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Columns > Andy Miller - Real True Confessions With Padre Pienbique

Published: 2007/04/23
by Andrew Miller

Padres Festival Guide 07

Real True Confessions With Padre Pienbique

Now that spring has sprung- or whatever the hell it does- Ive gotten some of my ducks in a row: Gone are the cement bags I use for extra traction in trunk of my old rear-wheel drive car, the snow shovel that I keep on my porch is now residing along side the cement in the garage, and alas, my taxes are done. Of course, the trunk is steadily filling up with empty beer cans left over from throwing the tennis ball around the dog park, my wife is starting to inquire about the dirt shovel so she can put me to work digging something, and I doubt the government is as enthusiastic about refunding my taxes as I was about devising write-offs.

As I sit here writing this on my deck (which my wife slave-drove me into completing last year so shed have a nice place to sit and wait for the dinners I cooked), I feel as though Im getting the good of the deal. First off, I got off work early so theres nobody but my dog to pester me for a few hours. Secondly, Ive got beer! Cold, delicious beer, and plenty of it-which happens to be my favorite kind.

Im so happy, nobody can wreck this good time. Not even Jon Schwartz with his whippings. Not George Bush and his party-pooping war debacle. And certainly not my wife, wholl be at work for hours.

In fact, lifes so rosy that Id be remiss in my duty if I didnt look at good times to come. And whats more fun than drinking beer in the sun? Why, drinking beer in the sun at a festival!

But which one, or ones, should a person attend? Theres so many to see and so few times a person can trip balls in three months. Some festivals go for the glory, some for the intimate vibe, yet all of them seem to have Umphreys McGee on the roster.

Umphreys McGeek or not, these festivals do three things: Extract money from the pocket, keep kids out of street gangs, and of course, fry brain cells (dont worry, you had nothing better to do with the other 90% of your noodle. Just try and spend wisely.)

Through exhaustive research- spending at least thirty seconds looking at the flash ads on the website- Ive come up with a list of summer festivals to grade so that you may shop your festival dollars in a way that suits your sense of fun and danger.

To grade these shindigs, Ive employed several scientific and mathematical formulas along with the very best in high-tech tomfoolery, with the conclusions expressed in a language you dont have to be a scientist, or even a semi-retarded, beer-addled bass player to understand: good old fashioned bullshit.

The first grade a festival gets takes three conditions under consideration: The number of days the event lasts, the number of bands that play, and how many stages the festival features.

Careful manipulation of the figures will tell you of the bands you paid for, and how many youre going to miss. Because no matter how much acid you take, you can only watch one at a time. (Grades given in percentages, as in how much you wont see.)

The second grade is a continuation of the first grade: It reflects how much money youre going to spend missing most of the bands you hoped to see. (Grades given in dollars spent on bands youll never see.)

The third grade takes in the basic intangibles: Weather, bugs, traffic, coppers, etc. (Grades given in ummmm hassle factor? Groovy points? I dunno Ill just make it up.)

(PADRE DISCLAIMER: If youre one of the bands, or even more desperate, one of the promoters involved with one or more of these festivals, God help you. No, I mean God bless you! I wish all of you success and happiness and everything else that goes along with the summer circus. That being said: The schtick below is based upon the best information I could gather from the respective websites. If you find it to be inaccurate, then join the long list of others that have written me hate mail. Neither Relix,, or anyone else is responsible for the contents of this column. Enjoy!)

4 DAYS/122 BANDS/10 STAGES/ $214.50 + $21.85*

The mother of festivals, sports every band in the world, its location and annual dates have given it a moniker that makes sense in English: The Great Tennessee Sunburn Factory.

Since theres no incarnation of the Grateful Dead to drag up, Bonnaroos promoters went ahead and booked another defunct band that folks miss to take their place: The Police. While Im sure they mean Sting and company, they could show their qualities as secret comedians by unleashing 1000 actual Tennessee police officers on the crowd during the pinnacle moment of the event. Good times!

INTANGIBLES: Its the biggest! The best! The longest traffic jam youve seen since Trey made you drive to the most remote part of Florida! Besides the fact that youll develop melanoma before the weekends out, you can say that you were there when the cops went nuts to the tune of Every Breath You Take.

  • Includes $3 to pay off the Coffee County cops, $6 facility fee to watch the bands you just paid a couple hundred bucks for, and $1/per ticket for something they list as charity. Perhaps the other $11.85 of the mystery fee goes towards Stings plastic surgery.

HOOKAHVILLE: 13 BANDS/ 1 STAGE/ 2 DAYS/ $80 eKoostik Hookahs long-standing Memorial Day weekend jam continues to make good on the most important fact: Despite line up changes, the sale of the events production to outside sources and the ups-&-downs of popularity, one thing remains the same: ekoostik hookah will play their own festival. Which is more than Ozzy can say.

INTANGIBLES: If you dont know where you are, youre in the wrong place. Generally speaking, its too early for the worst of the bugs, and besides that, Ohio cops arent any worse than the rest. Just dont offer a kind bud to a guy with a big chest, bigger mustache and a Metallica t-shirt.

3 DAYS/ 2 STAGES/ 21 BANDS/ $115

The one thing that gets my goat about Warren Haynes is that he never wants to play with other musicians and hes a real dick. Wait. Im sorry. That was Dickey Betts whos a real dick and no other musicians want to play with him No wonder hes not playing at Mountain Jam (even though he wrote the song that inspired the name of said festival.)

Its hard, even for me, to say a bad word about anything Warren Haynes does. Hes just so so so nice. (And talented to boot.)

BANDS YOULL MISS: 0 (The two stages feature staggered set times. The 0 doesnt take into account bathroom trips, trips to get more beer, trips to buy a burger and the fact that everyone will be tripping on mushrooms, thus may miss hours of the event at a time- even if they havent physically moved an inch since they sat down.)
INTANGIBLES: Either you have Papa Mali in your lineup or you dont. As for the rest, I get the feeling that mosquitoes and cops are ill-equipped to venture up most mountains, leaving the cream of good times to rise to the top.

4 DAYS/ $138/ 65 BANDS/ 4 STAGES

Rose Productions carries on with Bonnaroo for Yankees. Held north of nowhere in Minnesota, the festivals site has been used for country musics annual Woodstock, the US Festival for years. Nothing screams Good Ju-Ju like an event that endorses beer shits and gravel in the twat. YEEEE-HAAAAW!!!!

INTANGIBLES: Although The Police wont be there, the cops arent too bad either- Just tell them you got lost looking for your Grandmas cabin and if you dont get there soon, youll miss the lutefisk bake. As for bugs, good luck. Channel your inner Erik Erickson

3 DAYS/ 30 BANDS/2 STAGES/$119+15*

BANDS YOULL MISS: 0 (The website claims: Over 40 hours of music and you can hear it all. Thats Tim Walther, baby. Note that he said hear, not see or anything else. He knows damn well youre going to be farting around your tent, looking for your lost shaker of salt)
INTANGIBLES: What can be a distraction during July in West Virginia? As long as you dont mind blazing sun, carnivorous mosquitoes, and dont fear getting lost (Ya got a perty mouth, boy) youll be fine. As for getting lost, that happened to us upon leaving one of his shindigs. I cant quite remember exactly what happened in the following hours, but something tells me that the breath drops people were passing around affected more than halitosis. In fact, the next thing I remember, the Big Wu was playing in a park at noon for Ben & Jerrys and Chris Castino was crushing the Philadelphia Eagles mascot in an ice cream scooping competition.

As I said, what can go wrong during July in West Virginia?

  • To get the three days you have to pay the extra $15 over the $119. Not a bad deal as youll get the pick of the camping sites and more music.

4 DAYS/ $125 +$12/ 17 + MANY MORE!/ 2 STAGES

GOTV has been an East Coast festival staple for years. While it continues to sport some of the better, though not necessarily the most popular or expensive, bands around. Staggered set times means you wont miss much, except the meaning of a note they added to their ticket pricing: Please note that there are no service fees added to the price of your ticket. There is, however, a $12 shipping and handling fee per order.

The last time I checked, a stamp was 39-cents. But the other $11.61 for handling is somehow not a service fee. Perhaps they file this weed-fund under maintenance.

INTANGIBLES: Since the Gathering is hosted in the city limits, one would think that running out to the hotel or grabbing some dinner off-grounds would be a snap. That is, until you read the website, which attempts to use its location as a selling point: Tucked away on the Connecticut shore, barely a half mile from one of the busiest highways in the nation

3 DAYS/ 3 STAGES/ 50 BANDS/ $105
Mo moe. And then some. Booking agents used to drool over pitching bands to the Big Wu Family Reunion and then turning to Summer Camp and telling them BWFR just promised my band this much money so you have to pay the same and vice-versa. This, above all other hassles, is the one thing I dont miss about not throwing a festival. Although I did enjoy telling a couple agents this spring- at great length- how they can take their ridiculous price tags and go fuck somebody else. Hopefully, Summer Camp got a break, or at least jacked up the keister a little less, this year.

INTANGIBLES: Whether going to Chillicothe is a good thing or not is debatable, but moe. are good guys. The bugs shouldnt be too bad, but the heat- not talking about the weather, mind you- might keep you on the grounds until its all over.

Like peace in the Middle East, it doesnt exist in the foreseeable future. But, despite internal strife and neglecting of opportunities, it will someday.


The festival that replaces the BWFR sports a few Reunion alumni: MM&W, Down Lo, Trampled By Turtles are there along with some different stuff. Its Harmony Park, yall!

INTANGIBLES: Thanks to staggered set times, you can catch all the action without leaving your seat, just as long as you get there safely. Over the past years, the cops have been converging on the road to Harmony Park and having a party. Take my advice and over-shoot Geneva one exit and drive up from the south they seem to concentrate on cars coming from the Twin Cities.

There are about a billion more summer festivals; Small, big, local, national, whatever. But one thing remains the same no matter where you go: Watch out for one another and be good to your neighbors- it costs so little, yet buys so much. Speaking of, one of my favorite people has fallen on hard times. Landis Expandis from the All Mighty Senators has suffered from failing kidneys, making performing impossible. That in mind, the Senators have set up a relief fund for Landis. Its Paypal, so your donation will be safe, and any amount helps.

Lets get Landis back up on the stage so that we receive his transmissions of love and good times!
Be nice to your Mother and drink your milk!

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