Middlelands, The First

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We’ve all had a day to rest, so it’s time to reflect on the amazing event that we just had here at TRF: Middlelands Music Fest! This show, a partnership with Electric Daisy Carnival, Insomniac, and C3 Productions,  has been years in the making, and as a first time music fest attendee, I saw a lot of really amazing things. Here are a few of those amazing things:

https://www.facebook.com/Middlelands/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED

I learned some new vocabulary. Primarily, these new terms are:

“PLUR” (an acronym for Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect), is the mantra used over and over as festival goers encouraged each other to clean up after themselves and watch out for the health and safety of others. According to Wikipedia, PLUR “may be interpreted as the essential philosophy of life for ravers and clubbers, at least insomuch as it relates to interpersonal relationships, with basic directions on how people are expected to behave at a rave gathering. This universalist philosophy underpinning the tribal dance culture which began circling the globe with the rise of the internet, theoretically takes precedence over any chemical or musical aspects of the rave scene.[1] Raves represent a modern ritualistic experience, promoting a strong communal sense, where PLUR is considered an ideology.[2]” (Source: wikipedia, see footnotes at bottom of post)

PLUR sounds like a pretty awesome mantra, if you ask me.

“Kandi” is the sharing of gifts, primarily beaded bracelets, that rave kids use as a way to meet new people and make friends. Our office manager even came back with a purple beaded kandi bracelet. When the young man gave it to her (she was out in the campground collecting garbage with a couple of other office staffers), she had to do particular hand motions and say the words peace, love, and unity. The kiddo slipped the bracelet from his wrist to hers over their linked hands. That’s a pretty sweet kandi treat.

https://www.insomniac.com/media/beads-and-beats-meet-10-hardcore-kandi-kids

Boof- look this one up. But it became a big joke on the forum- kids were talking about boofing jars of peanut butter and a margarita machine.

EDM is loud but fun

My personal music taste is way different from this music- I am usually listening to Broadway show tunes, Sara Bareilles, or classic rock. But if a different style of music brings joy to someone else, that’s cool! I never got tired of watching thousands of kids start dancing, jumping, or head banging in unison when a really great beat would drop. I laughed out loud every time I watched it! Your jam may be Garth Brooks or Metallica or Jay-Z. And there were even a few older adults here having a great time! Music exists to bring joy. I saw a lot of joy this weekend.

Totems are clever

The festival kids carry these totems, they’re signs or other objects on poles. They use them as a visual to help find each other, and also as statements about who they are. I loved watching the guy carrying the “Free Love” sign just give hugs. He gave hugs to anyone who wanted them- girls, guys, whatever. The world can always use more hugs, right?

Archery tag looks like a blast

The event organizers who offered this amazing event provided fun stuff for festival kids to do during the day, before the concerts got started. Craft tables, yoga, rope-walking, and archery tag were big hits.

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Stilt walkers are like goddesses

These amazing women walked all over our faire site and campground. On stilts. In costume and makeup. It was hot. They were non-stop sexy.

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Climbing trees can be hazardous

One ambitious guy climbed, like Zacchaeus in the New Testament book of Luke, to the top of a tree to see one of the headliners from a better vantage point. It was a really tall tree. Security stopped the show and used a lift to bring him down to safety.

Sometime fresh eyes can bring fresh ideas.

I have loved the TRF grounds for 17 years, and so many people have loved them for twice as long. I walk them several times a week, so I know them pretty well. But when the Middlelands folks came in, they saw our grounds with completely fresh eyes, and they brought new ideas to us about how the space could be utilized. We are still wrapping our heads around some of it- can we incorporate the cool new bridge that connects the campground to the back stage area? Should we reconfigure the campground a little bit? Perhaps we can add some night lighting to enhance the evening ambience of the festival? We still aren’t sure how it will all play out, but it was tremendous to see our beautiful grounds used in creative new ways.

law enforcement

Local law enforcement is amazing

With something like 30,000 festival goers, we had just under 40 arrests, and no accidents on the roads. A huge team of law enforcement officers from various agencies worked together to keep everyone safe. These men and women are incredible. We owe them a lot of gratitude!

So to all of you who came- thanks. We loved having you here with your PLUR and your fun. We hope to see you again- maybe this fall!

https://riverbeats.life/middlelands-festival/

  1. St. John, Graham (2004). Rave Culture and Religion. Routledge. p. 149. ISBN 0-415-31449-6.
  2. Jump up^ Marshall, Douglas (2002-11-01). “Behavior, Belonging, and Belief: A Theory of Ritual Practice”. Sociological Theory. American Sociological Association. 20 (3): 360–380. JSTOR 3108616.

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