Hey, I’m back. I spent the past weekend at a folk festival. Oh yeah, I told you that last Friday. It seems like a year ago. I don’t have a really good concept of time at the best of times, and this weekend was the worst of times.
Wait a minute, that’s not right, this weekend was a great time. It was just so very, very busy. So not the worst of times, just the worst time to try and keep track of time.
How does that work?
There were six or seven stages at this festival and often there were acts or performers that I wanted to see on different stages at the same time.
And the spectrum of music was …
The idea of folk music, the underlying definition that is, for the purpose of our festival, seems to be the music that folks play. So there were a lot of different styles. Traditional folk and Flamenco, old time music and blue grass, pop and country, Latin rhythms, Irish songs and musicians from points all around the world were the order of the weekend.
At one point I didn’t even bother to look at the schedule. I needed to be at one particular stage at one particular time to hear a song I wrote being played. I didn’t want to know what was on at other stages. I didn’t want to know what I was missing.
Crafty, aren’t we?
Every good folk festival has some type of artisan market, and in recent years there have been luthiers, makers of stringed instruments, at our festival. This is a challenge to me. I know I can only play one guitar at a time, but that hasn’t stopped me from acquiring five so far.
My latest desire is a six string, guitar tuned banjo. And of course, there was one at the festival this weekend. The price tag was well out of my reach, but the instrument was not so easily put out of my mind.
Thank goodness the festival was so distracting …
Without my realizing it, the whole weekend slipped into the past, as all weekends, from unplanned and uneventful to jam-packed and exciting, tend to do. By the time I realized it was almost over, the recordings of artists I had thought to buy, the ones that most impressed me, were all sold out. Vendors had packed up their tie-dyed Tees and pottery and yes, musical instruments, and settled in to the drive home and a needed rest, while we listened to the last acts of the festival in the gathering darkness of a perfect August weekend.
And the music?
The music was great, no two acts the same, some unusual fusions sprang up as musicians of seemingly contradictory styles met and spontaneously followed each other around their musical journeys.
I’ve been around the block
And this was the eclectic thing I knew it would be. I’ve attended this festival before. And the rhythms and lyrics, the colors and sounds and sights and smells were all what I had been expecting.
And yes, they were what I’d been needing. A few days to feel like I wasn’t different, to feel like I fit in. And I do. Or I did … back to standing out now.
But next year is coming …