Where do I start?…
I’m sitting in a hotel room in Palm Desert. Not a great hotel (more on that later), but it has a shower and AC along with a comfortable enough bed that I can get some rest before I return to work and civilization tomorrow.
Now I’m faced with a blank page (because calling it a blank screen just doesn’t flow the same way.)
I have a million thoughts, mostly good…a couple bad…but all of it a massive swirl that I’m still processing.
Let’s start with some basic advice for all festivals:
Whatever you expect, it will be different. You can go with it and have fun, or fight it and it’s likely you’ll not have as good a time. I had a list of bands to see, off the top of my head I can name five that I missed, and I don’t care. I saw at least five I didn’t plan to see and mostly I liked them.
Drink lots of water, I think I went through more than a case in three days.
Have an open mind, like the point above about expectations. You’ll have an opportunity to push your musical boundaries. This advice will lead you to things like a band you may love with a belly dancer and electric slide banjo player…definitely more on THAT later.
Don’t spend so much time chasing bands that you forget to stop and enjoy them. Take a break once in a while, otherwise you’ll just overload yourself…set a pace that allows a break here or there.
Drink lots of water.
Don’t feel you have to follow the crowd. See who else is playing against the headliner, avoid the crowd and you may find you best moment of the day in the process.
The bands at the bottom of the poster in the small print are the future headliners. Go early and seek them out. You’ll find some amazing musicians who are thrilled to be there and have a crowd to hear them. Show them some love and respect, and you’ll be well rewarded.
As my brilliant wife summed it up when we were chatting. A festival is like wine tasting. It allows you a chance to sample a bunch of stuff you might not otherwise have access to. A small taste without buying the whole bottle, at least until you know if you like it or not.
So, that’s a start…
(Don’t forget the water part…)
There’s a lot more to say as soon as I can get it all typed.