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Columns > Annabel Lukins - Both Sides of the Rail

Published: 2009/03/04
by Annabel Lukins


What does it mean to have a cathartic encounter? By definition (quite on target for my column and also my feelings), it is: A purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions, a release of tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit.
A few weeks ago, the promoters of Langerado wisely decided that due to slow ticket sales, the event had to be canceled. Were in an awful recession that proves every day to be more and more of a reality. All of us involved did best we could do. But after 6 successful years, we faced the inevitable.
I have been a part of the team for the past 5 years, taking every growing pain to heart, every proud moment to my soul. Every note from every band flowed through my life like a close friend, or a familiar voice.
While contemplating the focus of this column, I thought about targeting all the music companies in the news these days that have taken a hit. But then I started looking at all my old photos from past Langerados and it became clearwhy go to that place of loss when I could head toward faith that everything happened for a reason. Because reallyLangerado is a success story; a story of a small music festival in South Florida that grew from a one-day 3,500 person event to a 4-day 25,000 person event. That sounds like something to be proud of, right?
It is.
So my cathartic encounter leads up to this column. I have been through so many different emotions in the past few weeks: fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, grief, sympathy, acceptance, love, relief, happiness and so many more. Digging up my photos, which start with 2005 (not sure where mine went from 2004 when we were in the middle of downtown Hollywood in a circular park with the Publix as our backdrop), made me smile, smile HARD. My stomach even dropped to the floor a few times as the memories started flowing out of me.
Please enjoy my caption-filled photo recap of the past 4 years.
Langerado 2005 our first year at Markham Park Sunrise, FL

Look at these two jokers. Even though I was smiling (I usually am), I was so mad at Marco & Joe. They had just stolen my boss golf cart and then lied to me about it. Needless to say, I had to forgive them because they are so cute.

Wow look at how young we look. See, this was 4 years ago folks, these boys were just getting going, GO UMPH!

Man those white boys from Brooklyn are pale. Kraz and I took a moment to pose

OK the only reason I put this photo is in because look at how young Karl looks. What a weirdo. We didnt have dressing rooms that year, we had RVs for each band (clearly ticket sales were high that year)
Langerado 2006 Back at Markham (I loved this park, by the way)

I think this is one of my favorite photos Ive ever taken. This was before the event started outside my trailer. Heaven, I truly felt like I was in heaven.

I was beyond happy that year, and obviously it was infectious cuz someone made me my own sign

Come on, pinch me nowBen Harper? He was such a pleasure to host him, and simply radiates positive energy. He brought Laura and the kids which was just.well just.just fuckin cool.

Oh the New Mastersounds! No one knew who they were yet, they were the baby band of the festival. And I had already fallen in love with them. *Langerado 2007 3rd and final year at Markham *

These letters became a staple for our event. Children of ALL ages organically made Langerado a household name. Our signature artist Lebo truly helped add to the magic of the festival.

Hot Mama Sharon Jones. Shes 5 feet tall and TOWERS over most people.

Jesus Christ (sorry to take the name in vain, Im a Jew), but when My Morning Jacket played Langerado, life was altered in a fabulous and mysterious way. I cant even believe how sick my camera is to have taken this photo.

One of the best of the bests, Jimmy Herring and I have always had a great friendship.

I think I was saying, I am SO fucking tired, its been a long weekend, why did I give you my camera, get out of my face.
Langerado 2008 Big Cypress

It was a HUGE deal for us to build our event on the reservation, ground that the Seminoles owned, and ground that Phish had played on years before us. It was an honor.

We had an unseasonable cold front come in, it was about 40 degrees the night the Biscuits played. But that didnt keep us from taking a RIDICULOUSLY adorable photo. L to R: me, Deb Brownstein, Dee Herman, Dan Berkowitz, Rachel Seiden & some random Biscuit fan we picked up.

The Beastie Boys played Friday night and I absolutely loved the chance to get to meet them. Not only that, but since we are all from NYC, I grew up in a REALLY cool building in Manhattan that they knew, and MCAs wife and I went to school togetherwe had A LOT to talk about it. It rocked, I cannot tell a lie.

I usually take photos with band members, but when Govt Mules crew is as cool as Warren is, I couldnt help but get them together. L to R: Freddy, Farmer, TL, Slim, Lance & Rushin.

Since I was in high school, I was crazy about REM. I knew every song, every word, every move. So getting to take a photo with one of my musical heroes, Michael Stipe, seemed like something worth waiting for. However, after waiting over 30 minutes for him to appear from his dressing room, if you see the look his face as well as mine, the interaction looks like it went something like this: Me: Michael, please dont kill me. Michael: I dont care if you help run this event, I am going to kill you.
Well, it went SOMETHING LIKE THAT: Me: Michael, I help run the event, I have been working with your manager for 3 months, I hope you are having a great time. You are one of my heroes, its an honor to have you play. Michael: Hurry up with the camera, I have a show to play. Hey, not everyone can be nice when I want a photo with him. Who cares, I live to tell the story.

I took this photo during Phil Lesh, the light night of Langerado 2008. It was a perfect night, an amazing show. The land we had played on for the past week was filled with music lovers. I was peaceful, and I was proud. I am proud of that moment, proud of all the moments of Langerado.
Who knows what the future will hold for usfor anyone really? All I know right at this moment is that I feel better, I feel like I have refreshed my spirit by going through this process of letting go of Langerado.
Phuck it, Im gong to Hampton.

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