After last night's post-festival torrential downpour, I'm not sure what mood I will find the hardcore gate-waiters in when I head to my shift at the Record Tent today. Yesterday as I headed into my 10:00 am shift, I asked the first people in line, as is my custom, what time they had started lining up for the 4:30 gate opening. 7pm the previous night, they had told me. But they didn't have the downpour and the cold whipping winds to deal with. Maybe I should hand out hot chocolate to the hardy souls today.
I love working setup for the Folk Festival. When you are unpacking and pricing CDs in the Record Tent, not only does it provide a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the albums and the artists, it gives you a chance to take in the hum of the pre-festival atmosphere. The entire island virtually hums with excitement, as stages get readied and artists begin to arrive and the food vendors fire up the ovens and start tormenting us with the heady aromas of butter chicken and lamb kabobs and kettle corn and garlic everything.
As I was filling my backpack before I left in the morning, I couldn't locate my collapsible toothbrush, so I brought the cat's. And I used it too. Fortunately the cat had never done so, so it's not quite as crazy cat lady as it sounds, but the kitten was gratified to know that she had done her bit at keeping the festival patrons safe from the ravages of lunchtime garlic.
I had a chance to head over to Media on my lunch break to put in an interview request, having had the go ahead from BC Musician Magazine to write an article about Dan Mangan. When he brought his own CDs into the Record Tent later that afternoon, I had the opportunity to mention it to him and he graciously replied that he would be pleased to chat with me, that he always confirms all media requests.
Take a note, new musicians, this is how you become a beloved and heralded artist - graciously accept all interview requests and offered gigs. Oh, it doesn't hurt to be extremely talented either.
The six hour shift flew by. I worked quite a lot with Micah, organzing and pricing the CDs. She is a fellow music nerd who was duly impressed with my Radiohead water bottle, as I was by her scoring tickets to the James show in Vancouver in October. We were quite pleased to discover that we also work together on Sunday. "I like working with you!" she told me, and I replied "I like working with you too; you're smart and you're organized and I like that in a person". "I'm also a bit of a control freak", she confessed, but I assured her that the Record Tent was exactly the right place for control freaks.
I met up with the Zombie clan at our usual spot and we were thrilled to do a little tarp sharing with Susan and Jeff during the main stage show of Library Voices (indie pop group from Regina, all dressed in white, anti-goth, Susan called them), Natacha Atlas (who also did a little belly dancing), the highly anticipated Stars (Amy Millan was sporting the most intriguing blue eye shadow and sparkly dress and a voice that was clear and sweet). Susan and Jeff then had to leave to catch Wolf Parade at the Republik (don't these rock stars ever coordinate their schedules), but they graciously left behind their blanket, which we put to good use, as it was starting to get mighty chilly.
The night ended with the Avett Brothers from North Carolina absolutely flooring the place with their high energy-stomping harmonizing hair-swinging punk bluegrass country. We suspect that the Asian fellow on the cello was not a blood relation however. They were amazing and I am glad we put a full complement of Avett Brothers CDs into the satellite record tent by the mainstage, as I as pretty sure there was a rush for them after the show.
Today, I head back down to the island for an earlyish shift, leaving the family to drag all our stuff to the hotel by themselves. We'll be holed up at the Sheraton for the weekend, as is our tradition, steps away from the music and the folks. And I, in an unprecidented move, am leaving the laptop at home, so you will have to wait till Monday for the rundown on the remainder of the weekend.
You can bet it will include CD purchases, artist encounters, falafels, and gelato though. You couldn't call it a folk fest without them.