Festival Tour Spring ’19 Pt.1

J. Grant StaffordSpring '19 Festival TourLeave a Comment

5/4/19, San Clemente, CA “Get set”

Been a few days since I’ve journaled. The distractions of work and the road have been abundant. Morning times, with the routine of meditation and writing have changed. It’s go time.

The work is not ME. The work is something I do, I enjoy doing. I see it more as a challenge now than before, when Asana Foods felt like an extension of myself.

The Pitta energy is very real and dominant here. The men and women here are yogis, runners, cross-fitters, surfers, and they have gigs in real estate. They grind hard and they love the grind.

The sunset through the patchwork marine layer after hot yoga was classic Encinitas. It’s still quiet there, west of PCH on a weekday in May.

Locked my keys in the camper. I had my camper key zipped up in my pocket and I was running the coast trail. I think that I was fidgeting absent-mindedly with the zipper pocket, because when I went to sit on the beach it fell out of my pocket. I tried to pick the lock to the camper, but to no avail. It would be nice to figure out how to do that. At least I’ve learned that its not easy to do.

Figuring out festival logistics the first part of the day. That’s always a task. There’s much to keep track of, especially this time around with five happening. LIB is around the corner. I will be there setting up the first booth of the year. Fitting that it’s LIB. This is becoming a classic. Where did the 5,000 attendance festival go? Just High Sierra is left. It’s like a relic. Trying not to push too hard or stress too hard. Hustle, but also pray and stay centered in the spiritual practice.

5/6/19, Lebec, CA. “Romancing the road, the Weather, remembering Woogie Weekend ’15 & past LIB locations”

In the camper, on the road. Feeling the energy, but attempting to stay centered. Rather, staying centered. It’s easy to get swallowed up in the pretty lights of festival life. It’s romantic, for sure. Romance & Grit. The art, the music, the travel, the rainbow road. I think back and it never really ever feels completely settled doing this work. Staying centered within yourself, is appropriate. Taking moments to reflect; being aware of my awareness, because it’s so easy to get pulled into “the bling.”

Then, there’s the weather. We’re at the mercy of the weather at a festival. If it’s sunny, we all do well. If it’s rainy, well, just like at a farmer’s market, not so well.

In 2015, I vended at Woogie Weekend. It was an offshoot of the Woogie Stage from LIB. The Woogie is the danciest stage. It rained a lot at Woogie Weekend. Southern California sometimes gets these tropical-like storm systems in the summer that are the last gasps of a hurricane, the little wisps of the very last of it. This time, there was still some oomph left in it. The entire event got flooded. Half my crew left before the storm hit because we knew it was going to be bad.

I stuck around with Richard, Angelica, and Sarah, and we watched the dark clouds get darker, and snowball up against Saddleback Mountain. It was as if the mountains were just magnetized to attract the water in the clouds. And the way that the festival was set up, with its location up against the mountains like in a moraine, it was perfectly positioned to receive the deluge. Well, we were set next to a reservoir. By late afternoon on Saturday, we were all soaked.

I’ve been rained on quite a few times, but the wind can be just as hectic as well. It blows dust, picks up tents, and whips around. And I’m in it, outside all day, holding the tent in place to keep it from blowing away. Take down the banners, hammer in more stakes, bungee the booth together, bring in the tables. Rain, wind, weather.

Rain, push the bulbous water pouches that collect on the tent; gallons of water collecting. Headlamp on, broomstick in hand, up at 1am, I better go check the booth. Stirred awake by the pouring rain droning on my camper. Stages shut down for lightning warnings.

The weather. Then, there’s the 88 degree warm still day. And the festival is full-on.

LIB has always had weather events, except maybe a few years. At Irvine Lake, it was the cool Pacific onshore flow, the marine collected up against Saddleback Mountain. It felt like a foggy morning on the coast, and then by late afternoon the sun broke through the patchwork clouds casting god-rays all over the festival. It was never warm, but it was never cold, just cool.

Then Bradley, CA near the ocean, about seven miles from the Big Sur coastline. There was one incredible year, ’16, where it was sunny and warm every day for five days of festival. The misters were on and we were in full Sun-god mode. In other years, the marine layer reached the festival and covered it every morning. Weather. It’s here. Is it a boring subject? For festival peeps, we are outside for a week, so yeah, it does play a role.

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