June 2nd, 2016
Story originally written and experienced: May 20th – 22nd 2016
Why do it one time…when you could do it three?
Let me explain:
In 2014, my rogue amigos and I accidentally installed a yearly tradition to go buckwild at one music festival per year. indefinitely.
And this year (the 3rd)
We strapped on our Old Navy sandals, packed our least-valued sunglasses and most-valued liquor and made our way
to the Alabama’s very own:
Just so we could do this:
We all came from grand distances to make this rowdy rendezvous work: San Francisco, New York City, Youngstown, Cleveland, San Diego, Cincinnati, Washington D.C.
Just to fricken be together.
And here’s what happened after we arrived:
In an appropriate effort to live up to the “third times the charm” mantra, we decided step shit UP. Kiss camping ADIOS and opt for something more fancy pants and pillowy:
With a lame view to top it off:
The first day it torrentially downpoured. The windows sPrInKlEd with side rain and the clouds blotting out any semblance of sun.
“The festival is postponed until further notice” the text message alert read, cuing an in-house drinking games and song singing that made up for it all:
Fast forward and few hours later and buzz buzz.
We had a text.
“The festival is no longer postponed. COME FRICKEN PARTY,” (as paraphrased, remembered and exaggerated by me).
We were ready.
As were a couple other of our close friends:
And with a lineup as ridiculous as this:
Our reactions were inevitable at all times:
Run The Jewels:
Florence and the Machine:
The fierce photo booth:
But here’s the best part.
Even though we knew we’d be holding hot beers in smoldering temperatures for five days straight.
We all booked flights, rented cars and bought tickets anyway.
Which meant a hell of a lot.
Because truth be told, the older we get, the more complicated it is to meet up because of new priorities popping up every year ranging from weddings to work. But even with all of that factored in.
We all showed up anyway.
We had to.
Because friendships, especially fun and longstanding ones, are vital—a true foundation of a certain type of happiness that humans are meant to enjoy, always.
And I remembered thinking that to myself all week/weekend. Especially realizing how happy I was that I didn’t miss out on moments like this:
1. Singing to Portugal. The Man.’s unexpected encore of “Hey Jude”:
2. Intermissioning damn good performances with breaks on the beach:
3. Watching my friends obey strangers who dictated rogue yoga poses for them such as the “shitty crab” and “a seagull who lost one wing but he’s trying to fly anyway”:
4. Getting everyone near and far to scream “Twist & Shout” with us…yet again:
5. Witnessing the glory and honor of fellow friends going balls out at the local obstacle course:
(with a notable finish #Jaredslegs)
6. Applauding Jordan for taking over the commuter bus with a Game Of Thrones monologue:
7. And screaming “Sweet Home Alabama” as the grand finale with fireworks as our back drop:
It’s not easy to always make the effort, but it is an easy choice to decide to do it.
Because the way I see it?
Music festivals are fleeting— but friendships aren’t. Not the best ones anyway. And with even more scheduling conflicts and life changes on the horizon, why not just show up, especially when you know you can?
So thank you, to everyone on this trip to made ever moment feel unmissable. For the last two years, this year and beyond:
Can’t wait to Hangout…again.
Year 4, we’re comin for ya.