Rothbury Music Festival: Rothbury, MI - July 3rd thru 6th, 2008

Rothbury Travel Blog

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Cool huh?

There are so many things that made Rothbury the most spectacular festival I have ever attended, and rather than spew out gobbelygook with no direction, I will do things in a semi ordered format just so you can appreciate the absolute awesomeness that Rothbury was.

In no particular order, aside from my own memory, this is my list of specific reasons why Rothbury was so damned amazing. (subject to change)

1. The drive to the festival.
2. Getting into the fest.
3. The Tickets and wristbands.
4. Parking at our spot.
5. The Weather.
6. VIP vs. General Admission
7. Food
8. Superchillness
9. Tripability
10. Drinks
11. Set up
12. Stages
13. Music
14. Bathrooms
15. The Vibe
16. Police and Security

Starting at the Top,

THE DRIVE TO THE FEST

I drove from Vermont in an RV.

The drive was perfectly smooth the entire way. 91 to 94 to 196 is just a nice stretch of highway to drive upon, and it was just a nice and leisurely drive up. The gates were supposed to open at 8, but we got there around 6:30 am, and they were already letting people in. There were 2 exits for the Fest. We were getting off at the first exit, in a mild line of cars about 1/4 of a mile long, which moved sort of rapidly. As we were approaching the exit, a cop stops our RV, and points for us to go to the next exit. He says, "there is no line at the next exit".

The cop was superchill, and honestly did us a favor. So we didn't get off at the exit, and continued a mile down the road, and sure enough, there was no line, and it was a smooth shot right into the Rothbury Parking Lot.

There were even vendors set up on the little road that took you into rothbury.

It was a perfect ride up.

And on a semi sidenote, I am a talented show goer. Most likely, I do it better than you do. I don't mean that as a dick, I am just honest. My friends and I have been going to shows and fests and this's and that's for many years, so when I tell you that ROTHBURY WAS THE GREATEST FESTIVAL EVER, its not coming from some noobtastic rookie who ate his first roll this past weekend, saw god, and had an epiphinal moment of clarity that was previously never experienced, and as a result, declares Rothbury the greatest ever.

This is from Me. A rainbow riding captain of all things groovy, who has been, and seen, and done, and watched, and learned along the way.

Tiki Torch

It is with this knowledge and this understanding and this experience that I attempt to articulate exactly have utterly fantastic Rothbury was.

Again, you might think I am a dick, or cocky, or whatever, but it's just my opinion and you may just perceive me that way. I am just saying it like it is.

Rothbury was the finest.

Carrying on...

GETTING INTO THE FESTIVAL

We got into the 12 rowed line of cars and RVs to get into the fest at about 6:30, and we were slowly moving up the chain. Then, at 6:45, the chain stopped. Everyone was sort of looking at each other like, what's going on. Then I walked on up to the gate to inquire as to what this seemingly unnecessary delay was. They told me that they had run out of wristbands and were waiting for a new batch to get there.

I figured, Uh-oh, this could be dangerous. It was a 1/2 hour wait, which gave me enough time to take a piss in one of 50,000 portapotties that were there.

Then at about 7:30, we started moving again, and then pulled up to the gate. We had glass bottles of this and that. We had pickle jars and some other glass stuff. We had some "contraband" that you aren't supposed to bring into fests, and like all festers, we did our best to "hide" that stuff, hoping there wouldn't be any "real" search.

As we get to the gate, this Jamaican guy comes up to us. He is wearing a yellow jacket that says "security". In his jamaican accent, he approached my drivers side window of the RV and says, "You got any weapons in there?" I say no. He says, "you got any fireworks in there".

Water Park
I say no. He says "you got any drugs in there" I say no. He says, "you got any glass in there". I say no.

He says, ok, you guys are good. Have fun. He put a X on our windshield, and that was it.

Into the festival we went. We were at our spot by 8:15.

It was perfect.

TICKETS and WRISTBANDS

The tickets were nice and fat tickets and had a great little artistic thing on them. They were nice and green, and even when they cam in the mail, I thought to myself, gosh, that's a cool looking ticket. I hope this Rothbury thing is good.

Then, as we entered the gate and got our wristbands, I knew it was going to be good. We were given these cloth almost elastic style wristbands.

I had never seen or experienced such a wrist band before.

(And while it seems apparent that this cloth mentality is not some innovative technology, for me, it was new, and it was awesome).

It's the little things that made the difference. Sure, get me to a fest, and it has this, and that, and all the other stuff that I am going to write about, but for this FEST, it was just better, more well planned, easier, and tighter.

The VIP wristbands were purple. The regulars were green. And there was one superall access that was rainbow I think.

I went everywhere, and did everything, without any hesitation, ever. The tickets were great, and the wristbands were a gem.

It was simply perfect.

Quick Little side note

1. Rothbury had Golf Cart Taxis to take you to and from wherever you were. If I wanted to walk from my spot to the main stage, it was a grandiose walk of about 27 minutes.

Dave Mathews
Mind you, it was a fantastic walk with awesome scenery and sites and everything, but it was still 27 minutes. If you were other places, it could have been as long as 40 minutes.

That being said, for $5, the Rothbury Golfcart Taxi Service would take you anywhere. Clearly, this was my main mode of transportation while at Rothbury. Taxi to the show, and walk on back.

The taxi picked me up from my chair that I was sitting on at my spot and dropped me off 19 feet from where I ended up sitting at the show. It was the greatest taxi ride I have ever had. It was the greatest pick up and drop off I have ever had. It was the greatest.

Imagine being at Alpine Valley, and being parked in the back back back left corner, all the way in the corner, all the way at the end.

It's a good 1/2 hour walk to the venue.

Instead of having to make thtqa walk, a taxi picks you up, and drives you directly to the stage, and cuts through all the people waiting to get in the main entrance. Cuts through the security entrance. Cuts through the artists entrance. And goes directly to the this little side car entrance, just for you. Well, that's what I was dealing with this weekend.

It was fantastically awesome.

The walks back were great too.

Ok, getting back to things.

THE WEATHER

The Weather was some of the best weather I have ever had for a festival.

It was hot and sunny with a slight breeze during the day, and nippy and cold at night, so as to allow for proper camp fires.

(double side note - camp fires were completely allowed and almost encouraged.

they sold firewood there.)

Theere was barely ever a cloud in the sky. The wind had this almost melodic breeze the entire time. At night, it got cold enough to allow you to put on that fleece you wanted to sport, but warm enough to let you keep wearing shorts and birks.

There was no rain. There was no threat of rain. It was absolutely perfect from the second I got to Rothbury until the time I left.

The weather is such a monumental "X" factor, and it was so spot on, and so perfect, and so fitting for every show, and every meal, and every everything.

Best Festival Weather Ever.

Just Perfect.

Music is my number 1 priority. Always has been, always will be. Yet, all "music festivals" have music. But, not all music festivals have a forest that is lined with black lights and strobe lights, and gongs, and hammocks, and glowy things, and other things.

That being said, I will immediately discuss the music. Music being 13th on my list doesn't not indicate the rank of importance on my mind. It's just how it came off my fingertips as I typed to you.

THE MUSIC

Respectfully, I felt that every show that was played was that band's best show in teh last 3 years.

I felt that every musician was so excstatcially excited about how awesome the festival was, and how pumped the crowds were that they just ripped the shit up outta shit, and never looked.

Kimock, Hart, George P Jr.

- a great show. This was the first show I saw at Rothbury and it clearly set the tone nicely. I walked in on a Fire on the Mountain and knew that the heat was coming. They did not disappoint. I was bout 10th row center for this show.

I could have been first row center. I could have brought a couch into my 10th row center spot. I had so much room.

(I say I could have brough a couch in with me, because on Sunday, for Trey, we brought a couch in with us. That's what I am talking about when I say chill. There was a VIP area, and they had couches, and my buddies and I just decided, what the hell not, let's take a couch right from the VIP area, to the front and center area, and then VIP "security" says, look, you can take it, but if it rains, just bring it back, ok. We said sure. Everyone was like that. It was simply a do whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want attitude.)

Tea Leaf Green - they owned my face. They owned my neck. They owned my chest. They owned my ankles and they owned my little pinkie toes.

This show started at 2 pm, and we sat up by this little tree, in the shade, and had some chocolates, and it was just phenomenal. The sound was crisp. The line of sight was perfect. The crowd was enthused. On numerous occasions the band said, "man, is this a great fest or what."

Every one knew it, why? ? Because it was perfect.

SNOOOP DOGG - wow. just. wow. I have been to many many many a show. Clearly. I do not remember a crowd being as "IN" to a performance as this. Sure, phish return at MSG had maximum levels of ridiculousness to it, but this was different.

Snoop owned the world. His intro was so cool, and so building, and had this "Epic" style music. When he got to the stage, the place ERUPTED. The hands were in the air. The gin was in the juice.

The blunts were being puffed.

His show was at 420, and obviously he stopped, to point out, hey it's 420, lets puff.

He was LOVING it. Numerous times he would make a point to say, ahhhhh yeeeeeaahaaah, you's all having a good time with the Snoop. I think he was having such an amazing time that he busted out Gin & Juice earlier than he wanted to. It's like he knew we wanted it, and he gave it to us.

The last song he sang had lyrics that went, "Smoke Pot, Get Drunk, and ****,

Needless to say, that Snoop Dog (who I had never seen before) was one of my personal favorite act of the weekend. Sure, I flowed hard at other shows, but Snoop was so cool, and so pimped, and he was having such a good time, and the crowd was so jumping and bumping and pumped that it was a visual and musical and auditory spectale of epic proportions.

So, here is my .02 on the whole weekend musically, it was great and probably was the best festival I have been to or at least the best time I had that I can remember.

Greensky Bluegrass - Didn't know much about these guys but a buddy told me that he saw them at Telluride and they were a good opener to the festival for me. They covered Time which was nice.

Zappa - Phenominal talent on that stage I was blown away by this show I had seen them before but not like this. Wish I wasn't out of my element so bad otherwise I would have enjoyed it much more.

Mickey Hart - I was still out of it but Kimock on guitar is always something that I can get down to especially if he is playing dead tunes.

Railroad Earth - I got up on the rail for these guys and it was my first time seeing them I was very impressed until I remembered I was spun out of my gourd and I was supposed to be at Bisco.

Longggg weekend = Nap time

Bisco - Disgusting, as soon as I get there it is just kidz huffing baloons everywhere barely able to stand up. Musically I thought they were playing well but but I had a hard time getting away from the madness in the crowd. Not my first time seeing them so I should have known better, they are going to bring it to Camp.

EOTO - Just caught the tail end after Bisco and it was what I expected interesting dance music from Travis and Hann.

Snoop - I didn't know we were in East Lansing, I have never seen Snoop before but he looked like he was having so much fun. It was girls gone wild before the show started the cameraman would find a girl and then as soon as she got on the big screen we all cheered or were grossed out, really set the mood that snoop was a pimp.

Yonder - missed the beginning but I always enjoy a little Bob Weaver so it was a good time. Much more rocking than most Yonder shows but this was the first time I have seen them with Fishman.

Theivery - I was a little let down only because the set seemed just like the Langerado set and I was hoping for something I hadn't seen. Still an awesome show and I recommend anyone who has the chance to go see these guys with the whole live band.

Primus - Not much needs to be said Les took it to another level that night and everyone in that crowd was loving it. Something about Les with primus is just so much more satisfying that Les and whatever other group of people that he has together.

Black Keys - As someone mentioned earlier it was an awesome show and I was a little bored with MMW so I checked this out without any real prior knowledge of what they were about.

Trippy huh?
I still don't know much about them but I was very impressed for basically checking them out for the first time.

STS9 - Lost all my friends but at least I had the brews with me, everyone in that crowd was spun out of their gourd and loving it. I liked the new songs that I hadn't heard and this was probably like the 20th time I have seen them and probably the best time I have had at one of their shows.

Trey - I think he planned out which songs that he wanted to play due to the lyrics and he looked like he was having a great time. The new songs were ok but I reserve judgement until I can hear them on electric with the rest of the boys there. Chalkdust was a great jam even if it was on acoustic.

Cactus - He looked like he was having so much fun up there it was crazy.

I liked the songs and thought his keyboard player was very good. All the songs seemed to be pretty long and they were just seeing where they would take them live. It was good to hear Trey come out even if it was on a strat I could close my eyes and tell it was big red without a doubt. Strange intro to meat but it was really fun. When Fishman came out it was just fun to see them all having such a good time all my old phriends and I were high fiving and having a blast.

Mule - I am not a big Mule fan and the show ended just like it did when they played Langerado with the hunger strike/mr. fantasy then soul shine. Even though I am not a big fan I thought that they were playing well.

Dave Matthews Band - I saw them too

Every band, even those bands that I don't personally care for, I liked.

Every band, even those bands that I don't listen to, was spot on. Every band, even those bands I don't know, ripped it up. Everyone was awesome.

It was just perfect.

They had this thing that was about 25 ft tall. It was cylindrical in the middle and had a large ring around it with hanging monkeys. At night they would spin some house beats and get this thing spinning really fast with strobe lights. Well the lights were sinked up to when each monkey would spin around and they would look like like they were climbing vines. It is difficult to explain, but remember when you were kid and you would draw a flip book (like a movie film) Each page was an extension on the previous one, for example an airplane flying across the post it notes. Well the monkeys were actually each a little bit different, so when it spun around really fast and the strobes were synched up they looked like they were swinging through a jungle, all while jungle beats were rockin.

Check out more info on them here: http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2007/09/burning-man---h.html and a youtube vid of them here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv-hwb5yG1o

THE FOOD

The food was great. French Bread Pizza. Chinese Food. Vegetarian Place. Smoothies. Chicken Fingers and Burgers and Fries. Gyros. Kabobs. Corn on the cob. These asian style noodles with lots of goodness in them. Breakfast burritos. Waffles. Pancakes. French Toast. Bacon. Eggs. Vegan Heady Places. Grilled Cheese. This is just the stuff that I ate while I was there. Not to mention to 40 burgers and 80 hot dogs and polishes we grilled while there.

(Quick sidenote - This was the best festival. Every person, every random, every security guard, every golf cart taxi driver, every musician, ever vendor, every nitrous guy, and every other signle person that I spoke with shared the exact same sentiments - WOW, this is awesome)

And, while there was all that food, and all those options, plus many I have forgotten, there were NO lines. Anything you wanted took 1 minute. (The last night after the Phil show, there were mild lines, becuase it was just late on the last night) but aside from that, there were NO LINES. There was no waiting. There was no annoyance. There was no, "ugggh, I am going to come back later". If you wanted to eat it, you got it, right then, right there, and with no problems.

There were at least 7 different "food" areas to get food.

Wherever you were, you could get something to eat, without hassle. It was flawless.

DRINKS were the same way. I would say that there were 50 separate locations to get a beer, mixed drink, pina colada, margartias, gatorade, soda, water, or anything else. And it was all super cold, and super good, at all times. Never once did I have to wait more than a minute for a drink. The bartenders were super nice, and were pooring stiff drinks all fest long. The drinks were cold, and refreshing and just great.

I got a redbull and belvedere, and the guy gives me a cup of vodka with ice, and I say, hey, what about the red bull, and he pulls out a can and gives it to me. Total price - $7 bucks. He got a healthy tip. They all got healthy tips, as it was just a tip giving vibe, and a tip giving festival.

There was no ill will. There was no ugggh, you suck for giving me a shitty drink. Every drink was great. Every beer was cold. Every gatorade was at the brink of freezing.

Everything I ate and drank was just perfect.

THE VIBE

Allow me to give a quick interlocutory sidenote. Unfortunately, Rothbury will never again be as good as it just was. Next year the crowd will be different. There will clearly be more wooks. There will be more people. The bands will be different. The weather simply cant be as good as it was this year. This ROTHBURY was a special festival. It was magical. It was different than all the rest. It was clean. It was breezy. It was haromnious. There were no fights. There was no arguing. A dozen times, a random came up to me asking for a smoke, and just had to nod, indicating that he could take one.

Chillin'
Conversely, when I needed a smoke, I just had to sort of eye someone, and they could sense my desire for a smoke, and just gave me one. Everyone was in sync with everyone else. This was the VIBE.

The VIBE was supreme. It was a palpable thing that gives me chills as I type. It was the greatest most fluid vibe I have ever experienced. Jazzfest (which I clearly say is an exception to the rule) which is the greatest festival ever, and it is. But this Rothbury thing was just different. Jazzfest is a collection of everyone, old and young, some going to see some jazz, some to eat at cafe du monde, some to look at the sites, some to do this and some to do that. Sure, the VIBE is at Jazzfest as well, but everyone knows what to expect there. Everyone anticipates jazzfest with ubridled anticpation.

Jazzfest is my personal highlight of the year, each and every year. I know what I am getting myself into, and when I exceed my expectations, (which I seeemingly always do) I am happy and content with all that is.

However, this ROTHBURY festival was a new one. There were no expecations. There were no guarantees. There was no past knowledge. There was only past fests to use as a baseline comparision. There was only past experiences to use as a reference for what to expect.

Sure, visions of grandeur bounce around in your head as you get ready for any fest, but you do your best to remind yourself, hey, self, you are going to a fest with 35,000 other people, and are going to be camping out, and "roughing" it for a couple fo days, while it might be chill, it can't be "that chill.

"

THE VIBE was SUPERCHILL.

Everyone was so friggin happy to be there. Everyone got into the fest so easily, and set up shop so nicely, and experiencd all the goodness that was there, and was just on cloud 9, at all times. This gleeful VIBE translated into a continuous harmonious fluid collection of goodness that seemed to ooze its way into every corner and every nook of Rothbury. This goodness just seemed to spread from A to B to C to Z and back again, and was just a continuous transfer of positivity all around, and back again, and to the left and to the right.

You didn't get bad looks. You didn't get shady looks. You got smiles. You know how when people are moving up to the front and they sort of bump you sometimes during a show, and sometimes they do that thing where they give you a little tap or a little rub to let you know, yo, I am chill, its all good, I am just passing by, as opposed to those sketched out sketchers who sort of elbow you as they go by and don't even turn to say sorry.

..well, this festival was all people who gave the tap, and all people who gave the little rub. This festival was just the epitome of cool, calm and collected.

It was IT.

It was perfect

6. VIP vs. General Admission

There are many times that I got to a fest, and I get the VIP ticket, and then when you are there, the GA - VIP distincion is not able to be discerned. It's just one big ball of people, and there is no separations. Rothbury was not one of those fests.

The VIP ticket, which cost about 500 with an RV "earned" you special treatment. The VIP camping area was completey and totally fenced off from the rest of the crowd. The VIP viewing areas for the stages were completey and totally fenced off from the rest of the crowd. The VIP viewing areas were sold as "great lines of site" for the shows, and ya know what, they were.

It was better than advertised. It wasn't front row center, but it wasn't advertised as such, but it was a damn good spot.

The VIP walk to the stages was shorter and easier than the rest of th crowd. When walking into the Stages by the VIP path, there was no pat down, there was no search, there was nothing. It was, "oh, you are VIP, please come and enjoy". We went the "normal" way one time, and there was a decently long and annoying line to get into the stages, and everyone was being searched.

The girl in front of me actually had a pill bottle of presciptions that wasn't her name on it, and the mildly heady looking security guard gave her hell for it, and told her she would be arrested for a felony if someone else found it. Despite his chastising of this mildly cute girl, he let her go in, with the pills.

I could feel her chest beating from 5 feet behind her.

The taxi cabs for the VIPs were the greatest ever. I was literally picked up from my chair at my spot and brought to the stage and walked on in.

You could puff at your pleasure in the taxis, but just no open alcohol. But, you could load up your bag with all the beer you wanted and take it right on it, becuase there was no searching. As opposed to General entrance - beer was taken.

The taxi pick up up and drop off was really phenomenal. It's difficult to explain, but when you are at a fest for 4 days, and you are tired, and you are beat, and you want to go to the shows but you are just so beat, and would almost rather chill than walk there, and you finally start to gear up to go and see another session of shows, and you can either make a 20 minute walk, a 30 minute walk, or a 6 minute golf carted taxi ride that takes you directly to your spot for the show, the golf cart is such a fantastic option.

Gordon and Anastasio
And for $5 its an absolute steal.

Also, the VIP areas were not accessible by the regular public. Normally, after an hour of separation, the guards lose their druthers, or its just one big mess that everyone is everywhere. Rothbury maintained the separation. Even at the last day, we walked into the VIP stage area, people were getting turned away. We just held up our wrists with our super good cloth wrist bands and they said welcome.

There was also a VIP "lounge" which had massage tables and chairs, and free water, and couches, and food and drinks and bars, and fake fires and lights, and all this good stuff. It was just so well put together and so well organized, and so well maintained.

It was perfect.

7. Food
8. Superchillness
9. Tripability
10.

Drinks
11. Set up
12. Stages
13. Music
14. Bathrooms
15. The Vibe
16. Police and Security

any good festival has all of these things.

I already spoke about FOOD and DRINK, but I want to elaborate. We bought about 1300 of food and alochol befor we left. We had 3 handles of Jack, 2 handles of belvedree, a bottle of baileys for coffee in the morning, a bottle of tequila for no good reason, 15 cases of beer, and lots of ice. We had 80 burgers, 120 dogs, polish sausages, mac and cheese, pasta, quesadillas, chips and salsa, veggies and dip, smores, this cheese that you grill, lots of fruits, pretzels, hot cocoa, coffee, every soda possible, 40 red bulls and OJ and cranberry, and chocolates and we even had some ice cream. We had pretty much everything.

I don't think there was ever a time when I didn't have what I wanted.

Separate and apart from all that we brought, there was such a wide array of food to eat there, that it was nice to have the variety.

We traded food with our neighbors. We had some of their gumbo that they were making and they had some of our burgers. They had some of our mac and cheese an we had some of their soup. I brought back french toast, eggs, and bacon one morning, and we traded bacon, just because we could. Even the vendors were nice and friendly and offering. It was just spot on.

The Superchillness of the fest has clearly been alluded to in all of my blog thus far, but for me, the concept of superchill sort of intertwines with this concept of the VIBE, and the ability to merely be.

Once you got into the festival, and once you got your wrist band, there was no restriction. There was no hestitation. There was no obstabcle. There was no rule. There was no law. There was merely the maintenance of the absolute fluidity that was oozing from every corner of every area.

Sure, you might say, dude, you were high and are still feeling the effects. Well, respectfully, I have done my share of fun times, and I have done my share of fun things, and I have danced with the devil, and partied with teh gods, but at Rothbury, it was just better.

The survial of the fittest attitude that allowed for anything and everything to go on, at any time, at any place, under any circumstance. The fun thing about it, was that if you are a "ripper" who likes to think outside the box, and likes to "try and see if you can swing that", then not only could you actually swing it, but you did it without any problems at all.

Rothbury "Moon Balloon"

And considering that I like to test the limits and see how far you can really go, it was a fun situation for me.

In short, it was pefect.

the bathroom set up and situation at Rothbury was the absolute greatest.

There were portapotties everywhere. They were tons of them. There was never a line. They were in great locations, right next to the stages, and there even a little barrier that separated the bathrooms from teh stages so that you couldn't see them, but kept them nice and close to the stage.

The portapotties were always clean, at least mine were. Its my understanding that the GA bathrooms might have got a little nasty at times, but the VIPs were tron at all times. Its almost comical, becuase when eating, and drinking, and facing at all times, its obvious that what goes in MUST come out and is a critical factor at a fest.

Sometimes, some people cant get over that little factoid and it takes them down. Me, I have alwasy been able to put mind over matter and regardless of the situation, I am able to drop trough and take care of business. Even at the Maple Leaf in New Orleans, where there was no door on the stall one night, I had conversatios with randoms while doing my business. It is what it is.

At rothbury, there was never any issue, at all with teh bathrooms. Every time I went, they bathrooms were clean, smelled good enough, and there was always toilet paper. Obviously, I always bring my own rolls, but after the 2nd happening of human nature of the fest it becmae clear that the bathroom situation was at a different level, and I didn't even need my TP anymore.

They portapotties were so clena, and so good that it was almost pleasurable to use them.

Our campsite.

Then, above and beyond all the portapotties that were there, there was the VIP ultradank air conditioned, wood paneled, granite counter tops, runnig sink water, flush toilets, urinals, that were the best festival bathrooms I have ever been in. These "VIP" bathrooms were better than the bathrooms in my office. They had these black ceramic urnials that were auto flusher, that were separated by wood paneled barriers. There were sinks. They had on off faucets.

There were mirrrors. There were lights. There was AC. There was napkins for you to dry your hands. There was soap. There was a clean garbage in teh bathroom. There was always TP. There were 2 stalls with a lock wood paneled door, that housed toilets. The toilets were flushers. They flushed. So, as you are going, in the AC filled toilet, it was almost like you were using your home bathroom.

Mike Gordon, Trey Anastasio, and Jon Fishman. 3/4 of Phish back together again. Trey says "Now all we need is a keyboardist" - verbatim. Ha!
It was that good. I am being honest.

In fact, on Friday, after snoop, I had to go...bad.  And I went inot the bathroom and was feeling kind of groovy at this point, and I walk in, as it was my first official visit to the "VIP" stage bathroom, and I was sort of dreading my impending situation, and I walk in, and open the door, and I said, "WOW, this is the best fucking bathroom ever." The 3 other dudes who were urinating all turned around and looked at me with amazing smiles, and were laughing in their own groovy way, and nodding in affirmation with my utterance. Then we all had a huge laugh, as we were all kind of feeling groovy, and were all in awe of how great these bathrooms were.

At a fest, sometimes, you dread when nature calls, and when you finally have to go, you sit there for 30 minutes until your completely done, so you don't have to go back again til the next day, becuase its such a nasty chore to do.

At Rothbury, it was such a pleasure to do, and it was so easy, and there was no issue at all, that I probably went good 5 - 10 times. Even for those little ones where you think, ahhh, I can hold it til later, you didn't hold it. You said, hey, guys, I am going to the bathroom. I will be back. And regardless of where you were, it was just perfect.

Best Bathrooms at a FEstival ever.

TRIPABILITY

I have never been to a festival that was more tripable than Rothbury. The Sherwood Forest was the greatest place I have ever been while under the influence. It's hard to explain, but picture a huge forest, with trees that go straight up, with no leaves or brances until the tops of the trees, thereby creating a canopy like in a rainforest. And, all the trees are planted in rows or columns, so while its a forest, there always seem to be these paths to walk on down.

This is just the natural aspect of things.

There were extra comfy pine needles to sit upon as well.

Now, as for the tripaliciousness of things, the folks at rothbury lined this forest with lights, glow in the dark things, black lights, blinking lights, hanging stuff, hammocks, blinking lights, and other lights and other lights for your viewing and visceral enjoyment.

If you were in a spot, and looked in a certain direction, your eyes simply could not get enough of all the visual imagery that was going on. Every single foot of every single area of the forest had something going on. And for a big group of people who are all face, there are few better things. I know that I am not giving this forest any justice at all, but it was the greatest forest tripping zone I have ever personally encountered.

If you were sitting under a tree to puff a little, and were there for 45 minutes, and then decided it was time to move, and then walked literally 8 feet, your entire perspective on things changed. The light was different. The set up was different. The lights reflecting upon things were different, and as such, it was a completely and totally differet experience.

They had lights that created lights. They had darks that created lights. That had lights that created darks. It was truly a majestically magically experience to be in that forest, during the day and during the night.

There was also a secret staage that had this walkway to it, that you only found, if you found it, and only heard, if you were close enough, and when you got there, it was surrounded with all these other random lights, and sculptures, and tripped out desigs on the ground and in beetween trees, and under trees, and in the trees, and around the trees, and through the trees.

There were random hammocks thrown around here and there for your sitting and lying pleasure.

There was also 2 separate hammock districts were there was a set up of about 50 hammocks of so with people just lounging and chillikng and puffing and tripping in them. It was about as peacefully tripishly as you get. And the hammocks weren't white hammocks like in grandma's back yard, they were all colored and just were good, and good and good.

And there were these big pumpkins or big thngs about 50 feet by 50 feet that almost looked like big teepees where people would just sit and chill and puff and be chill and trip and be tripped. You could jsut walk on in, and no one cared or looked at you like, what are you doing here, as they themselves were sitting and smoking and chilling and tripping, and they knew that you too were chilling and smoking and tripping and just being all chill and what not.

Almost looks likes a Glow in the dark Rubix Cube, No?

The vibe was supreme chillness at all times. There was not one second where I felt anything other than extreme chillness. Somtimes you might hit a "shady" spot at a fest or a show, where its a little sketchy. Not at rothbury - maximum chillness at all times.

And, in addition to the maximum chillness, and extreme tripability, there were bars in the forest, so you could get a drink, or water or whatever. There was also, a "Musical Journey" thing set up, where they had these 2 big gongs that were about 8 feet from each other, and a chair that laid back was set up in betweeen, and a person got into the chair, and put on a blind fold, and lied there, and they 2 people working the gongs would lightly tap the gong, and rub it, and gong it, and spin it, and make sounds, that created vibrations that literally permeated throughout the forest, let alone the vibtratinos the perosn in the chair must have felt.

I waited to do it once, but I was too face to be getting in such a chair at that point in time. The dude who was in the chair said it was awesome and he felt like he was doing back flips from a diving board the entire time. Interesting...

The Sherwood forest was absolutely perfect. The day was great, and at night it was a different level of perfect. There were constantly "WAVES of CHEERS" that people would do, merely to indicate how awesome everything was and how awesome everyone felt.

It was supreme, and most likley, in my life, I will never expereinced somthing of such extreme chillness, absolute faceness, and utter tripability like I did at Rothbury.

Sherwood Forest was like the missing element from every other festival I've been to. Knowing that at any time (other than between the hours of 5am and 10am) you could retreat to this haven of chillness and shade was just a fantastic weight lifted from everyone's shoulders.

There was somewhere to go where you knew everything would be wonderfully pleasant.

It was perfect.

 

Rothbury was a special fest.

Let me put it this way, from my perspective, of someone who has been to a bunch of fests and is familiar with the good and the bad, it was all good, and there was no bad.

All of the little things that we think about while at previous fests, and we think, hmmmm, I wish they had this, or I wish this did this differently, or I wish they didn't have that, or I wish I didn't have to deal with that...well, all of those things were taken into consideration in the planning and more importantly, the execution of the festival.

Every little thing, from Admission to getting Zzz's was done perfectly. It's rare for me, a very critical person, to not have any complaints about a festival.

Somemeone mentioned that they should have had better signs. I hear that, but in the same way, part of the mystic of a good fest is just sort of figuring out where things are, and by the third day, just knowing where things are. I like every single thing about this festival exactly as it was.

This festival was planned and thought about and executed by someone who had been to festivals in the past, and had seen the good, and the bad. Someone who thought, hey, this is a good part of this fest, and this is a good part of that fest, lets put them together and make our own fest. This festival was made by someone who is like me, and who is like you, and who appreciates the things that a great festival entails. And, clearly, most importantly, the execution of these "grandiose" thoughts" was carried out to perfection.

Sometimes, we have an idea, and we have a thought, but the enactment of that thought is a difficult process. When we are all at a show and the flow is flowing and the groove is grooving, and our mind is at its most free, we get those thoughts, and think, man, what a great thought that was. But, when the "effects" wear off, and the music stops, and we return to the normalcy of our everyday lives, its difficult to manifest those "flowing thoughts" into a real thing to be experienced.

The means to the end is a tough thing to do.

At Rothbury, the thought was had, the thought was planned, and the thought was executed, and it was executed perfectly.

I had an absolute blast at Rothbury. I thought it was the finest festival I have ever been to. Everyone I have spoken to about Rothbury has shared the exact same sentiments.

Mike Gordon

It was perfect.

Thanks.

The End.

P.S. I only uploaded a few photos that a few friends and myself took.  HOWEVER, check out these link for more awesome Rothbury photos:

***SERIOUSLY, CLICK THE LINKS.  SFW AND WELL WORTH YOUR TIME..  THAT, MY FRIENDS, I PROMISE***

Cool panoramic views: http://revolutionaryviews.com/rothbury.html

AWESOME ROTHBURY photos: http://slaytercreative.buzznet.com/user/photos/l

Ok, here are the final Audio slideshows, so make sure your sound is up!! We shot THOUSANDS of pix so the edit is the hardest part!!

http://www.

onefocusphoto.com/Roth1_to_web/ 

(I don't know why ^^^that^^^ link ins't clickable??? But if you copy and paste it into your web browser it does work!)

and

http://www.onefocusphoto.com/Roth_2_to_web/

Enjoy!

P.P.S. I almost forgot - 17.) The pyrotechnics were off the hook as well ;-)

couchdesurfer says:
Wow... ! :)
Posted on: Mar 12, 2010
iramalama says:
Sounds like you had a blast here!
Posted on: Nov 12, 2009
migemartin says:
oh my god, C O O L!!!!
Posted on: Apr 17, 2009
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photo by: B-Town