Wednesday, August 12, 2015

GrassRoots at 25 Thursday

The Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance began back in 1991 and featured 10,000 Maniacs and buckets of rain, I hadn't heard of most of the bands that played, including the host band, Donna the Buffalo.  25 years later I've only missed one festival and am happy to say I'm familiar with many of the bands, become friends with many of the musicians, learned to play banjo, and spent much time with my closest friends because of it.
I volunteered at the first one because I didn't have the $25 for a ticket.  Volunteers did any job that came up over the weekend rather than work on a specific crew like they do now.  That first year I was putting wristbands on people when the gates opened the first time, and was checking in musicians at the Rabbit Run Road gate when the Frank Family arrived from Louisiana. 
Connie and Andy have been putting their camper in Staff Camping area since before I met them in the last century, and Alan has been running the infield set-up and special projects for as long.  It's a treat to be a part of Alan's crew, working with him and Andy, and not just because Connie feeds us.  It turns the festival into so much more, it turns it into a two-week affair actually.
Here's to 25 more years.  Can you imagine?

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