Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Falcon Ridge Folk Festival 2012

FRFF this year was my best yet. It had been four years since my last visit and despite the lack of repeat artists from 2008 the talent wasn't less than spectacular! We (Tom, Mom and I) arrived in Hillsdale, NY around 9am on July 26th to be welcomed with gray skies and no rain...yet. The tent and cabanas were put up, semi-permanent kitchen set up and sleepingbags ready to be used. Since Thursday was our open day to do whatever we decided to use it as such and do absolutely nothing. We did go for a walk around the campgrounds to see where the showers were and browse other people's camping gear.

 Lookin Hippiafied

 Our view...

 Our neighbors to the left

Thankfully when Mom and I split off from Tom we found a small tent with a set list of bands planned to perform throughout the weekend. We also found out about a few other smaller venues like Buggy Dome or Dungon, Front Porch and Night Owl Song Swap. Back at the tent we met our friendly, hippie, returning volunteers Harmony her husband Brad, Harmony's mother Jodie and her husband Gary. Hour later in the evening we ate Bubba Burgers and played a few games of Gin Rumy 500.

 Tom's talent: catching butterflies

Our neighbor, Harmony, told us about her group's history and the fun tales of the Snaggle Rock gang. Snaggle Rock was lively and ready to start the weekend with a head start. We part-taked in a few rounds of "smack the bag" (a bag with a push button spout full of wine) during the day and right before bed enjoying conversation with the gang. As it turns out the gang has been around of nearly a decade!!


Friday morning I woke to eggs and bacon and music coming from the upper camping field and some of our neighbors. The schedule for the early afternoon consisted of the back-to-back sets of Emerging Artists making their FRFF debut. We ended up going down by the Main stage to see some of them and of course the sun decided to peek out of the clouds and dry the place a bit. Those were some of my favorite sets of the entire weekend.

 Miles to Dayton from Long Island, NY

Mom and I square danced in the Dance Tent and then went back to the tent to listen to some tunes coming from the Main stage down the hillside. There was this huge rock near the top of the hill that was begging to be claimed and thats what we did. Mom and I were greeted by these two little girls or princesses I should say: Princess of Stars and Princess of Love and Peace. It was so sweet and I never realized until in that moment the FRFF atmosphere is very family oriented and conducive to the "free love," free-spirited-hippie 1960's era. I relished when Mom said later into the weekend that this was my version of Woodstock.

Saturday's line-up was focused more on headliners including some of my favorites: Brother Sun and Tracy Grammer. The best part of the day was traveling to the Acoustic Live tent near the vendors to see  a favorite unrecognized band in the FRFF line-up, The Boxcar Lilies, however, not less talented. We had seen them perform Friday evening at Pirate Tent by the RV camping. They were amazing and worth a second performance.

The staff even closed the holes in the ground for us hippie foke

The Boxcar Lilies 

That evening after tenderloin dinner Tom was too cold to the bone with wet feet and decided to stay in the tent while Mom and I walked down to the Main Stage to see the Grand Slambovians. We went back to visit Tom to see how he was but he didn't change his mind. Walking down to the song swap we saw the last of Tracy Grammer's set and a song from Storyhill (one of our favorite bands). The Song Swap was held at the main entrance open to artists, poets and regular foke come together to enjoy each others company. We also headed back up to our campgrounds to hear some music at Front Porch and Buggy Dungon. ilyAIMY, the Most Wanted Emerging Artist from the year before was so AMAZING!!! Around 230am we went back to find Tom fast asleep. Carefully we got ready for bed and slept.

 View from the top of the hill Saturday early evening.
The famous rock on the hill where a few teens sat smoking grass.

Sunday morning was the best ever. I woke up from the most blissful sleep I'd had the entire weekend. Although an air mattress is somewhat comfortable its especially difficult to sleep in your own sweat and sharing a mattress with someone else. Gospel Wake-up Call was awesome especially since the sun came out a few hours later. Afterwards we headed over to the Storytelling set at the Workshop tent to see Spuyten Duyvil, Brother Sun and the Grand Slambovians. We also had ice cream while watching the ever-entertaining and talented Ellis. 

Gospel Wake-up Call peeps sitting near the Main stage waiting for Eddie from Ohio, Girlyman and Brother Sun to fill us with hope for a bright sunny day.

 After three days we finally caught up with Putman Smith, an artist we saw in 
our camp the first day who performed a the Lounge tent during the rain storm Thurs. night

 Harmony and her little artists paraded down the main strip followed by the falcon.
 Thanks to Brother Sun we did have a beautiful sunny day.
The Closing Song with all the remaining artists.
This was a wonderful experience to share with my Mom. We both plan to return together in the years to come but for now we will reminisce in our time at Falcon Ridge. 

1 comment:

  1. This looked like a really good time, and really relaxing... something I could stand right now.

    I enjoy reading your blogs. Keep on writing. I pray you are well. You warm spirit is missed here at TWC.