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Friday, May 27, 2011
Delfest: another formerly cool festival killed by greed
Listening to:toaster oven timer click
Reading:Magic Street
Weather:rainy like a mofo
Delfest promoters got greedy and screwed fest goers this year. Sad to see such a formerly wonderful festival suddenly turn so crappy.

All three of the first DelFests were pretty awesome, even despite the hella microburst at DelFest2. In all the first 3 DelFests you camped right by your car in a perfectly designed area for that: rows of parallel gravel roads with about 15-20 feet of grass between each, each grassy area graded to slightly pitch toward the middle, so when the rain fell it drained down the middle and headed toward the river below. On the other side of a perpendicular gravel road toward the river was a lower camping area with some trees, bounded by the river. This area was walk-in camping only, you had to park your car just outside it. Seemed like it would be nice but we preferred camping by our cars and thought the lower area might be inhabited by skeeters in the evening.

This year a couple days before the fest started (yesterday) this notice appeared on the DelFest page:

New Camping/Parking Info The venue has significantly increased it’s [sic] camping areas in the woods by clearing out underbrush and low limbs. Expect to be parked tightly and efficiently, and to use the wooded areas for walk-in camping. You won’t be too far from your vehicle, but do not expect to camp right next to your car as we need to maximize parking space, and park efficiently.

Most festgoers probably never saw that, since the daily schedule and lineups had been up for weeks, and most of us bought tickets and downloaded directions and info weeks ago. But even if you saw it, I think it was reasonably assumed by repeat festgoers that you could just choose to camp in the OLD camping area and park by your campsite rather than move to this new area. Or choose the old camping area that was walk-in camping and do it that way.


To me, that is not what the website said at all. This fucked us all up in a bunch of ways, including:
1. We packed presuming we'd be camped by our car. We had to hump a shitzillion things to the campsite about 100 yards from our car, including heavy EZups and whatnot, and didn't bring a wagon or pack for hauling.
2. It thunderstormed like a crazy bitch, including hail twice, last night after we had all our campsite set up and all our stuff out, including our friend's teepee up. We couldn't just stash our clothes and stuff we needed to keep dry in the car quick, the car was a walk away. Lots of shit got soaked.
3. The "new" camping area we were ushered to when we got there was actually the old walk-in camping area down by the river and down grade from the parking lot. Not only is it flat and swampy, as opposed to the perfectly graded camping/parking area from last year, THE PARKING AREA ABOVE HAS PIPED DRAINS INTO THE WALK-IN CAMPING AREA.
Literally 4 inch black corrugated pipes drain the parking area to the camping area. 4. We did not discover this brilliant drainage system until we were sitting in the teepee on chairs while more and more water kept rising on the grass. We notice water spouting up about 5 inches out of the ground right inside the edge of the teepee at the highest point. WTF? A wetwater spring? After somebody reached his hand in to feel the ground where the water was spouting, he said "this is a freakin pipe."
5. We dig a little around it and see that it's perforated corrugated black plastic 4 inch pipe, the kind you use to drain around your house. We go outside to see if there are more pipes and where the pipe seems to come from, and the whole freakin camping area is ponds, some 6 inches deep.
6. Meanwhile, there's lightning all around and we are all ankle-deep in water. Didn't your mom tell you to get the hell out of the pool during a thunderstorm? yeah, I'm no electrical engineer but I know electricity grounds through water.
7. Back to lots of shit got soaked: doesn't matter how awesome your tent is if it's sitting in 6 inches of water your shit is going to get wet. All our bedding got wet, lots of other stuff. Thankfully we had brought a few plastic tubs with lids in which we stored batteries and electronic stuff. Saved that.

After the rain quit we took a little walk to the bathroom. We quickly started shivering, since the front that passed through had cold air behind it and we were entirely soaked head to toe. The music hadn't even started yet, but I just wanted to get someplace where I could find warm and dry clothes and a bed. Time to bail, we drove all the way home, planning to come back tomorrow and figure out some new bedding strategy since our sleeping bags and foam will definitely not dry anytime soon.

We missed Donna the Buffalo, Del McCoury, and the Infamous Stringdusters. But I was shivering and figured it can't be much fun to freeze your ass off and then sleep on a wet bed.

Thanks a lot, DelFest, you ruined my vacation so you could make more money jamming more cars in. Assholes.

permalink posted by cat 8:35 AM

read 1 comments

you had a post about Glen Creed's death a couple of years ago that I stumbled upon by accident. I was friends with glen and we started our first band together by selling and otherwise pandering shit door to door until we raised enough money to buy a couple of cheap mics and stands from Radio shack. I had lost touch with him several years ago and would like to talk with you about him somehow- if possible- to get a better understanding on what happened to him. Somehow I will try and make the connection if you are available
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Delfest: another formerly cool festival killed by greed