It had been 23 years since I had last done the music festival/camping thing, so Aaron, my fabulous ex-hippie music loving boyfriend and I, had decided it was high time to reconnect with that part of ourselves. After searching online through various music festivals that worked within our available summer dates, we decided on the All Good Music Festival and Campout in Thornville, Ohio. Gates opened on Thursday and for 4 glorious days, there were bands on two stages from noon till 3 am.
Having been a young, broke, inexperienced hippie/traveler/camper the last time I had done this, I knew better this time, and decided to make a few changes based on past experience.
First of all, we, and by we I mean I, decided on the Glamping package. I had paid my dues dragging my shit a mile from the car, then struggling to setting up tents (or not) in the middle of the night in the pitch black, only to wake up and discover that our tent was a mile where it was supposed to be. No thanks. This time, with the glamping package, not only did you get entrance for two for all four days, but there was a 10 x 12′ tent all set up for you with two cots, in a location only 100 yards from the entry gates. It also included parking close to your tent, and air-conditioned showers. That alone was worth the extra cash, because as any music festival going hippie will tell you, sweaty camping for four days leaves you dirtier than a former Disney channel star.
The day our package and wristbands arrived in the mail, we were more excited than conservative legislators thinking about birth control.
We spent the next two weeks making a detailed list of everything we would need to take with us to ensure all the necessary comforts. Basically we thought of everything we had always wished we had when we last did this a million years ago, and never did.
Just a few things…
On Thursday I packed everything in a manner that would have made an Army sergeant unable to contain a heavy tear, glistening with pride, from trickling down his rugged and calloused face. I packed up my car and headed over to Aaron’s to wait for him to get home from work at 4:30, and then we unpacked my Jeep and loaded everything into his truck. It looked like we were ready to stock a bomb shelter. With our cooler filled with Monster energy drinks in the backseat, and a kick ass playlist, we hit the road for Ohio at 5:00.
Aaron likes to air condition his car to meat locker temperatures, and although we were in the midst of a swampy motherfucking heat wave, I found myself wishing I had a Snuggie and a mug of hot chocolate. In my opinion, road trips are not road trips without the windows down, music blaring, and wind whipping through your hair. A few hours into the trip once it cooled down to about 90, I got my wish. We were singing Dead songs and laughing, I had my feet kicked up on the dash chugging my gigantic Starbucks coffee and smoking cigarettes like it was a contest. Waves of nostalgia washed over us and our inner 18-year-olds were beaming.
Around 11pm, after a side of the road pee, we were pulling into the campground gates. No one seemed to know exactly where the Glamping section was, apparently it was as elusive as a clitoris in a 1970’s Puerto Rican bush, and we spent the next hour driving from lot to lot until someone actually knew where the hell it was. A super stoned dude in a golf cart told us to follow him as he led us over a ridge to our campground.
It was now about midnight, and for two people used to going to bed by 10, we were fully amped on energy drinks and began the arduous task of unloading the truck and dragging all of our shit to the tent. We scanned our wristbands and entered the glamping section and chose one out of about 12 tents. We were blown away. The tent itself was tall enough to walk in, both ends of it flapped open or closed, and the view out the back was a direct line to the main stages. There were paper lanterns in every shape, size and color strung from the tree tops. It felt like a magical fairy land, something out of a children’s picture book. The music was loud, the air was thick with heat, we were both slicked with sweat as we stood in front of our tent at the top of the ridge, taking it all in. The crowd below was a blur of glow sticks and hula hoops, and every few minutes the skunky sweet smell of weed drifted by like the smoke monster from Lost.
Wow. That’s all we could say to each other. Wow.
Once all of our shit was in the tent and we were sweating like meth-heads in a standing still contest, hand in hand we headed down the ridge, grinning wildly, experiencing once again that long ago feeling of becoming one with the energy of the crowd. By the time we got down and made our spots as close as we were going to get, it was 1am and Beats Antique took the stage, and within 10 minutes, I knew I had a new favorite band. We let ourselves get lost in the music and danced our asses off till almost 3am. Once they finished, we were stuck in the purgatory between exhaustion and adrenaline, and headed back up to our tent/sauna for our first attempt at sleep on our air mattress/trampoline.
To be continued…
Beats Antique…seriously, check them out, they are an utterly unique, original, sexy multi-ethnically influenced blend of enticing and seductive awesomeness. Here’s a taste:
Categories: Adventures & Travels