Report from Hippiedom circa 2013

In case you folks didn’t realize it, a history train from my youth pulled through nearby Nelson County last weekend. I was only there for 50% of the time (sorta like my youth?), but I didn’t see you, so I thought I ought to report about the experience. Perhaps you can amplify….

It was called “Lock’n Festival” but before that it was called “Interlocken Music Festival” and in some dreams it might have been called “Bonnaroo Virginia” or “Bonnaroo Reinvented” or “Woodstock” or even the “Griffith Park Love-In” or “Summer of Love” or something like that. At least, I suspect the promoters hoped that’s what would happen (but without the free soup kitchens and with a lot more capitalistic success).

Now with due respect, there was free water (and it was reputed to be cocoanut filtered). There was also an emphasis on local providers. Many Charlottesville and Lynchburg establishments sold their food and wares alongside the ubiquitous Greatful Dead (and Further) stalls. And there were other promotions: You know, 20 people wearing Star Hill shirts—representing the beer concessionaire—and carrying half-meter diameter ballons emblazoned with “Star Hill” snaked through the assembled crowd and tossed the balloons away, apparently hoping to start an orgy of beachball-bouncing advertising.

Some of the food was passably good, in fact. Thanks to Orzo for being there and raising the average.

Beautiful setting. There were lots and lots (and lots) of people. Acres and acres of campers. Acres and acres of day visitors. It was a half-mile hike to get from the day parking to the stage area. But that was pretty well managed after an apparent disaster the first day when all the campers and the day visitors were flooding into the site at one time—should be easy to solve next year.

People wore their finery. You could see:

  • The special shirt from concert X;
  • The soft, red-white-and-blue, stove-top hat;
  • The best, Sunday-go-to-meeting tiedye;
  • The “Fat Man Rocks” patch on your denim jacket;
  • The singlet that shows off lots of tattoos;
  • The bikini top with a long skirt;
  • No shirts (with terrible-looking sunburns);
  • Way lots of variation in footware, though boots and barefeet seemed to be leading the pack;
  • Halter top that fits pretty loosely;
  • Lots of solo dancing (or working out?) with hula hoops;
  • All manner of special headwear;
  • Special accouterments such as a puppet monkey with legs tucked into one’s waistband and one’s hand up its nether part so that one can animate its head while holding its hand and pretending to dance with it. (O.K., maybe she was really dancing with it, not pretending.)

Thank goodness it was dry. Oh wait,…that made it dusty! At least it wasn’t muddy. The porta-johns (ahem, there were a lot of us—double entendre; did you get that?) were set on stable ground. They were fresher earlier in the day. Savvy festival goers carried their own TP.

Tedeschi Trucks band performing at Lock'n

Tedeschi Trucks at Lock’n

But, of course, the real story of the festival was the music. Sadly, The main attraction for us, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, cancelled after we’d bought tickets. I missed the first two days (Pat said String Cheese Incident was good), but I got through lots of bands (see full list) on Saturday and Sunday. Trey Anastasio’s current band was excellent. It was really good to see the Hackensaw Boys catch the audience’s attention with a fine set. And the Tedeschi Trucks Band (11 very talented musicians) showed why everyone should be listening to them.

Will I go back if it happens again next year? I don’t know if I am old enough. Or is it young enough?


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Filed under Amusements, Neighborhood, News, Tunes

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