Making Up for Lost Time: The Resurgence of Music
Making Up for Lost Time
As the co-creator and co-operator of Festy GoNuts, Music Festivals occupied a good portion of my life for many years. Mapping out our festival schedule seemed to be a year-round task. Even if I wasn’t attending the festivals personally, I was reaching out to find journalists and photographers to see if they could cover them for Festy GoNuts. And even if that wasn’t a possibility, I still had them on my radar to share details through our website and social media posts.
In March 2020, we saw the first of our many festival cancellations occur when Boogie at the Broadmoor was officially postponed. (Did they ever officially cancel that Leftover Salmon festival?) It seemed our newsfeed for the rest of 2020 was dedicated to sharing updates of cancellations or postponements of music festivals and concerts. A huge void was created in our typical activities schedule.
Adjusting to a Virtual World
So, we adjusted our promotions and coverage for Festy GoNuts. We created Festy From the Futon. We interviewed artists from our home. We live-streamed concerts from our couch. We threw Zoom Dance Parties.
As the weather warmed up, things seemed to be opening up – slowly. Friends opened up their yards for intimate concerts. We attended outdoor concerts corralled into a small area with a handful of our friends. We witnessed outdoor cinemas transformed into stages. We even got to experience concerts at our favorite venues (ie: Mishawaka and Red Rocks Amphitheater) with only a small portion of the normal attendees.
What Time Is It? FESTIVAL TIME!
Fast-forward to the beginning of 2021. When the Covid-19 vaccinations rolled out, so did the concert and festival announcements. The light at the end of the tunnel was suddenly brighter. The future of the music industry was a little more certain.
Our first festival experience in almost a year and a half was Tico Time Bluegrass Festival in Aztec, New Mexico. (Thanks to Strings and Sol 2019, we were lucky to have only had about 16 months of festival downtime).
As we crossed over the state border from Colorado and into the Tico Time RV Resort on the Animas River, it felt like we were crossing into a different time and world.
It felt safe, knowing we had been fully vaccinated for weeks. But it also felt foreign.
The World is Opening Up
We weren’t confined to a 10×10 space with our quarantine buddies. We weren’t required to wear masks. We didn’t have to follow the dots on the ground strategically placed 6’ apart.
Sure, we were asked to take precautions – wash your hands regularly, wear a mask if you weren’t vaccinated. But we had been permitted to drop our guard.
We removed our masks. We hugged our friends. And we introduced our new quarantine acquisitions – Dirty Frank and Phife Dawg – to the world of festivating.
For a full 3 days, we watched a brand new festival successfully create a presence in a world that had all but been dismantled the year prior. The producers of Tico Time seemed to predict a void in the music world that would need to be filled, and they entered the 2021 festival market with a dozen newly curated music festivals at their fully renovated RV park.
Go big or go home. To say we were impressed would be an understatement.
To Rage or Not To Rage
Meanwhile, music festivals began setting dates, announcing lineups, and selling out all across the country. But we weren’t exactly ready to go “all-in” quite yet. It seemed perfectly comfortable to just dip our toes in the festival water. Plus, Colorado’s music calendar was plenty enough to keep us busy.
That’s not to say we aren’t tempted to jump in the camper with the pup and hit the road. Traveling is second nature to us, and we’re certainly anxious to scratch that travel itch. It’s more like our normal routine had been slightly adjusted, and we were learning to slow the hell down.
To be frank, we did enough raging in 2019 to make up for a decade. The more I look back on it, the more I wonder if we had some sort of idea that we were about to get shut down and shut out of live music and traveling.
In 2019, we saw well over 100 live shows (it’s hard to keep count when you go to a 4-day music festival with side stages or catch every opening band at each concert – it adds up!) We traveled to Maryland (3x), Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, Utah, Georgia, Hawaii, Mexico (and even Jamaica in early 2020).
We just kept crushing life, until, life as we know it just got totally crushed itself.
Then, after several months of a major break, everything started to open back up.
Festivals were in full swing. Concerts were at full capacity. Every weekend invited us to go out, see live music, and surround ourselves with dozens and hundreds of friends and strangers.
What Exactly is NORMAL?
It’s was like things were almost, dare I say … normal?
But there was still a sense of bold audacity about the whole thing. Like we were getting away with something. Like we’re kids that just snuck out of the house and are secretly partying with our friends in the woods, hoping not to get busted.
And maybe we did get busted. Maybe we’re realizing that it was too much too soon. We’re now seeing a new variant of the virus looming over us, causing increases in cases and hospitalizations. And we’re starting to see memories of last year flash before our eyes.
But for now, we’re embracing it. Loving every moment we’re getting to spend with our friends, dancing, singing, and hugging. (Yes, hugging.)
And maybe the hugs last a little longer right now. Maybe the dancing goes a little later. Maybe the band plays a bit longer.
Because we know how quickly it can all go away, and for now – we’re all making up for lost time.
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