This past weekend my friends and I decided on one of the most spontaneous decisions I’ve made so far in my life. We missed two days of classes to drive across the state to rage.
The first weekend of September, my friends and I drove to Nelson Ledges Quarry Park to get groovy at Summerdance, a three-day music festival. It was my first festival and hands down the best weekend of my life. I couldn’t get enough of it. I talked to my friends about wanting to go to Resonance, another three-day music festival in Thornville, Ohio at the end of September but the time, money, work and school pointed that it wasn’t possible. After Summerdance, I had nothing else to look forward to. My summer was over and we all had to go back to our normal lives of doing school work and going to our jobs.
My best friend Destiny and I decided spontaneously the day before Resonance started that we were going to go. We both had school but we said f*** it. I whipped out a whole history paper that night, along with microeconomics homework.
The day we left, our friends Jake and Connor who were also going to Resonance, dropped Destiny off at my dorm on the way down to Thornville. When I got back from my crazy day of work and classes, I dropped off my backpack, fed my fish and we busted out of Kent.
We jammed on the two and half hour car ride there, prepping for the weekend. We blasted all of our favorite bands; Papadosio, Wookiefoot, Dirty Heads, and Tokyo Police Club. We arrived there just an hour after our friends did, and we set up with them and a whole bunch of our other friends from New York. Of course our friends picked a spot right next to one of the side stage tents, which we ultimately regretted when we couldn’t fall asleep until 6 a.m. when the music stopped each night. Forreal though, I love to rage all night but there gets to a point when your body needs to rest and just laying in your tent at 5 a.m. wishing you could get three hours of sleep in before the sun comes up is hell.
The lineup was even better than Summerdance. Papadosio, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Dopapod, Wookiefoot, Keller Williams, Trevor Hall, Rising Appalachia, and so many more bands were playing all weekend. However, I was slightly disappointed with the venue. You can’t really compare music festivals, but the sand underneath your toes while jamming at the stage at Summerdance was rockin. Resonance was set up in a big open area, where there were very minimal trees to set up hammocks. Unfortunately, I did not get a hammock spot and set up a tent like the majority of the hippies there.
Resonance was just as much as an art festival as it was a music festival. There were dozens of vendors selling hand-made crafts of necklaces, crystals, clothing and artwork. Being at music festivals kind of makes you feel like you’re way back in the olden days. The barter system works so well at music festivals, allowing you to trade goods for goods, even to get some food. Professional fire-spinners and hoola-hoopers lit up the venue throughout the weekend, and during the sets on the main stage, artists were painting to the music. That was probably one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever experienced. The atmosphere of everyone enjoying the same music I love, along with seeing these amazing painters create a masterpiece to the music was astonishing. I really hope everyone gets to experience something like that in their lives.
My favorite sets during the weekend were Trevor Hall and Wookiefoot. I never heard of Trevor Hall until I actually heard him play the first night. His songs “Indigo,” “The Lime Tree,” “Where is the Love,” and “Green Mountain State” took everyone’s breath away. I watched the painters on the stage create a landscape work of art to his music about the world and life’s problems. Listening and dancing to his music with my friends made me overly emotional and I cried tears of happiness from the messages he was singing in his songs. Everyone was so in touch with his performance and the set coordinators actually had to stop him because he went over his time frame of performing. The crowd went crazy when he had to leave the stage but we were all left with a sense of peacefulness.
Wookiefoot had the best visual effects while performing. Everyone in the band was painted in florescent colors and professional dancers and spinners added decorations to the stage. The flute players kicked ass during their solos throughout the songs and their most popular songs, “Put it Down,” “Shangri-La,” and “Loose Your Mind,” was such a great experience to hear live. To close their set, 20 or so people involved with Wookiefoot lined the stage and wished everyone a peaceful life.
For those of you who’ve never been to a music festival, you really become a dirty hippie for the weekend. There are no showers or restrooms. You learn to accept everyone for who they are and what they have to offer to the world. This spontaneous trip with all of my favorite people and jamming to music all weekend ended the summer with such a great aura. I really cannot wait until next summer when my friends and I can get groovy for weekends at a time with thousands of other people who want to share the same experiences.
I highly encourage everyone to experience at least one music festival in their life. Even the smaller ones such as Summerdance and Resonance can be more fulfilling than bigger ones. You end up personally connecting with more people and it’s a lot less crazy. But hey, crazy is fun too. My piece of advice to everyone is to spend your time and money on experiences and making memories. My ticket to Resonance was $160, and that got me three days of jamming out with my friends and creating awesome memories. You’re not going to remember or care about all the materialistic things you bought, but the memories you made throughout your life. Just always be safe, have fun and always keep your groove.