Run Engine Run

In the immortal words of the sage Jim Anchower, been a while since I rapped atcha.   Fest gets kind of nuts around the start of the second week, and sometimes…one gets distracted.  Or tired.  Or hungover.  Or all three.  No apologies needed though, this is Summerfest.

mikey had a kind of awesome comment in a previous thread.  The big festivals, can be kind of difficult, and if there’s one thing Summerfest is, it’s not a big festival.  For one thing, it only costs $15 to get in for all day.  Lolla is what, $100?

The thing is, that for the The World’s Largest Music Festival, the music is almost secondary.  It started as a local festival, local bands.  Bo Black helped it grow to where it attracted 100,000 people per day, but it remained regional.  And the focus was always on beer.  And food.  And music….

So, in order to deliver beer, it was necessary to bring in popular acts, and run the whole thing smoothly.  Acts get on and off stage on time, and are treated well, so they are happy to come back.  And for a band, the big attraction is to get big, appreciative crowds of drunks, especially ones who might become new fans.  I think for the bands, this is one of the biggest pluses; building a larger fan base.  A surly, phoned in performance won’t do it, but pulling out the stops and burning up the stage helps to sell a few CDs and t-shirts.

Oh, sure, I’ve seen some lackluster performances.  I remember an uninspired short Cracker performance a couple of years ago.  But those are more the rarity. Other bands I’ve seen, both big names and small, put their best foot forward. And I have had many bands that I’ve never heard of before make that connection (Rock n Roll Soldiers, Blue October, Cowboy Mouth, Trapper schoepp & The Shades).

mikey said I did not recognize how lucky we are, but I do.  And as I look over The Document, I think a big part of the reason is that Summerfest does NOT put the music first; it puts the festival first.  And if the festival is being done right, the rest can flow.


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