Of course the music is the main reason I started attending festivals many years ago; I can never thank enough all of those wonderful musicians that choose to share their talents with the rest of us. But through the passage of these many years and these countless festivals another reason for me to love the experience of attendance has been the fact the I have found that I can meet the best people at a festival! Folks come to the festivals from all walks of life and all locales and many different views on life; and at the same time there is that one constant draw for everyone and that of course is the love of the music.
Today I was reliving a marvelous experience and I figured it was certainly worth a blog! Back in 2007 I had back to back sellout festivals....the first weekend was at the LEAF in North Carolina and the next weekend was in Florida at the Magnoliafest. And I needed help to pull that off! I did a little advertising and soon received an email from Sara, a dear friend, telling me that some friends of hers were going to be at the Magfest and that she was certain that they would love to help me and that also she was certain that I'd enjoy their company. I had no qualm about taking her advice and after contacting Dale and Laura, I felt relieved that my search for help was over.
The teardown at LEAF went smoothly, thanks to Lynne, another new friend/worker, and I headed down to Florida. I arrived and this fellow who I recognized walked up to me and introduced himself. We already knew each other, kind of....he and Laura had camped next to my regular patrons at Merlefest for a few years. We had only talked briefly; we never really had the time to get to know each other, as I was always super busy with my Merlefest setups.
So----after re-introducing me to his wife Laura, the first thing that they told me was that they wouldn't accept any pay! Oh... The second thing they said was: "are you hungry?" Mmm...this was goin' good! During the next two days Dale and Laura not only worked their butts off for me, but they also fed me. What a deal! (could I be any luckier...? >g<) We got all the setups set up in plenty of time, and became good friends in the process.
On Thursday the festival was about to start. I was hanging around my campsite when out from behind my trailer came bee-boppin' four women, dressed in red wigs that sported horns and they were all chanting something about "Dancin'Dave". The four were Laura, good friend Sara and another good friend Kerry, and one of their friends who I hadn't met before. And, they were all wearing t-shirts that read "Have You Slept With Dancin'Dave'sFestivalCamping.. Yet?" I absolutely cracked up, it was sooo hilarious! While I was busy cracking up Dale was busy filming the scene, and at the same time other friends had shown up...they were not in on the occurance, but their timing was impeccable! I was dumbfounded, to say the least...>g<
Turns out that Dale works at a screen-printing shop and he had took it upon himself to make up some Dancin'Dave t-shirts....there were four different models, consisting of around 20 shirts. He of course, in keeping with this theme, would not take any money for them. During the festival I handed a bunch of them out to friends, making sure that I saved a few for family back home. Then during the winter that year, a big package came delivered by UPS to my house one day...Dale had printed up yet another version, and this package included both t-shirts and sweatshirts. This was yet another crack-up...I laughed myself silly with this second surprise.
Since then I have actually made an order and Dale actually let me pay for the shirts. I have continued to give them to friends and family...and may even have some made up for sale someday. Folks seem to get a charge out of them, and I certainly do! I have even shared them with a couple of musical heroes/friends of mine....at Merlefest last spring I gave one to Jack Lawrence and at Magfest this past October I gave one to Sam Bush. And if I ever run into Barack I'll be sure to give him one as well....>g<
Gotta' love those festivals and those festivarians who hang out there!
The Teardown Crew: Dale, My, and yours truly..