I stepped over lazy rocks and roots weaving clumsily through the redwood trees beside me. The fog followed us across the footbridge as clouds would follow. Sleepy and silent, we parked the car beside a brook, with a yawn and a smile and a stretch, upon a peninsula due-south of the stage. We pitched a tent, and the first day began with a warm sun overhead.
Too many words would empty the experience of its juice so I’ll try to stay short and sweet. There were a lot of friends and a lot of tents to house them. There were a lot of bands and a wooden stage to play them. Each morning we awoke to music and water mumbling over rocks and, for a lucky few of us, coffee sweetened by chicken eggs.
Those same few made a short trek long, but luckily a beach greeted us at the end of it all. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, split by hand. We asked a traveling couple for a ride back to Fernwood, south, and they were more than happy to help. There was music when we returned.
Every band complimented the feel of the forest surrounding us. Many many thank you’s to the musicians I met, in the audience and at the camp, for each and every sound you made this past weekend. Matt Baldwin and Beach House floored me. Two incredible performances.
But I especially want to thank two musicians who played songs that I never expected to hear. I returned to my tent as the sun sank between bands, thirsty and hungry for a seat. A ukulele came from a nearby tent with a hand and a voice to bring it alive. Dina Rae made her small instrument sing and rose a towering voice above it, singing songs that made us all sit still. Thank you.
Sisters also sat by the water, Cass and Karina. Karina fingerpicked a nylon-string guitar; her thumb and fingers sounded circles and layed lace around intuitive melodies played in the shapes of stories. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a sound so beautiful in an atmosphere to match. Thank you.
Throw in some beer and some gummy bears and you have yourself a fairly accurate picture of my time at the Festival in the Forest. I’m looking forward to the next.
Thank You FolkYEAH, Britt, the volunteers, Samuel J. Macon’s beautiful photography, and Big Sur for making it happen. Don’t miss Karina, known as Besos de Tortuga, playing at BrainWash in San Francisco on Saturday, October 18.
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Karina, known as Besos de Tortuga – “Hambre Besos”
Dina Rae – “Warbling Banshee”