Two men, dressed as a Pikachu and a Ghostbuster, are dancing on a car in the rain. I’m watching from the trunk of my friend’s parents van as I eat a tub of cheese balls while drinking adult grape juice.
“This is it,” I think to myself. “This is what we all have been waiting for. This is the apocalypse.”
Kings of Leon, the evenings headliners, were about to go on, but the event’s organizers ordered everyone to evacuate the festival because of incoming bad weather.
As you can imagine, when 90,000 people are told to leave a music festival as quickly as possible because there’s a huge rainstorm approaching and a tornado warning has been issued, chaos ensues.
Everyone was hustling to get back to their campsites and it was a challenge for my friends and I to stick together. But luckily we made it back to our campsite relatively quickly and even had a little bit of fun along the way.
On the way back, our fellow festival goers stating singing the Kings of Leon classic, “Use Somebody” followed by a chant of The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army.”
Not from Firefly, but isn’t this cover of “Seven Nation Army” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals fantastic?
We were told that we needed to take cover in our car, but the van was packed to the brim with camping supplies. So we all rushed around to try to rearrange everything in the van to make some space for us to sit.
Right as the first raindrops were beginning to fall, we finished clearing out a nice space in the trunk for Rachel S., Rachel M, Chelsea and myself to lay down and rest. My other two campmates found refuge elsewhere, Kailyn took the front seat of the van and Adam went out on an adventure in the storm.
When my friends and I were hanging out in the trunk of the van, we witnessed some strange sights outside. There was the Pikachu and the Ghostbuster dancing on a car as the rain poured of course, but there was also other craziness.
People were wandering around and basically going nuts. I considered joining them, but I was too afraid of the lightening.
I stayed in the trunk and reminisced about the day’s events. Saturday started with my usual festival breakfast of Doritos and coffee.
Campmate Kailyn left at the crack of dawn to wait for a front row spot to see her favorite band, Foster The People. I stayed back with the rest of the gang and hung out at the campsite for a while.
Those mornings under the bright sun with my friends are one of my favorite parts of the festival experience. There is nothing better than hanging out with your best friends – and your new best friends – in a field with no cell phones or other distractions.
But before we knew it, we were all back inside the festival rocking to some more music.
First, my friends went to see Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (You may know him from Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate. Or from the film documenting his battle with leukemia, which I embedded below.)
I decided to venture off by myself for a bit because as much as I love my friends, I am also a bit of a loner and needed some alone time. Plus, seeing live music by myself is one of my favorite pastimes. I think it’s a great way to clear my sometimes messy mind.
I saw BRONCHO first. They have a song called, “I Don’t Really Want To Be Social” which was incredibly perfect for my mood at the time. I had the chance to cover them for this website last year and they are super rade.
After a bit more wandering, the heat was starting to wear on me at this point so I decided to grab some water and take a break in the Hammock Hideout – a spot hidden in the woods with, you guessed it, a bunch of hammocks. While I was recuperating, I heard a woman rapping nearby.
She was excited and the crowd was really into it. I had to go over to wherever she was to see what the fuss was about.
When I wandered over to the Forest Stage LIZZO was performing. She was fantastic! And anyone who tells the crowd midway through his or her set that the audience members that stick around will get free snacks at the end gets an A+ in my book.
“I know these festivals can be expensive,” Lizzo stated. YES!!! It was like she was my friend who knew what was up.
The best part was that she actually DID give out snacks near the end!!!! It was during her song, “Batches & Cookies” when she started throwing snacks into the crowd and in that moment she won my heart. I love snacks…
Especially when they are free….
But by this point, my friends were worried about me so I hustled back to meet them to see Gary Clark Jr. perform.
He was great, but it was so incredibly hot at this point that I couldn’t enjoy his performance at all. He was on the main stage and the crowd was directly in the sun, there was no relief. We left early.
So after that, I went off to see BETTY WHO by myself and she was absolutely one of my favorite performers of the weekend. It’s like she was singing to each individual person – she has the stage presence of a much more established performer. I felt like she was a friend.
My favorite part of the performance was when she invited the crowd to sing along with her during a song called, “Just Like Me.” Here’s some of the lyrics:
And I’m the only one you’ll call
If you keep reaching for me in the dark
And can’t stand it anymore
Then you just call my name
I will do the same
You can look into my eyes and see
If you’ve got a broken heart
Then you’re just like me
A photo posted by Betty Who (@iambettywho) on
Once Betty Who was done, I went to find my friends to see Matt And Kim. This was the fourth time I’ve seen them live and they were incredible as usual. Highly recommend. I mean look at this energy?
And of course, that leads us back to the rainstorm which caused the night to promptly end – or promptly begin, depending on who you were.
Let’s just say I was fast asleep when the craziest really happened Saturday night. But luckily, my campmate Adam had the full scoop on Sunday morning.
More on that during my recap of the final day of the 2015 Firefly Music Festival…coming soon…