Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Gotta love the hippies
Gathering of the vibes is a multiday, camping, jam-band, hippie, music festival. It rocked, err, jammed.
Matt and Carmel picked me up Thursday afternoon and immediately ran into terrible traffic that cost us about 2 hours. Met up w/ another carload of Mark, Karena (sp?), and Margus (sp?) at a convenience store near the venue. Once we found them we headed to “the line”. Now we knew there would be a line but we didn’t know how bad it would be. We lined up at about 9pm. The hold up being that they (the Hell’s Angels were providing security) were searching each car. Mainly for glass. We lined up on the road, got out of the car and started drinking. We would hang out, shoot the shit for 20 mins or so and then the line would move somewhere between 2-10 car lengths. After about an hour and a half, we got off the road and turned into a large field w/ a line of cars snaking back 5 or 6 times up to the search area.
The key to this part was deciding that this was part of the experience and to just have fun. Matt and Carmel are experienced Viber’s and they brought a bunch of hula hoops, glowy things, Frisbees and other toys. We pulled out our toys and continued to play for the next few hours. The best game we found (other than long throw Frisbee for a while), was making beer-amids on top of the car and then seeing who could knock them off. Good thing it was a rental.
Somewhere around 2am we made it to the search area. A quick search later and we were directed to green lot. Our camping spot was the space behind our cars so we really lucked out when the car next to ours told us they were camping elsewhere and could we watch their car. We set up the tents and had a home by about 3am. I had borrowed a tent from Matt and liberated the down comforter and a couple of blankets from the apartment so my little world was looking pretty good.
No reason to stop drinking now, we hung out until about 5 before we turned in. Big problem there is that the direct sunlight made the tent an oven by 8:30. So after a small nap, we were up again.
We wandered through the tent city over to the main staging area to see if we could catch the morning yoga. They had two stages set up on either side of a field about the size of a football field. The yoga was on one of the stages and by the time we got there it was close to done. We wandered around and saw the vendor tents, hippies get capitalism. I had to buy shorts b/c I had managed to forget them. But at least I got a free hat (which I also needed).
After getting breakfast we wandered back to the campsite. We gathered our toys and chairs and whatnot and staked out a spot on the field. We were mostly in the middle b/c what they do at this concert is trade off stages. The bigger bands play on the main stage. When their set was finished, the secondary bands would start up on the second stage. As they finished, the main stage would start up. It was great b/c the music never really stopped. We hung out on the field for most of the day. Carmel’s hula hoops were a big hit w/ the Vibers.
At some point, I went back to the tents to sleep. A couple of hours later, we went back to the field as the sun was setting. That was when Carmel brought out the lighted hoops which were even more of a hit. At some point, Jimmy and Alyssa showed up. They didn’t have nearly the 5 hour wait we had the day before but they were just parking in day parking as we had their tent. By the time the main bands were done though, I was beat and ready for bed. I crawled into bed and had a great nights sleep.
I woke up refreshed and made a round of well received bloody mary’s. It was drizzling out so we started a game of WORLD DOMINATION (Risk). The wine was flowing under our little dry area as we battled it out. I won but it was a bit off as they had been used to only being able to move as many armies as the dice they rolled. It changes the strategy somewhat. After the game some of the group braved the rain and went to the stages. The rest of us decided to stay dry and hung out and played cards and basically drank for the day. We kept thinking the rain would break and we would head out but it just never happened. We missed G Love and Special Sauce which was one of the two bands playing that I actually knew (the other being Burning Spear but they play on Sunday). As it got dark, the rain got harder. We dashed out for a beer run during a break in the rain and found a new area at the top of a hill w/ a bar. “If they had bar stools we probably wouldn’t have come back” as Alyssa put it later.
As the people started dropping off into their tents, the rain just kept getting harder. A couple of us got going on a good politically discussion. We had one pretty conservative guy that was willing to argue it out which is always good.
When the lightening started it was down to me and Jimmy. We were trapped in the worst storm I had been in in a long time. We kept waiting for a break so we wouldn’t get soaked just trying to get in the tent. It finally came but my tent was wet so I just stole my good blanket and slept in the car.
Sunday was the last day of the festival. I decided to go back w/ the first car which was Karena, Mark and Margus. They wanted to see the first band so we packed everything up and reclaimed our spot. We hung out for a while waiting on the band but eventually, they came over the loud speaker and said that the band was not on site and nobody was able to reach them. Ahh well… time to go.
Getting back and packing was a bit tough, I was beat but I managed to get it done w/ only two trips to the office to drop shit off. Caught the early plane and now I am about 1 hour from London.
Quick rant, when the fuck did we take the post office out of the airport? I thought that was what you were supposed to do when you have a pocket knife or something you can’t bring through security. But now, I guess, we are scared of terrorist bombs in mailboxes so we have taken all of that out of the airports. Supposedly for the last year. I dunno if it is just JFK but this is the kind of shit that doesn’t make us any safer but it just makes life more annoying in the name of “safety”.
Final Postscript, I know I owe everybody a call and such. I have been out of touch for a few days now between the woods and flying and my passing out last night as soon as I got home from work. I will speak to you soon.