Thursday, November 5, 2009

Festival 8

Phish's Festival 8 was a fantastic time. I am so glad I was with "the crew" that I was with. All together there were maybe 15-20 of us, staying at various different locations. However, we'd all meet up inside the venue for the show.

There is something to be said about the "pack mentality" when at a large show (Festival 8 was estimated to be between 35k-40k people). For starters, a group of people is more likely to get a relatively close spot. Someone will get there first, and the group will follow.

Next, everyone has bags with extra clothing in it, water, whatever. We make a huge pile in the middle of our group with all of our baggage. This way you can enjoy the show without your backpack on, and not worry about it disappearing because everyone around the pile is your friend. We'll put some glowsticks on the pile at night so other people passing through won't step on it.

Finally, we need a "beacon". Say you have to go to the restroom. You leave and then try to come back. Wading through thousands of people, trying to find the exact spot you left, is difficult. We will have a unique item which someone in the group will hold up in the air. You will be able to see it over the crowd, and be guided back to the pack.

For this festival, the inflatable cactus served as a fantastic beacon. I brought a dozen of them to the show. I found them cheap on ebay, and thought they would be a good daytime toy. Not only was it a great beacon because of how easy it was to see and identify, and because of how unique it was, but it was also something we kept seeing throughout the weekend. It was also very fitting because we were in the desert. With a dozen of these, most of them ended up being "released into the crowd". Over the course of the weekend, we would see other people with one of the cacti, one person had one close to the stage that I kept seeing way up in front of me for each set, they were on the jumbo screen, they got decorated, and one even made it into the LA Times (3rd photo down).

Overall a great time with a great group of kids!


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