Hillside Festival, aka Soak-a-palooza 2009
Day one: swimming “at your own risk,” hiding out from a brief rainstorm by the bicycle lock-up, Mapleton’s ice cream, good advance packing and planning, sharing rice and curry with Albus, and grilled corn on the cob with CJ, huge slices of watermelon, conversations with friends, kids on a self-propelled wooden merry-go-round, yoga in the kids’ tent, wandering around with Albus while getting CJ for his nap in the backpack, leaving while everyone was still in a fine mood. Bands we saw? Uh. A smidgen of Julie Doiron, a hint of Hey Rosetta, and anyone who was at the main stage as we wandered by. Best moment: walking off the island, past the bay, on the trail, with Buffy Sainte-Marie singing us home.
Day two: uh oh, huge thunderstorm delays our departure, but looks on the radar like it will blow over; wait in long line-up for parking due to mud pits at the lot entrances; walk an extra half kilometre to the ticket booth; swim briefly; head immediately for food tent, argue over how much food everyone should be hungry for given that we’ve just eaten a picnic lunch in the car; decide to try to watch the band at the main stage, sit on blanket, relax, notice we have over our heads a patch of gorgeous hot blue sky which is surrounded on all sides by ominous looming dark clouds; sense arrival of rain, pack in the blanket, gear up, hit the ice cream stand just as skies open; thunderstorm, fierce winds, seriously everything shuts down, occasional drenched festival-goer runs by barefoot, everyone else huddled under tents or umbrellas; crack of thunder combined with lightening that sounds like we’ve been hit–CJ continues destroying banana ice cream cone with deep contentment; storm passes but rain continues, children complaining of cold, head for hot chocolate; storm returns, take shelter inside island stage tent where Montreal band Clues decimates our collective eardrums, children now complaining of cold and pressing hands to ears; CJ sleeps through; head for kids’ craft tent; then supper; then stop to dance to band on main stage; multiple trips to porta-potties with various children; still raining; start walking home; reach car in lot–sunshine! Though it’s storming again now as I write this … Best moment: that crack of thunder/lightening. It was so surreal, so extreme, and the kids were so extraordinarily content and calm as they licked their ice cream cones in our narrow shelter. Wish I’d gotten photos, but had hands enough only to hold umbrella, napkins, and periodically retrieve CJ’s fallen ball of ice cream.