This year was the Festival’s 40th anniversary, and the first time I’ve noticed a marked expansion in the size of the weekend’s operations. I got a little choked up walking onto the grounds this year as I was met with a giant food area and a sprawling beer tent instead of the intimate stages that previously lined the trees. It was startling at first, but I eventually came to terms with the fact that the festival’s numbers have ballooned in recent years, making it necessary for them to cater to every kind of folkie. Sadly the days of topless hippies and naked babies might be over.
To celebrate 40 years the festival pulled in some larger main stage acts such as The Avett Brothers, Serena Ryder, and City and Colour. As well as bringing back fan favourites like Cat Empire and Xavier Rudd. Unfortunately I didn’t check out that many new bands this year because I was having too much fun back at the campsite!
For years my boyfriend and his friends have been blessed with one of the most coveted campsites of the campground. Dubbed “Shady Glen,” it’s a beautiful spot in the trees with room for lots of friends (this year it was close to 30 people), a fire pit, as well as several hammocks. I’m a total piggy-backer, but I’m proud to say I help cinch the spot this year by getting up early on Wednesday and biking out to Birds Hill Park. The bike ride itself was an adventure as I ran into a pole and went over my handle bars early on, then because of route confusion we ended up leading the pack for the latter part of the ride. After all those flukes I still feel like we deserved our spot and the eight am mimosas we celebrated with.
I feel like I say this every year, but this past folk fest was one of the best. The company was wonderful, the jokes were hysterical, and the party was continuos. It was a whirlwind of sing-alongs, campground wandering, early morning soccer games, yoshi costumes, pepto bismal, big games, glowsticks and music. I couldn’t have asked for more.
Like every other year, the weekend was over before I knew it. The week following the festival is always an uncomfortable attempt at showering off the weekend’s grime and re-emerging into the real world. Thank god there’s only 328 days until next year.