A Big Loud Festival

April 26th, 2015, 1pm

It was 6°C. The breeze was light.

Two hundred bands (or more) scattered over 40 venues (or more) during the next 8 days (that’s fixed). I sit in the sun with a yellow hi-lighter marking the bands I might like to hear in the 100 page (or more) catalogue. A $25.00 wristband will admit me to any concert during the next 8 days (although the pints of fine craft beer are extra)! Two hundred bands? Well I notice the musicians sometimes coalesce then break up, scatter, mix up and often recombine, coalescing with another group of musicians in another band - so like the fog banks over Lake Superior.

For one who came of age in the “American Graffitti” era the “Homegrown Music Festival” can be eye opening and ear numbing. The music certainly blows out the cobwebs of fuddy-duddy. The festival broadens my musical experience because while wandering from one of my choices to another I always hear other stuff - some of it good some of it well - it doesn’t suit my taste.

Wednesday an ensemble of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra has a gig right before Trampled By Turtles **on the main stage at Clyde Iron Work just after **Big Dave Wave & the Ripples. I can’t wait to see the eclectic audience that lineup draws. I plan to arrive early so I can squeeze my body into the crowd.

The festival, now 17 years-old, draws from both condos and dorm rooms. I will meet folks living on Social Security and Student Loans as well as a biweekly payroll. But for everybody, it’s easier and recommended to pay with cash these evenings.

Next weekend during the big final two days of the festival, the local transit authority runs a shuttle service between venues for folk just a bit ‘too happy’, to manage the walk (the ‘designated walkers’ can ride too) complete with a band on the bus.

So I’m picking out my wardrobe for the festival - nothing from the 1960,s - and memorizing the recommended rules of behavior for festival goers. The first is

First and foremost, we ask that you have fun without being a fuck knuckle and ruining things for other people. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t run out into Superior Street in front of traffic or piss on storefronts. Don’t heckle the bands unless you are in a band and can be heckled back. Don’t crowd surf if you are wearing combat boots. Don’t leave anyone choking on vomit.

I guess that about sums up the next week of my retirement. Now back to picking bands …

Shu said thanks.

Share this moment

Ken Jackson

An avid outdoors man. Retired and retiring, living on the shore of Lake Superior

Create a free account

Have an account? Sign in.

Sign up with Facebook