Festival Tour Summer ’19 pt.2

J. Grant StaffordHSMF, meditation, Summer '19 Festival Tour

7/5/19. 7:07am. HSMF. “Psychedelic sunrise kickball.” “Festival journeymen.”

The ganja has been good medicine on this trip so far. I’ve used it everyday blended with Shelby’s wild-crafted herbs. They work really well together. Plus, the spices in the dal have been really good on the belly.

High Sierra. Everything is packed in with humans. Just a moment ago, a young man walked into our sleeping camp to pee between the vehicles. Psychedelic kickball is happening right now and he was probably playing. If you didn’t know these fairgrounds well, it would be a challenge to find a bathroom, especially if you’re coming down from a full night of partying without sleeping.

And that’s why sunrise kickball was invented, not to help people pee, but to get out the energy of the night-walkers so that they might be able to sleep. That last jolt of their long, strange trip from the night before. The game seems to always start around 6am. I’ve never played, only have heard the sounds of it and watched the tail end of a game as part of my early risings. I used to think that it was a softball game happening offsite somewhere, but nope, it’s the partiers. Sesa might be over there, he’s a festival journeyman.

The festival journeyman. That’s me and Shelby, who’s still sweetly sleeping as I write. Who is the festival journeyman? What are festivals but a celebration of music, art, love, and life. The California festivals with the mountains, the valleys, and the deserts, as well as the coast and the city, they all have this vibe to them that IS California.

High Sierra still draws that live music lover that you might see at a Dead & Co show, or Govt. Mule, or Panic, an MMJ show, but it now also draws the festival culture in general that is more touristy, but not in a negative way. It is the vacationer seeking a new experience, who enjoys the vibe.

7/5/19. HSMF. 5pm-ish. “Sovereign space.” “Curing Autism.” “Shabbat.”

Here in the camper. It’s been a long few days. The intensity & the density of the people is overwhelming me. I’ve retreated to the camper for some alone time.

Sovereign space, a little home space is crucial at a festival. I’ve been at it from sun-up to sun-down and later for the past sixty hours. Finally began to overheat my engine, Pitta. And the resolution was to get some alone time, first with Shelby and now I’m alone.

I think that I’ve got a minor strain in my left trapezius from trying out some twisting acro-yoga yesterday with Angelica. Shelby rubbed it some and E. Long brought a proper buffer to the fest. Funny that that began as people mickey-mousing car buffers into massage tools, now they’re manufactured for that. Yeah, rest is key. Super key.

I can see the stress on people’s shoulders. I can also see the envy or the angst that often cause it.

The crew has been awesome this year. Kayla & Dillon seem to be opening up and integrating a bit. Then, there’s Josh who’s like the younger brother; he goes for it. That’s for certain. Sesa is a straight-up animal ready-to-go. Both beautiful men, through & through. E. Long played his set and was on fire afterwards. Craigie came by and chilled for some food and chatted a while, and Scura to this AM. All good men.

Frank Scura has a teenage son with severe autism, Lakesh. I remember when he was born. It’s so bad that he can’t speak and Frank has found a doctor in LA that will do fecal-transplant therapy, which has cured some children. He is motivated more than I’ve ever seen him, and when he is passionate about an idea, or a strong vision, he goes full-on and backs it with all his heart. I’ve seen it wide open before. He’s been in & out of my festival travels since the beginning. Bringing us to Earthdance in ’03 and STS9 shows before that, Sea of Dreams.

Yeah, wow, festivals. I’m hearing my writer’s voice now and it sounds like my late father’s a bit. I can hear that along with the intensity of the Jewish side. It’s interesting being racially mixed. I guess I am. I mean, I’m 50% Ashkenazi Jewish and 50% Gentile. I guess I can feel both in me. It’s cool.

There’s a Shabbat tent here at the festival that plays Hebrew music and observes Shabbat. There was a Jewish customer who asked me to start a tab for her for tomorrow, because she’s not supposed to carry money on Saturdays.

Lots of relationships. Relationships have been a big part of this festival. It’s like a reunion, and this year is the year of the wide-brimmed hat, which might be peak trending. It’s been building & building for years now. Now, there’s so many of them. Trends are interesting. Trough to peak to trough and repeat. Some build slowly. The adoption curve. It’s everywhere, in prices, culture, food…