Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jun 16 2008

Hippiefest ’08

I really didn’t feel like venturing out into the deluge for the Hoping for Hoping music festival, but we’d been invited, and it had been pleasant in past years. I was sure it wasn’t going to do my persistant cough any good, though. Sandman picked me up in front of the 7-Eleven downstairs, and we drove to pick up David, who was recovering from a cold, and then Slim, who was recovering from a fierce hangover. Following instructions from the Internet, we made it down to Longtan with no problems, but when we arrived at the Kunlun Gardens, we found that we were no longer allowed to drive up to the site, and had to wait for the van. We waited for a long time as other people who had been waiting longer were shuttled up, including a group of aborigine kids who played drums.

muddy feetFinally, we got a place in the van, but when we arrived, we found that Peacefest had become a series of tents pitched in a sea of mud. Most of the hippies, and there were many, were going barefoot. I imagined there were all kinds of dangerous objects, natural and man-made, buried beneath the surface. We found a mud-covered Lynn Miles inside the local temple.

We were on at 4pm, so we had a little practice session on the second-floor stairway of the temple before we went on. I wasn’t quite awake yet, so I had to go grab a quick whisky coke as the rest of the band took the stage.

The show started out great; the audience was dancing and bobbing to our beat, and you never would have guessed we hadn’t had a real rehearsal in months. The sound guys did a great job, and we were hot. We’d only played a few songs, however, when we got the signal to wrap it up. WTF? But apparently there was some kind of scheduling problem, so we played “Riverside” and left the stage.

The aborigine kids’ group played for a while, accompanied by a mostly naked firebreather who happens be the chief of the Dream Community, followed by some foreign bands. Each of these played for what seemed like hours. One song went on longer than our entire set. I was driving back, so I wasn’t having any more drinks. I stood chatting with the guy I have a small crush on, wondering how cool he must be to not be creeped out by that embarrassing fact.

A giant peace sign was lit on fire, and then another. A giant inflatable chicken bobbed around the area. People shot off fireworks, and the Peace Circle began with some chanting. We were still talking off to the side, and got some hostile glares from the Circle for our insolence. There didn’t seem to be any focus to the event.

The rain never really stopped; there was no place to sit down. Everything was covered in mud. We’d done our tiny bit, but as night fell the line for the van going back down the hill was too long to consider. We grabbed some sub-par hamburgers at a stand and extricated ourselves from the situation, hauling our gear back down the mountain on foot in the dark. I wore the tub on my head as a makeshift umbrella. Back at the bottom of the hill, we met some Japanese musicians, one of whom, Syusaku Kanda, was also a washtub bass player. I set up the bass so he could play it, and he seemed impressed. I was sorry I hadn’t heard his group play.

The whole experience, however, was rather disappointing. If I’d known about the no-car policy, even for bands with heavy equipment, as well as our only being allowed to play a handful of songs while other bands went on as long as they liked, I’d have rather just skipped the whole mess.

The drive back was uneventful, and I ended up at Darrell’s and Judy’s for his 40th birthday party. There were many people there I knew vaguely, and I’m afraid I spent a bit too much time talking shop with Paul and Darrell instead of chatting with other guests. But it was fun, and the food was good. Judy insisted on offering me a huge slab of birthday cake to take home, which I found a little embarrassing (but too good to refuse).

Sunday was spent editing and coughing, mostly at the same time. This morning I went to see the doctor, who said I had acute bronchitis and tonsilitis, so now I’m on the loopy pills for a few days. The rain hasn’t let up, either. Every time I think full-on summer is here, I’m wrong.

posted by Poagao at 11:05 am  

1 Comment »

  1. Yeah, that was a really disappointing Peacefest. Crap, I’d go so far as to say. They really took the piss out of us and I will not be keen to play there again. What did we have? Like 5 short songs or something? Fucking ridiculous. What a total waste of time.

    Comment by sandman — June 17, 2008 @ 7:20 am

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