17
Jul
09

on caravan.

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I’m going to lift this from the host of CARAVAN, Matt Manser. He said everything that I could’ve said about it, really, and he’s more qualified, so, here we go:

Caravan 2009 was four years in the making.

The first Caravan was in 2006, and had 7 people. At some point, we decided it would be a cool idea to take our gear up there and jam out in the quarry, call it “Blues Fest”. Never quite happened.

Then, at 4 am one morning when all great ideas are born, it was decided to do Caravan the way it should be done. With music, and good people. Lots of good people. I set my bar at 50.

But like all great things, it didn’t come easy. There were schedule conflicts, band promises and drop outs, the difficulty in explaining what exactly I was talking about ( DO YOU ALL UNDERSTAND WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT NOW? )

Then the night we’re scheduled to leave, the trailer won’t work on my truck. What the fuck?! We consider using Haffy’s suburban, until it shorts out his lights. Now the trailer AND his car can’t go.

However, in the true spirit of Caravan, Thayer decided to have all of his tools with him. Mike Connor loaned him a soldering iron to fix Haff’s lights while we went and searched for a solution to the hitch. We found one, by buying and installing an entirely new hitch on the truck. We left at 6 am, feeling accomplished. The fellowship had been broken, and we had been delayed, but nothing could stop us now!

Then the cops came. And busted us. In a big way. We could have all gotten underages, and supplying alcohol to minors, and my dad would be in jail, and I’d be asking for donations for the huge fine that we’d be paying. They could have let that dog out of the car to go sniff around the tents. We were god awful close to being fucked for good.

But in the true spirit of Caravan, luck was on our side. We got a disorderly conduct warning. So we reacted, and made the event dry.

The event was dry, right? We buried treasure in the woods, and we made the campsite squeaky clean. I believe that everyone thought everyone else was sober. It was an amazing group lie.

And then the concert began. At its peak, there were 128 confirmed facebook guests, 12 bands, and I really wanted to rent a pontoon party barge to set the amps up on and float around playing for docks. In reality, I’ve heard guesses of 80-90 people, with 8 bands playing. We went through 9 cases of water, 16 cases of soda, 4 handles of liquor and 10 cases of beer before I stopped buying them. I spent an average of $350 in cash a day at Sam’s Club, and have a $1000 credit card bill coming. This is just the shit I purchased too, I probably found 15 to 20 empty handles cleaning up.

I got a few complaints about the food and beverage situation, and for that I apologize. I tried the best I could to make sure everyone was drinking and eating. I put an extra 500 miles on my car while in Maine trying to run around to grab everything.

We took 32 bags of garbage to the dump. We got $52 in deposits on cans and recyclables.

Of course, this was a great experiment year. I’ve never done this before. I doubt any of you have. So I got things wrong, and I got things right. The people around me came through in amazing ways. Some people knew how to hide the booze and the illicit items, and some didn’t.

So I want to thank my dad Clark, Max Yasgur to my Woodstock, the bandana crew, keren verker, lucy the chef, crazy dave, kyle brophy, mike connor, mike sabolick, hugh haffner and his citronella bunnies, everyone who loaned the equipment, everyone who put up the stage, andrew mitchell for reasons we’ve discussed in private, everyone who believed in the ideal of traveling 500 miles to see a concert, the kids who had to take a 39 hour return journey, the kids who decided that the possibility of an awesome weekend was worth more then the $30-50 they ended up paying me, everyone who believes that we can make it bigger, better and smoother, and bre for giving me the last $2 I have to my name. Seriously, broke as a joke, but at least I can get a vitamin water.

I didn’t go to jail, and I’m on schedule to only lose $300 on the whole thing. So I have no reason to not do it again.

Caravan 2010.

You heard him, guys. Caravan lives.

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