Pickin' in the Grand Valley and Points Beyond - May 2017
PICKIN’ IN THE GRAND VALLEY and Points Beyond By Vetabluegrass, aka Veta Gumber
BE PREPARED is the motto for festival season. In our excitement to get to that festival that we have waited for so very long, we tend to forget all the mental notes from last year. Maybe I can help. Some of these suggestions apply to those camping in tents; some apply to campers in contained units; some apply to those who motel-it.
Weather Changes Rain. Ponchos are very cheap at any big-box store. Get the lightweight one that takes up the amount of space as a deck of cards. You may never need it, but you’ll be thankful if you do need it. I’m not a fan of throw-away. So hang it to dry and re-pack for the next festival. Take a compact umbrella too.
Sunscreen. Protect your skin and lips from those harmful ultraviolet rays. Get the good stuff, 60 SPF or higher. Liquid or cream goes on more evenly than a stick. Take lip balm with sunscreen in it. Take a hat. Change of shoes due to heat or wet conditions.
Daypack to carry your layers of clothing, necessary especially in the mountains. Suggested layers: T-shirt or camisole; long sleeve t-shirt; long sleeve button-down shirt; sweatshirt; moisture proof jacket; poncho; hat; lightweight gloves. At one festival when my daypack was examined the gate person commented on my contents, saying, “You must have been here before!” I did wear all layers as it went down into the 30s during the day in a rainstorm.
Food and Personal Care Plan your food. Whatever you like you can take it. If you can take a cooler into the venue you can pack scrumptious meals and snacks. I’ve had people offer to buy my salads and fresh fruit, even shrimp cocktail. If you are camping you can keep your food chilled or frozen with dry ice and ice blocks. A gallon jug filled with fresh water, then frozen provides you with refrigeration and later with clean drinking water. If you motel-it or have a contained unit with refrigeration you are in good shape for storing and preparing food. At a motel you can get ice to keep your food chilled. Check the rules for the festival regarding bringing in outside food.
Ear plugs. That’s right. Sometimes the music is just too loud. After a while you could have hearing damage or loss. Yes, even you.
First Aid. You can purchase or assemble a small first aid kit with band-aids, skin sanitizer, painkiller, antihistamines and antacids. Again, this will take up space about the size of a deck of cards.
Chairs and tarps. If you must use a standard lawn chair you might have to sit at the back so you don’t obstruct the other festivalgoers who are in low chairs. If you need a shade device such as an EZ-Up tent or beach umbrella, please be considerate and don’t block anyone’s view. Some festivals have a rule: If you are not in your space someone may use it until you come back. A tarp is multi-functional. It can mark your space and can also cover you in the rain.
Flashlight. Take a small, pocket-sized flashlight to light your way back to your camp or vehicle.
Mosquito repellant and wet-wipes.
Personal Possessions. Keep them out of sight. Better yet, keep them in your daypack. Bluegrass festivalgoers are the most honest, but it takes only one incident to ruin your weekend.
Camping You will need an adequate tent, as this is your home for several days. Take some camp décor with you (flamingos, scarves, etc.), which will give your camp personality. Remember your sleeping bags, air mattresses, pillows, towels and soap. An extra blanket is always a plus. For your kitchen you will need a couple of tables, cook stove, pots and pans, dishes, eating and cooking utensils, dish pan for washing, hot pads, spices, matches, paper towels, extra batteries and a lantern. Duct tape and twine can be useful in an emergency. An outdoor rug will help keep the dirt at bay. It’s a good practice to set up your camp at home before going. Inspect for any necessary repairs or replacements needed to make this a comfortable experience. After you have camped at a festival you will learn how-to and what-not-to. Make a list so you don’t forget.
Water. Insufficient water intake at high elevations will cause dehydration. Symptoms are headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, and lack of perspiration, especially when exerting oneself, as in dancing, biking, or hiking. At 6000 ft above sea level where most of our festivals are, one exhales and perspires twice as much as at sea level, even though you do not feel it. Sorry, but coffee, tea, beer, wine, sodas and most fruit juices do not keep you hydrated, but actually act as a diuretic. Water is the beverage. If you are having other beverages be sure to drink water also.
Last of all, take your instruments with you for jamming in camp. You never know when one of the performers will join you!
SAVE THE DATE
June 9-11, Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival, Dustbowl Revival, SHEL, The Travelin' McCourys, Jeff Austin Band, Harpeth Rising, Front Country, The Lil Smokies and lots more.
July 20-22, 24th Annual Olathe Grand Ole Opry. Info: 970-323-5816.
August 18-20, Jollification Camp, Info: email@example.com
NEW MUSIC AT KAFM
Tim O'Brien, Where the River Meets the Road, Howdy Skies.
Lawson & Williams, Chapter 3, Mountain Home.
The Snyder Family Band, The Life We Know, Mountain Home.
Big Country Bluegrass, Let Them know I'm From Virginia, Rebel.
That Damn Sasquatch, Sing My Song.
Kody Norris & the Wautauga Mountain Boys, Live on the Road.
Clyde & The Milltailers, self-titled.
BLUEGRASS IN THE GRAND VALLEY
As jams sometimes happen without much notice I recommend you check GVBluegrass.com for the latest schedule and to schedule your event. Jams are usually held on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Are you looking for a place to perform house concerts? KAFM has a great intimate concert setting in the Radio Room in Grand Junction, seating 75. Contact Ramona at KAFM at 970-241-8801 or write firstname.lastname@example.org. Front Country, Free the Honey and Tony Furtado are just some of the musicians who have performed there. Tune in to Bluegrass & Beyond on Tuesdays, 4:00-6:30 pm MT. Stream on KAFMradio.org or 88.1 FM in Grand Junction. New, old, between the lines and outside the box.