Packing my bags for Canada last minute Tuesday night was one of the most exciting things I've done this summer. I had no idea what a good time I was in for once we crossed the border.
Contrary to popular misconception international travel to our landlocked neighbors is pretty simple. Even without a passport you can verify your identity with proper paper work. Which seems pretty logical to me. I brought my ID, social security card, birth certificate, last pay stub and a bill and was ushered through within a reasonable amount of time for not having the standard issued passport.
We settled into camp around 9, after a little run-around the area. Oro Medonte where the festival is held, is in south central Ontario, on the northwestern shores of Lake Simcoe. There are a lot of camp grounds around the area where people can stay if they chose not to purchase a camping pass. And a lot of festival goers actually stay in hotels and are shuttled in daily for the shows.
The setup was amazingly curated. I loved how they set aside large lots for people to navigate their way around. I have been to a lot of festivals where I've had a lot of trouble locating friend's campsites because everyone was pack in so tightly!
Republic Live is a event production company based out of Ontario. They're the second biggest I've heard of after Live Nation, and I was sure to pass along my business card to Hammer who worked for them: He brought my friends and I lots of liquor, and BREAKFAST(!) out of the kindness of his heart and stuck around to kick it with us when he could. Luckily we were right on the gravel road, which is how he found us. (Originally we needed to jump the car because the battery died)
Four sweet southern American girls got pretty good reception from anyone who walked by our decked out camp site. And I personally had a blast engaging anyone who could spare a minute to talk about international politics. I felt like a true activist informing people of the conditions of living within the states. Unfortunately yes, I told them, things are just as violent as they're broadcasted to be.
But that's why we were there! The fresh air and groove tunes are what a soul needs to feel whole again, even just for a little bit. The Børn's lyric "I make a living trying to get away" has been ringing in my ear ever since as I consider what it would be like to take on blogging as a more serious hobby..
No one artist disappointed. And I was especially glad to catch one my favorite bands, Glass Animals, again. The first time I saw them like at Wakarusa last year their vocals were out. But this time, at the Waybold Stage, everything was on point! And unlike Waka this stage was shaded and stood off to the side outside the VIP area for the optimum view. (insert sunglasses emoji here)
It was really tough to chose between The Arcs and MØ on Sunday. I opted for The Arc's, gushing to everyone in the crowd about how great they were live and singing along to every word. After the show I was leaned against a gate trying to catch some rest while deciding where to go next. A guy next to me casually asked "Hey! How many balloons do you think are on that string?" I counted out 10 balloons, estimates they multiplication and told him I thought it was somewhere between 200-240. The look of shock on his face when he said "Ya know I think you're right!" was really funny and I sat there as I daydreamed about who knows what and causally declined his invitation to sit with him and his friends. I realize NOW that I'm 99% sure this man was Dan Aurbach... And is Dan Aurbach from the Black Keys and Lead. Singer. of The Arc's...... I've never seen the guy without sunglasses on, and really didn't even make the connection until I got home.
Now that I am back in the 270, I catch myself reminiscing daily over the whole thing. Even visiting Niagara Falls was hyperreal. I know that even though this was my first visit out of the country it won't be my last. And the friends we made there are already helping us plan our visit back! And next time who knows if I'll come back.