Me and the hux, the little clowncars, Tolstoy and the boyos, and even Nancy D. for a day. Thirty-six-ish hours of music in three days. The music mostly functions as background, a soundtrack as you play in the water, doze in the hammock, play catch, hang a pinata, tube the river, paint rocks in the art tent, hula hoop. There are alotta different flavors of bluegrass, and when you find one particularly matching your tastes you crowd up to the stage, dance like a blissed-out hippie, return to the water. Or the hammock. Or the beer tent.
Maybe a third of the attendees are families, so there are lots of little kids around. They run in herds. The adults there function as a collective family. You see a kid skin a knee, you give them a bandaid. You see a kid trying to learn to hula hoop, you teach them how. Yeah, there's a little weed, lotsa beer, but you rarely see someone out of control. It's a three day safe zone. In an over-policed society where our kids are cocooned in living rooms and bedrooms with cellphones and televisions, where they are told not to talk to strangers, where they are driven home from school and enter the house from the garage so they don't have to set foot outside or encounter anyone they've never met before, it's a welcome respite.
Anyway. Rant concluded. I believe I have a new favorite band. The Horse Flies. They played the last set, Saturday night. The kids, usually unable to stay still for more the five minutes at a time, were rapt. So was I. Watch the video. At least until the chick with the violin cuts loose. Trust me.
If you want to hear more of them, they have individual songs and entire concerts available for free download. Someone should really tell them they'll never make any money that way.
*a reference to Aja. Steely Dan. I've used it before.