This was my second time playing the Robson Festival and I would have to say last weekend was a big improvement. My first time in 2008 was a relatively unenjoyable weekend which had nothing to do with the festival itself in the sense that the food was good, everything was organized and people were treated well. I just had a string of crazy luck that sucked the fun right out of it. Tippy A Go Go introduced me as being from New York and then the next day drowned out my workshop with his electronic workshop oriented to the kids. Shane Philip was whining about having to leave early so people pressured us to shorten our set, our pillows and sleeping bags were stolen and my bass player of 250 shows quit in a rage Sunday afternoon.
This time around was a much better experience. We stayed with Rocko-Rod and Deb on their farm up the road where the dog and children could run around freely. Our set on Friday night was better than we expected for we aren’t used to playing so early and Wax Mannequin once again stole my heart with his Friday night performance right after us.
Of course McKillican Sound Productions makes all the difference as they put a professional product on with Brian’s mixing skill, Chris’s amazing stage management and Barry’s ability to give bands the stage sound they like. Security was well done and even the police made their presence known but apparently were enjoying the music more than sniffing the air for burning joints. The bands were smooth on and off the stage so most of the weekend went of ON TIME which is a credit to the booking and stage crew. The acts were quality and if anything maybe booking a few less bands and stretching out the show length of the heavy hitters could save hiring a few bands. But even the B stage is no longer a B stage, they get half an hour which allows the bands time to set up on the mainstage without being pressured for time so that the flow of the show was seamless.
I didn’t eat much of the performer food as we were in and out with the children but the one meal I had on Saturday night was excellent…it was hippy food from India or something but I had seconds all while Mamaguroove serenaded us from their practice studio. I guess I like the hippies cause their harmless but I don’t understand them much, I sure wasn’t into rolling around on the wet grass in yoga poses at 9AM on Sunday. To each their own I guess. I like that you can go to the hippy festivals and no one is causing too much trouble. It must be hard to have a festival on your front lawn that’s so happening, it’s a lot of liability but people seemed up to the responsibility once again.
I missed a lot of the shows but jammed with Scott Dunbar, Wax Mannequin, Jesse Bear and Travis Charuk at Lionel and Rosemarie’s site for hours. Rachelle Van Zanten got us moving back to the stage though as her brand of bluesy slide rock guitar shreddin sent the whole place into hysteria. It’s too bad Mamaguroove hasn’t been gigging because they put on one of the best shows anyone’s ever seen.
The best part was the festival didn’t get drowned out by rain, at least not while I was there. We did drive through two severe thunderstorms on our way to Fort St.James where we are resting, fishing, getting ready for David Roy Parsons and Eddyn’s wedding on Wednesday and ultimately the Music on the Mountain Festival.
It’s crazy how we get such a short time for summer and we jam so much into it, then it’s practically over just like that. Summer festivals are an important part of being a northerner, we get together and roll around on the ground before the snow covers it. We get to see our friends, do lots of drugs and drink our faces off without worrying about hypothermia should we sleep where we land. The kids can play, the adults can play and the bands can play. I thought maybe I was getting tired of the old festival set up and running through the motions….but I was just tired. So stoked for music on the mountain festival.
First things first, a few days of fishing and David Roy Parsons wedding on Wednesday.