, my brother and I loaded my car to leave Manchester, Tennessee after our first trip to Bonnaroo.
Neither of us were new to music festivals; I have been to Lollapalooza three times, Infrasound Music Festival once, and Austin City Limits once, while my brother has been to Lollapalooza four times, Infrasound Music Festival once, and North Coast twice. However, Bonnaroo is a whole different animal. It involves tents, few (or no) showers, cooking, and some seriously high temperatures. It involves spending time with the same people for four days, or even five or six days depending on your travel plans. It involves camping next to people you have never met before, who may be the coolest cats you've ever met, or the biggest of buzzkills.
All of this can be a bit intimidating, but as a music festival nut and a former camp counselor, I was ready...despite the fact that I didn't decide I was going until two weeks before Bonnaroo!
When I was making my last-minute decision whether or not to spend $300 I didn't have on a ticket, one of my friends told me this: Even without the music, Bonnaroo is one of the happiest, most magical places you will ever go. It is worth every penny. Buy the ticket.
So I did.
After attending Bonnaroo, I couldn't agree with her more. Of course, the reason I went was the music. And, since so many people are asking, here is everyone I ended up seeing: Purity Ring, Paper Diamond, Local Natives, Of Monsters and Men, Paul McCartney, Pretty Lights, Animal Collective, Lord Huron, Death Grips, Portugal. the Man, Beach House, Björk, The Lumineers, R. Kelly, Weird Al, Boys Noize, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Tame Impala, The National, and Tom Petty. The performers were great, the crowds were polite, everyone was having a good time, and, we ended up with the absolute best camping neighbors we could have had -- so good that we all exchanged contact information and plan on meeting up at another festival in the future!
Everything about the festival was great: the music, the food, the artists' booths, the kiosks, the yoga, the campsites...everything. (Ok...maybe not the porta potties. But is it even possible to have great porta potties?! I think not.) I absolutely think that the $300+ I spent to go to Bonnaroo were some of the best dollars I have ever spent. Unfortunately, due to my career (hopefully!), I won't be able to attend Bonnaroo in the future, which made those four days even more special. If any of you are ever considering going...GO. And if you're into music and have never been to a music festival, GET ON IT!!!
Peace and love,
Up until last year I basically knew nothing about festivals and what it really meant to go to one. Then I randomly met Jared and was presented with an oppurtunity to make a website devoted to music festivals. One year later, we had a website called Music Festival Nation but I still hadn't experienced the festival world. Fortunetly the first festival that Jared ever went to was coming up, and it seemed like the perfect place for me to dive into the festival community. It was Memorial Day weekend soon enough and we were off to vend for MFN.
When you pull into Harmony Park, it becomes clear from the trees and scenery that this is a magical little campground. The rain barely even dampened the energy everyone had and I recieved my new favorite greeting, "Welcome Home." This greeting only gets said when your in Harmony Park and as you stay there longer the saying grows on you more and more. We got through the line and started setting up our tent area when we met our awesome vending neighbors for the first time. They were a great crew of people that were selling various cool items like hula hoops, coin rings, clothing, etc. Sally was the first one we met and all I can say is she is an amazing person and hula hoop maker. They had an assortment of people that were all really good at hula hoop, poi, magic sticks, and other stuff like that. Their moto was "we hoop hard" and I couldn't agree more. One of guys in their group, Wolfie, threw down so hard that he broke one of their strongest hoops... woah. They even ended up teaching me how to hula hoop around my waist and I couldn't be more happy. I don't think it would even be possible to plan for a better vending neighbor and I hope when we return to Bella that we see them again.
After all of the setup and introductions, it was time to go out and enjoy Bella for our first night! The music was great and once it ended we all ventured around the campsite going to different fires meeting new people. One thing you should know about me is that I am super energetic, love meeting people, and pretty much talked to everyone I could while I was there. The community and the atmosphere made it one of most enjoyable places for me to just talk to people and I can't say enough about how everyone genuinely cared about each other. Oh and I even met a beatuful girl on the first night who is studying as a radiological technologist which blew me away because I'm a mechanical engineer. I never got to see her again, but I personally think some Bella magic will bring us back one day. So the first night was great and it was the perfect way to kickoff the weekend.
For the rest of the weekend we had to vend during the day but this was hardly work in my opinion. Talking to cool people all day? Promoting your brand new website? Hooping it with your neighbors hula hoops? Check, check, and check. Here's a snapshot of our vendor booth in action at Bella!
I really want to thank everyone who gave us support and love for MFN at Bella. Jared already knew that the festival community was worth building a website for, but this was when I realized that the festival world was a complete escape from the norms of reality. I think the best way to describe the interactions you experience at Bella is intimate and uplifting. I started to look forward to handing out "free hug" coupons and meeting all of the people that came in. I could go on and on about the festival community, but all I can say is go to a festival and you will completely understand what I'm talking about.
So the only bad aspect of Bella was the rain and clouds that were constantly overhead. After the first day of sunshine it was all overcast. It did kind of make all of the days blend together, but I was impressed with everyones spirits despite the weather. You at least get to watch rain dancers and if you have rain boots then you can jump in puddles! Fuck yeah puddles! The campfires were all in full use and was probably where I spent most of my non-vending time. The fires really added to the whole family vibe by making everyone huddle together while listening to accoustic guitar into the wee hours of the night. I met a lot of awesome people at the campfires and if you were one of the people I met while I was there, much love.
I could go on forever about different highlights that happened during the festival, but it was enjoying the festival with a remarkable community that made this experience unique for me. I actually feel like if I return to Harmony Park for any festival that I will be home again.
Some things I remembered from the festival
Favorite moment: A group of people with a boombox playing "I will survive" joining ours and dancing through the whole song.
Favorite artist: Heatbox did some crazy stuff with his voice.
Favorite vendor sale: 5 condoms, your welcome buddy.
Favorite installment: There was a booth that gave out free meals and massages, now thats karma.
PS - This is totally the romantic in me, but if you are that Radiological Technologist girl in Iowa or know her, contact me!
by Blaine Hatab