I make no secret of my adoration for music in all forms. Or at least most forms- there is a certain brand of screaming-“music” that I don’t appreciate and some really gangster rap that doesn’t suit my fancy. (On a side note, I find the phrase “suit my fancy” to be quite a strange one- but I think I like it. It, in fact, tickles my fancy.) This weekend, I took in a music festival. This festival is traditionally centered around folk music, but the organizers and festival-goers alike tend to genre-bend with alarming fluidity, resulting in appearances by musicians of all varieties. For 27 years the festival has been put on in a conservation area just 15 minutes from my house- terribly convenient and seemingly irresistable to people like me who have a few extra dollars to spend and a deep-seated love of the sung word.

For three days, I became a festival goer. In the past, I’ve been too busy or away and thusly haven’t been to the festival in several years, but I was glad that this year I was able to attend. Throughout the weekend I saw an eclectic mix of musicians, from electro-pop to folk to rap (of a more palatable variety). Whatever it was that I was listening to, I was enjoying the feeling of the bass pumping through my feet and shaking my core. I was reveling, for the most part, in the collective enjoyment of the crowd. There were times, to be sure, that I wasn’t having so much fun. For example, when the skies opened up in a thunderstorm and I found myself wading through knee-deep mud.

No, the mud was definitely not the highlight of the weekend. Some, however, did seem to enjoy the dirtiness. As much as I try to throw myself into a hippy-leaning lifestyle, I just can’t enjoy being that in touch with the earth. The real highlights of the weekend were not obscured by the dark mud that flowed throughout the grounds. The feeling of community abounds at this festival- where literally anything goes as long as you respect the earth, the performers, and others festival-goers. Sure, the stale stench of illicit activities wafted through the air in a greater concentration than my nose would have prefered, but over all the sounds and smells of the festival were awe-inspiring. From the lentil vindaloo enjoyed to the strumming of a guitar to the happy singing of a ukelele or a reggae band, there is really something about the festival that drew me in.

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