Years ago when I was young and broke, I used to work my way through music festivals that interested me because I could never afford the tickets. I always enjoyed the Mariposa Folk Festival held in various locations near and around Toronto. As a kid, I was dragged there by my semi-hippie Mama.
As a young adult, I worked my way through college as a bartender and waitress, so I always go stuck in food services when I volunteered. One year, my job was to organize on foot delivery of food to the performers, a most excellent assignment because the performers were quite happy not to have to stand in a line up. They tended to invite the food workers in to whatever party they were having.
One year our shower facilities on site were two tents. A boy tent. A girl tent. And a garden hose. Spray and wash.
So I always had some affection for dirty, smelly, music festivals marked by debauchery, crowds and sunburns.
But a funny thing happened this year. Even though the crowds at the Beale Street Music festival were pretty well behaved and it did not rain the entire time, I lost the love. I might take a break next year and go to an actual blues or jazz fest.
In the past some of the headliners have caused public finger wagging. Three Six Mafia local boys from the Frayser area in Memphis, a once thriving now somewhat blighted area of town were accused of encouraging nudity and drug use when they did their shows. The thing is nobody huffed and puffed when the smell of herbal cocktails wafted around during Parliament or KC and the Sunshine Band in past years, or at Santana this year. My guess: because the people doing the grooving were old folks and they didn’t whip off their clothes to show off expanded waist lines and beer bellies. So. For some reason in the south the young ones engaging in illegal substances and flashing their hot bodies is way more offensive than Mom and Dad stepping out.
I do have a word to the Tall people of the universe. In my case, that means almost everybody. I like Tall people. I socialize with them regularly. But…..
In crowded social situations, elbowing the shorties in the head and stepping on their feet just to create some space and pass by is fucking rude. On the off chance that I am reincarnated as a sumo wrestler, I will remember you. And if you actually notice I am trying to take a picture, deliberately standing in front of me just because you can is also very fucking annoying. Thank you.