Can you believe it’s been over a month since Cali Roots? I tend to get a little depressed after festivals and withdraw, sad about the fun times that are over and pining for the excitement of camping with friends and running around seeing your favorite bands play. As I finally reflect in a constructive way on May’s festivities I am grateful for the memories and even more excited for the future (Dry Diggings, anyone?!). Cali Roots was packed with amazing artists; from the Dirty Heads, Stick Figure and Collie Buddz to newcomers like as Nas, Jurassic 5 and Iya Terra. While live music performances in and of themselves are amazing, most often it’s the people you experience them with that makes it truly memorable.
I worked tirelessly the entire weekend documenting the festival experience blogging for Bulldog Media and Cali Roots, so I wasn’t really in “hangout mode” if you know what I mean. The universe knew I needed to let loose though, and Sunday as I made my way through the crowd of John Brown’s Body after interviewing The Late Ones, I ran into none other than Steffanie (co-founder, partner in crime and BFF) and our other San Diego crew. It was positively serendipitous. Even though I had obviously danced to other sets throughout the weekend, in that moment as we vibed and drank in one another’s energy, I knew it was the first time I had truly reached that ~level~ where you’re having so much fun you just don’t care what you look like or who else is around except for your happy little group of friends.
I really wanted to follow them to into the crowd for Thievery Corporation, but I had to leave to get setup and as I walked through the masses of happy faces to get to the Cali Roots stage I reminisced about the first time me and Steffanie had ever seen them perform… Two years ago she called me and exclaimed that we had been given passes to Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in northern California (thanks. KBong :-)) The whole weekend was a special experience, but our final night there Thievery Corporation played against a pink and orange smeared sunset sky and we pirouetted in our furry coats and crooned Lebanese Blonde to each other. Never have I ever felt more like some blue-haired, tattooed version of Penny Lane.
Literally the second I finished shooting my final pictures of Thievery for the blog, I look out from the pit and see my squad dancing less than ten feet away from me. There I captured one of my favorite shots of the weekend, watching my two friends dance and stare into each other eyes, drunk in love. I’m a little drunk off Thievery Corporation as I realize I’ve been standing there swaying way too long. I hesitantly leave once again to make sure I’m ready for the Dirty Heads and kiss my fingers as I wave them goodbye.
You know, nothing is harder than leaving your friends and that energy in that environment which is all-consuming and incredibly euphoric. I feel my willpower growing stronger with every goodbye.
I end up not being able to get into the pit for the Dirty Heads set so I climb the stairs to the VIP bleacher area and run into some friends whom I hugged and sang a few songs with. As I squeeze their hands to signal my retreat my ears are ringing, my feet are sore and my mind is blissfully high on social interaction. I’m almost to the back of the bowl, resigned to the night, when I run into Steffanie and company. It was absurd in the most wonderful way. Absurd, because what are the chances of running into your friends three separate times in four hours surrounded by thousands of people? Wonderful, because when the festival ended I was with some the people that matter to me most.