After last year’s The Big Up, I slept for about sixteen hours straight. I was sleep deprived, my body hurt, and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere other than a bed after spending three nights in a tent. Normally, I’d get flack from my family for being so “lazy,” but after what was surely one of the most exhausting weekends of the summer, even they agreed that I looked like I needed the rest, after a serious shower of course. Was I having problems walking after being on my feet for 18 hours a day? Sure. Was I having problems forming sentences out of sheer exhaustion and over-using my mouth to chat it up with everyone I came in contact with? Absolutely. Was it worth every penny and every bit of energy I had used up over the course of that hot and sticky weekend in upstate New York at the end of July? You bet your ass it was.
When I heard that The Big Up was taking a hiatus for unknown reasons this past summer, I died a little bit on the inside. Festival season is of course everyone’s favorite time of year, for several reasons. There’s the crazy party atmosphere, the killer music, and of course seeing friends and family that you wouldn’t have a chance to normally see during the rest of the year. The last part is what really got to me. As a die-hard Disco Biscuits fan, festivals like Camp Bisco allow me to catch up with a nice handful of friends old and new that I don’t see otherwise, but at a staggering 20,000 people, it’s easy to get lost in the mix. The Big Up, on the other hand, at a comfortable 3,000 people, is the exact opposite of a larger festival and feels half the size that it actually is. Besides the fact that you won’t walk for longer than ten minutes to get anywhere (or fifteen if you’re a slow and easily distractible guy like myself), there is no escaping the phamily, and it’s truly an amazing thing. You find out that one group of friends knows your other group of friends, who in turn both know a third group, and before you know it you’ve pieced together a more insane and intricate family tree that you would have ever thought possible. I have one distinct memory of walking by the late night barn one evening with my girlfriend and two or three friends. We made it about six feet before we passed some people we knew and doubled in size, and did it again, and again. After walking outside from one end of the barn to the other, a total of maybe 150 feet, there were about 30 of us. We all knew each other, and we were remarkably still missing half of our crews. That short minute will always stick in my memory because it embodies the spirit and feel of what this festival is really all about.
So you can imagine that I almost cried for joy when earlier this week, Shireworks announced that it’s baby would be back for summer 2013! After posting a sweet new website and an awesomely epic “we’re back” video (which can be seen below), I’m still in disbelief. They had said they would be back, but after the disappointment of last summer, I wasn’t going to get my hopes up. Now, I have nothing but hope. There’s no line-up or details yet, but I don’t even care. After producing some of the best sets of last summer, including late nights by Tipper and Papadosio and rare and rockin’ sets from bands like RAQ and The Breakfast, I have no doubt they’ll deliver yet again. Interestingly enough, though, for a music festival that has brought some serious heat to their line-up, the music isn’t even close to the first thing on my mind. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a beautiful thing.
Be sure to keep yourself updated with announcements from this awesome festival by checking out their Facebook page or the Big Up website.
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