Landing a gig working Friendly Gathering, I jumped on the opportunity and headed my way up to Vermont. The crew I slowly got to meet over the course of a week were a mix of individuals from construction workers, actors, athletes, entrepreneurs and kids like me traveling and working festivals. There was a family atmosphere as many have worked the festival in years past. Working with the sustainability crew was no different. Once the work was done, decompressing on the back porch of the lodge was essential. Telling stories, running around with sparklers and playing pin the tail on the donkey. Not before chugging champagne, getting spun and then Kris spitting champagne on your face (if being tipsy and dizzy wasn’t disorientating enough). Nevertheless, their hospitality and generosity was a welcome sign to a tight knit group.
Blue Grass, reggae and rock attracted the masses on top of the mountain as their camps sat in the parking lot or askew on the mountain. It rained two days before the event that is placed on top of Mt. Ellen, making a thick fog roll in over the mountain that didn’t damper the spirits. If anything, it created a muddy dance floor for the barefoot which was more than usual for a festival. Kids danced in puddles and down streams as adults jumped across the mud. Once it dried up, many took advantage of the half pipe set up next to the lift. A massive jungle gym like dome covered in canvas sat near for seminars, Q&A’s and concerts. The main stage placed in front of the ski lodge, as the second stage was on the bottom of the slope not far away. Local food trucks lined the walk between stages, tempting those with the smell of stone oven pizza, crepes and broccoli. Yes, the broccoli bar will change your mind on broccoli. As day turned to night and the last set took stage, attendees and staff alike danced and laughed to the stomping music in the mountains. In those moments, we lost track of self to be apart of the experience we helped to create.