There is no real way for me to describe what this festival and this place( spirit of Suwanee music park) mean to me. I have been coming here for about 10 years and it seems like I have grown up so much in that time. At my first festival, I was just dating Aaron. We had no kids, we were kids- 19 or 20. We were just walking around, meeting people and listening to music. He had been a few times before and so he knew the ropes a bit. I had very little camping experience, except for girl scouts. Now, I can set up tents and make campfires. By the second festival we went to, I was pregnant with Dylan. After that, we went every October and March for years. We only skipped the October ones right after Dylan and Edison were born since they were only about a month old. I looked up to those mamas when I first started going. That was how I wanted our family to be. This is really a part of my adult life and who I am and have become and who I want to be.
One of the biggest parts of the festivals is the community of people that you are around. These are the most helpful, loving, peaceful people you will ever encounter. Everyone greets each other and looks out for each other. We have had our car battery jumped several times over and over by different people one year. We have had golf cart rides when it was obvious we were tired. This year as I was tirelessly chasing Violet through the amphitheater for the thousandth time, she told me she wanted a snack. I didn’t have anything with me and the boys were gone so there wasn’t much I could do. She kept walking around and walked up to the beer vendor and said hello and the woman handed her an orange. She hadn’t heard her a few minutes before.It was just so simple and sweet. In the evening, she was given a glow bracelet by a nice mom who had a little one about the same age and had a few extra. The generosity and openness of people is beautiful.
Edison and Dylan stacked rocks for hours and listened to music. This kept their hands busy and they really concentrated on what they were doing and listened to the music. Edison played with a large balloon with the crowd for hours on Sunday. He would toss it back and forth to different people sitting by us. They seemed to enjoy it as much as he did. The acceptance of family life there is amazing. You aren’t afraid to nurse your child(even if she is 2). You aren’t afraid your kids are making too much noise and in someone’s way. This is the kind of community I want to live in. I want to bottle up the atmosphere and share it with everyone else in the “real world” and what a different place we would live in.
My kids have learned so much about making music and appreciating what live music is and how interactive it is,the experience is priceless.
It is so much fun to dress colorfully and feel like a kid again and try to forget your day to day responsibilities. One musician said, “..after he leaves the festival, he remembers who he is again.”
To all my festival family, I love you!