Are you, or have you been cold recently? Great. Because this weekend, if you are on your way to Hastings, you might just burn alive. Those of us who can’t find any shade in which to pitch our tents will likely be medium rare by Monday. That’s right, it got hot this week, and it’ll remain so until the months start ending with the letter r again. The festival season has started. Is The Backwoods Fam Jam your first time you’re getting the tents and coolers out for the summer? Personally, this weekend will be the quickest successive two festivals I’ve been to. I write this a week after Asteria and I’m still feeling it’s glow, it was a perfect start to the summer, I had fun and I met some fucking heroes. This will be my fourth Home Team festival, the first was Little Econ Love Fest, in 2015, and the middle two were OBJ and The Great Outdoors Jam, both in 2016. Each was hotter than the next. I remember in particular the Sunday at the Great Outdoors Jam was almost unbearable. If this trend continues, we won’t be going back to work on Monday, we’ll be plucking harps with the Angels. I’m joking of course, but I’m hoping for a cool breeze from the nearby ocean all the same.
The Backwoods Fam Jam will be a change of flavour from the last festival I wrote about. Asteria had bass by the bucket load, EDM to the core, the music was there to hurt necks and to make you kick dust clouds into the air. There will certainly be music this weekend that’ll get you moving, there is a lot of talent heading to Hastings, and they’ll all be on the two stages being set up for you and your festival family. I really like small festivals. They offer a much better opportunity to meet new people, to learn from the artists, performers and vendors, and for me, it’s always just more comfortable, for lack of a better word. Going to a big festival is similar to going to a big city for the weekend, there isn’t enough time to do everything, you lose your friends easily and the price of pizza by the slice is nothing short of daylight robbery. I remember the pizza at OBJ last year was so reasonably priced, I didn’t eat much else that weekend. At the big events, three or more stages often force a tough decision between two bands that you might want to catch. At the “intimate” events, (I hate that expression) I never feel like I missed out, or like I didn’t take full advantage, it’s always a full release. All the same there’s a lot to be said for having your own little adventure at big festivals, wandering off and seeing who and what you can find.
I’m not a big fan of jam bands. I can’t say I dislike them, it’s just that my heart belongs to thrash metal. But going to a camping festival and comparing your enjoyment to how much you like the music is, as far as I’m concerned, unambitious. At the Great Outdoors Jam, I threw frisbee until it was dark, then I turned the frisbee’s lights on and continued to chuck disk until I felt like I could puke and had to sit down… for example. At The Lone Pine Ranch, the family fun zone being arranged will house multiple games and activities, like enormous chess and a corn hole. The main attraction? It’s the people. The folks you meet, the ones you pitch your tent next to, the ones who ask you if you’re having a good time when your in line for a taco, the ones that talk with passion about their chosen craft. The costumes, the body paint, the camp fire drum circles, the golf cart rides, that one guy who is at the front for the whole 3 days, all of them, are the reason I can stay excited about the Florida jam band scene. They are the reason I never unpack the frisbee from the car.