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Columns > Annabel Lukins - Both Sides of the Rail

Published: 2012/07/25
by Annabel Lukins

Bonnaroo, Baby, Bonnaroo

I am not even sure how to start this caption. Am I crazy in love with Cody and Luther? Totally. Are they two of the coolest guys I’ve ever met? Absolutely. Did they create a unique set to be performed solely on the Sonic Stage. Yup… These two are the best, but you probably knew that.

Check out the HUGE crowd for the North Miss Duo. Mega!! They deserved it all!

Aw, love this shot. I think of Jeremy as like a little brother. That makes me a big sister who is so proud. Big Gigantic is rocking the scene in major ways right now. And I can say I knew him before he was famous.

Gary Clark, Jr. If you haven’t heard of him yet, you will. But research him soon because you’re missing out. Austin-based blues musician whose blend of blues, soul and rock will leave you with a mouth gaped open. He’s incredible and he brought record-breaking crowds to the Sonic Stage. What was even cooler about him is that he played the stage an entire day before his main set and he STILL had one of the biggest crowds we have ever had.

And I had to get a photo with him, he’s so cute and so mellow and humble. Let’s hope he stays that way…

Saturday evening, The Stooges Brass Band are playing the stage. As much as I loved them, I was tired and ready for the day to end. I had JUST turned to their manager and said that it had to be their last song. The next thing I know, the lead singer is calling me up on stage. Getting any attention was the LAST thing I wanted at that point. I wanted dinner and bed. So I went up on stage and the band busts into the 50s song “Hey Baby” and they twisted the lyrics to “She’s having a baby.” All of a sudden, 20 of my colleagues come up on stage with cake, presents and flowers. The band announced it was a surprise baby shower. We danced and danced and the smile never left my face. I was floored…

So, this is a great story. I book who I want to on the stage. But I usually have a few slots left and since it’s impossible to know EVERY band that plays at the Roo. I usually ask Superfly’s advice. My buddy Chris Sampson suggested We Are Augustines, a rock band from Brooklyn. I had never heard of them. But, the moment my weathered ears witnessed their sound, I was hooked, borderline obsessed. And live, they were 10 times better. Lead singer and guitarist Billy McCarthy is so talented with such fervor and a drop dead gorgeous voice. Billy jumped into the crowd at the end of their set and completely dazzled everyone. This is one of the best parts about my job…falling in love with new music because I took a lead on a suggestion. I will continue to support their career forever. My due date is August 10 and WAA are opening for the Counting Crows on August 2 at Red Rocks. I beg my baby girl to not come early so I can go see the show.

ALO is one of the greatest jam rock bands in the scene. They are the COOLEST guys and play with all their heart and soul ALWAYS. Fresh and exciting live shows are their specialty. Their Sonic Stage slot was amazing. I consider them good friends and I love this photo.

A year ago, I lost a dear friend, I lost a prodigy, I lost a colleague. We all lost when Emily Dunn died. She was one of the fastest and greatest growing members of the music business. She moved out to San Francisco having just landed her dream job at Superfly. She on the phone with her mom telling her how much she loved her new life when she was killed by a bus while crossing the street. Saying life isn’t fair doesn’t even do this justice. Her parents and sister came to Bonnaroo to meet all of us who are part of a foundation to help give interns chances to do what Emily did for so many years. I was so busy with my stage that they came to see me. It was a tear-filled introduction filled with so much love. What a huge feat for them to show up. I have so much respect for them. RIP Emily Dunn, you are SO missed.

OK…party time. Stage is shut down, epic performances. It’s my time to watch my favorite band, Phish. I got a great spot thanks to my friend Kit and captured a great shot. What’s so cool about this photo is there’s the band I love, there’s the crowd that loves the band and loves the festival and way out in the distance you can see the Bonnaroo arch, that beautiful representation of something so magical…Bonnaroo. It was quite a feeling.

So here I am at Phish watching the show horizontal. Being pregnant at Bonnaroo was a major accomplishment. My feet killed at this point so I loved being able to lie down. But I was so satisfied. I was so proud of myself. I am so happy to live this life I love…to work at the greatest land festival in the entire United States. I love Bonnaroo with all of my heart. I cry when I think about how lucky I am to have the job I have and get to be a part of something so major year after year. And what’s especially cool is how my life has changed over the years. I’ve gotten to come to Bonnaroo as a single woman, then married, now pregnant and next year I’ll get to bring my little girl to share in this beautiful week. So grateful…so so grateful…

So this is my last column for a while. I’m going to go have a baby soon. I hope you understand. I’ll be back as soon as possible but know that I am still going to Mayan Holidaze and our new event, Strings & Sol. I’m still doing Jam Cruise. I’ll just bring my baby girl with me. Annabel will change to be a mom but baby’s gotta learn to come along and live this life I have worked so hard to create. She’ll be great. I just know it. Thanks for your continued support of my passionate columns.

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