Nearing the end of Fremont Fair. The last band just quit. The radio is now coming alive with stage managers, trouble monkeys, crazed volunteers and vendors of all levels of vehicular range.
Here’s how it works’.
Festival ends, stages and booths get torn down, garbage is collected, signs removed and pedestrians mowed down. We had over 300 food and crafts vendors, 4 music stages, an art car caravan, a catapult ride and rogue human organ harvesting teams. A broiling hippie cluster fuck with overflowing trashcans and portapotties under the hot summer sun.
All of the vendors are lying through their hummus spackled teeth in an attempt to breach the ground to load their crap out. Never mind that the grounds are still packed with fairgoers. ‘Of course we paid our percentage. Of course the vendor manager cleared us for entry.’ The owner of the production company can’t even drive his car onsite, but your piece of shit Olds Delta 88 spewing gas and oil on the ground is getting a police escort.
It’s sheer chaos and I’m sitting here monitoring the radio listening to it getting chaosier. We have 16 individual channels on the radio, but for some reason we’ve just dropped to 1. It’s like I’m listening to a full blown invasion of my borders, the guards trying to hold back the enemy, but they’re ceaseless in their desire to overrun us.
They all say that they’ve been given permission to enter!
Did I mention that last night, Saturday, we hosted a party in the base compound for the former head of this festival? Or that my day began at 6 am and this party started at 10 pm? 15 pizzas and untold cases of beer and other intoxicants. I left at about 9:30 on my bicycle and didn’t look back. Of course, it took me until 2 am to fall asleep, then back here at 8 am.
It’s now 8:02 pm.
I spent part of the day composing haiku and eating crappy festival food. I think I ate part of somebody’s cat from a Vietnamese place yesterday and there was what tasted like lawn clippings in some tabouli from a Lebanese stand.
It’s 8:15 now. Radio traffic is as bad as vehicular. People are jumping channels, creating their own pirate radio stations. Reception sucks. 2 hours ago, I was nodding off. Now I’m wide-awake and going to wait this thing out.
45 minutes into load out and already 50% of the vendors are gone!
I’m flashing back to all of the festivals I’ve worked in the past and my levels of involvement thereof. Bumbershoot, WOMAD, Bite of Seattle and Taste of Tacoma. Usually, I do 1 thing only. Sound, backline, office manager. If I’m a Production Manager, yeah, I’m all over the place but more often than not have enough people covering their specific areas that everything’s pretty much laid out like a jigsaw puzzle and all I’ve got to do is sand down the wrong bits to make it fit (a solution for every problem!).
Much Later …
It’s all done but the crying. Except
For the lost dogs and the kidnapping?
And the police and the pizza and
Budweiser in metal bottles?
After about 17 hours on the last day of the fair, it becomes obvious that one of the production vendors is not going to swing by and remove the stages. So, everybody lock and load and move them so traffic and commerce can flow Monday morning.
I had some pizza and a couple of beers (the second one had to be in a glass bottle, the aluminum one freaked me out) and then climbed on my bike and sailed into the sunset …
It’s now Tuesday morning. Raining like Hell. It’s a good thing I didn’t go camping after all. Luckily, there’s plenty to do around the old homestead, like more construction work on the main house and plenty of guitar parts to play on the new tracks. John Bishop, uberlord of Origin Records, sent me the mock-up of my new cd cover, and boy howdy, is it ever spanky! I hope the music sounds as good as the graphics!
Release is slated for August. I’ll let you know if there are any officially sanctioned happenings associated with it.