My attendance a few weeks ago at the strange 4-day escape from reality called Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival marked my fifth year at the event. Early on every year the same doubtful thought runs through my mind: Why do I continue year after year to put myself through this? Sometime between my first use of the less than gleaming porta-potties and the realization that yes, I would indeed be this sweaty and disheveled for the next four days, that moment of panic comes.
I know what you’re thinking. Perhaps you’re thinking marching band is lame. When you see or hear the words “marching band,” you might think of the stereotypical “band geek” who walks around talking about cork grease and spit valves. Or maybe you think of sexually frustrated high schoolers, who brag about all the unmentionable things they did during that one time at band camp (looking at you, American Pie). But, I can promise you that marching band isn’t really like that…
…well, except maybe for that one time at band camp. Anyone who’s been in marching band knows band camp can get pretty wild for a number of reasons.
All band jokes aside, here is an explanation for why everyone should experience the Honda Battle of the Bands at some point during their lifetime.
Adams, TN is a brief town: home to barely 600 people and a few miles of softly rolling fields, glinting golden in the husky glow of the late autumn sun. Signs for corn mazes and freshly harvested clover honey adorn the narrowly winding US 41–leading a silver Chevy, stereo blasting James Blake’s “Retrograde,” to the Red River Campground, where the one rule of the weekend is to fly free.
This past weekend hosted the inaugural Fly Free Festival, a festival aiming to de-Roo the middle Tennessee music & arts community. Bonnaroo, though it is a world of magic, has grown to such incredible proportions that it has lost the intimacy and mindfulness of the original festival mission–it is, essentially, a temporary urbanity. Fly Free was the type of festival where an unlocked car did not mean property theft and falling asleep under the stars did not pose an invitation for violence.
This past Friday and Saturday marked the 3rd year of the return of Atlanta’s Music Midtown Festival to Piedmont Park. The two-day festival included three stages and a diverse line-up ranging from rap genius Kendrick Lamar, to classic rock titans Journey, to live show titans Red Hot Chili Peppers. I attended the festival with a friend who is a graduate student in chemistry at Georgia Tech. In short, it was an amazing weekend. After the jump, I’ll be giving you a look at it day-by-day, and then summarizing the festival experience as a whole to wrap things up. [Read more...]