Tuesday, August 5, 20140 Comments
Another surreal, yet soggy, Hillside is in the books. Although ultimately rained out in its final hours, the events leading up to the end, as always, were fun and green as responsibly possible.
Being my tertiary anniversary to the tied-dyed, Kampuchea soaked event, I felt I was an old hand. I would do my usual schmoozing of the vendors. I’d inspect a trinket or two, wrinkling my forehead as I discern their prices over their usefulness and place in my life. The usual, as usual.
I’d eat. As I always do at Hillside to a level of consumption that I can only describe as unabashedly gluttonous. I ate from many corner of the globe under one large, sweaty thatched roof. From reusable plastic plate and cups into my cavernous belly, the food is what keeps me coming back—between quick, tiny food comas.
Although the music acts under the various tents provided the bulk of the talent at the festival, the true artistry was only realized in the many busy hands of the myriad volunteers running the event. Like bees, each with their own job, they bustled and bussed the event, cleaning and counting, picking and ticking off certain lists of things.
I caught up with Amanda McCarron, a six-year veteran of Hillside, while she was on her way to her last shift of the weekend. “It’s the positive vibes,” she said when asked what kept her coming back. Although she does admit that the rain probably kept Hillside, “a little more chill than usual,” she told me that she’d be back next year, again, rain or shine.
Another seasoned Hillsider, Louis Dejonge was a six or seven-year islander (he couldn’t remember), said, “I love coming to Hillside because of the different bands, the hippies, the beer…it’s one of the highest point of the summer.”
Certainly among the initiated, Hillside is a mecca for all things green, fun and funky. However, any newcomer to the music festival will notice something a little different about this one. Children. Everywhere, as far as I could effectively throw a javelin, children smattered the grass between the stages. “I like them,” says McCarron, “as long as I don’t step on them.” She brought bubbles with the pint-sized people in mind.
Like a Greek tragedy Hillside came to its end too quickly and seemingly drowned out in a flood. The higher-ups Hillside execs decided to cancel the final shows on Sunday night so people could get home before the big storm. Because of this, Hey Rosetta, one of the bigger acts this year, had to cancel their show.
However, this soggy end to this year’s festival will only make the event stronger next year. Although it ended under buckets of rain, next year it will bloom even stronger. Until then, Happy Hillside.