Saturday, August 15, 2009

ROTHBURY pt.2 - Thursday night in Sherwood Forest

As we waited to enter the US on the bridge from Sarnia, I spotted this message - confirming that the union of church & state is still alive and well in America. Fourth of July in the States - here we come. Yeehawww!!

After being detained over an hour for a "routine" 7-point inspection, we were on our way. (Sigh of relief). Michigan is very flat. And the roads are bad. My travelling buddy was no longer in a great mood and so I was very glad when we pulled up to a field with cars driving around randomly trying to find an entrance. We wove our way around the ranch, site-seeing as we went, and headed for the lowest-density campground. We ended up where I predicted - Bass camp - appropriate since that is my instrument and the name says it all. I was surprised at how many people were already there on Thursday night at sundown. They were already directing people to overflow camping. What would they do with all the people who bought their Sat-Sun ticket? We set up, had a delicious meal and headed into the fray...
It was already too late for the big hip-hop show put on by the Quannum label. I'd seen a tour they put on 4 yrs ago and was looking forward to hearing them again, but setting up camp was more of a priority. We walked into the fairgrounds with a sense of adventure, not knowing what to expect and, boy, did we have a blast that first night.

Now I'm not an electronica fan... I enjoy live bands a lot more. But there were some blurred lines at this fest - live electronica bands. Busy sound, predictable beats, but still fun to dance to, especially in the incredible environments that the festival created just for these purposes. Above is the Tripolee Dome, the trance-dance rave tent where multiple complex projections flashed against amazingly cool-shaped screens. Loved the environment more than the music. The people were out in full regalia, even on the first night. Lots of excitement in the air.
Since we'd come across the border, we were not carrying any illegal inebriants, and resorted to the port-o-bars for Sweet Leaf iced tea mixed with rum. Disco Biscuits were alot of fun after that. We got our taste of the Ranch stage, the playfulness of the crowd, and, still awake, ventured into the Sherwood Forest...
What a trip... giant gates were there to greet us and as we walked inside, we marveled at the huge setup involved. This is not a string of party lights on the patio, people. Not only was the main path lit up, pulsing and changing colour, but deep inside the woods there were still many art installations and light decorations. It just went on & on. The amount of work involved must have been huge. It was hard to tell who was having more fun... the artists or the partakers.
We found many people in the forest hanging out, literally, in hammocks. The place is strung with them and very conducive to little chill out zones. Groups of people were sitting around chatting and ingesting many things. We couldn't believe our luck when we found a baggie in a hammock. We were just about ready to dive in when a group of volunteers came by to ask if we'd found anything. We had. They shared. Success! Scored on our first night at Rothbury, although it didn't really change the trippiness of the forest at all.
Me like pretty lights.
Super cool geometric designs in the trees.
Hearts on fire.
Some brilliant photographer had a friend write in sparklers the name of our beautiful destination. Our new home for 4 days. We made it safely there, only a little affected by the journey =)

For a great walk throught the Sherwood Forest, visit Anne Savage's 360 interactive photos:

Part 3... FRIDAY

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