“Are you camping?” That’s the top question I get about Peach Fest each year. If I answer yes, the follow up is, “how,” or more commonly, “fuck that mountain.” 2019 was the first year I didn’t camp at Peach Fest. Island Girl and I stayed at a friend’s camp about 40 minutes from the venue. Luckily she had a VIP camping pass and so each day we were able to head right to the top of the hill and park one row from the entrance. This is a game-changer. Closer than day parking and easier access than even camping on site. This proved extra helpful as we took over a volunteer position when our dear friend Murph couldn’t make it.
Getting to the camp was a breeze as is most travel with Island Girl. Always plenty to talk about and enjoy during the journey. I passed out for a bit and woke at a country store. A sign for fresh peaches caught her eye but it wasn’t till day three that I connected the dots. “Oh! Peach fest!” (I swear I have a masters degree). We munched local delicacies and stocked up on extra provisions for breakfasts throughout the weekend.
Peach proved to be another memorable year of terrific music and spectacles. Andy Frasco crowd surfed from the stage to the wave pool. Did he just play Epic by Faith No More? Did the Infamous Stringdusters really play a Cure song (yes, Just Like Heaven lived up to its title).
Hayley Jane vouched for me to security and I was allowed backstage. We got to catch up and I got a very sexy, “hey buddy” from Juice as he brought his axe on stage. I realized at that moment it was the last Peach for Hayley Jane and the Primates as their impending hiatus may keep them off the bill next year. Despite my suggestions for the festival organizers each year, they’ve remained on the smaller stage. This year at least they had a better time slot with less heat and direct sun. The crowd was massive, the vibe was fantastic, and new fans were born while old ones were born again.
Later in the night, I met Julia. She was cold. She sold me a chicken sandwich and as it was being prepared, we discussed her desires for a Third-Eye pinecone. You’ve seen these. They’re cross-sections of pinecones with stones set in the middle and covered in resin, worn as pendants. They’re not cheap but the group plants trees for each item sold. The cold had her consider a poncho instead. She took a break so we could pick one out together. I held a mirror as she tried on a few. We picked out a lovely light blue one and she was warmed through and through. This was one of those amazing, serendipitous adventures that music fests create. The next night, as she took food orders, we encouraged people to give their middle names as well. This lead to an angry mom vibe at their booth as they auctioned off food in three (sometimes four) name shouts. People were uncomfortable and overjoyed.
While I didn’t have to sleep on the mountain, and I didn’t dance all that much, one highlight this year was a fantastic massage. We talked business, healing, tantra, more healing, more tantra, and art all while she released my psoas and opened my calves. I don’t always get a massage at a fest but I’m always grateful for it afterward.
I can’t complete the tale of Peach Fest without mentioning the bizarre interaction at A Bizarre Universe. Deliah invited me to her booth early in the day and I missed her the first two times I came by. The trip was valuable as I had time to browse all the well-curated vintage clothing items she stocks. Later, she was there but so was he. He was a wook. The spoon around his neck had the Special K cereal logo on it, basically a big K. He didn’t smell as bad as he looked like he might, and he was about as grounded as a kite in a hurricane. When he saw me he launched into question after question with no time for me to answer. Maybe he thought I had, maybe he didn’t care, maybe, and I suspect this is really what was happening, his mind was working faster than he could talk. A string of deep-ish sounding but actually contradictory pontifications (what I call, over-the-counter philosophy) assembled from random pseudo-new-age jargon. Deliah tried to save me but I said I was up to play a bit. “I tried.” She did indeed. At some point, I guessed his name. Zach reminded me of another Zach I knew in many ways. Like those interactions, I got about 15 words in over the course of 45 minutes. He is probably talking at something right now.
Eventually, Deliah and I got to connect and I bought some amazing patches to adorn something at some point. Her staff was able to take over for a bit and we got to dance together later in the evening. Our small group grew throughout the night into a massive turnout of amazing humans. Friendly faces in every direction is the real reason I come to fests. Dancing in the aisles, people watching and falling in love with humanity again each day.0 likes