There was a fog in my lungs and tear in my eye on Sunday night as the festival that I love so much came to a close. During the last show, of which I was a part, I stepped off of the stage and into the audience only to find some of my very favorite people standing there. My friend Libby grabbed me and twirled me around in the street until we were both laughing and gasping for air. A living circle formed with hands of friends locked tightly together as we swung around and around until we were a human centrifuge. The final smells of gyros and kettle corn were quickly released as the tents came down, and with them came the feelings of deep sadness and gratitude. Sadness because it was nearly over, this beautiful, free, and completely delusive life that I had been leading for three days. And gratitude because of all of the reunions with friends that I rarely see anymore and for all of the good times with buddies that I have come to love so dearly, gratitude for the diehard music fans who guard with their lives the precious gift that is music, and gratitude for the opportunity to leave the white walls of my house and step into a city alive with excitement for the simplest of life's offerings.
The streets that were once full of people were now empty, their laughter replaced by the loading of trash onto garbage trucks in a desperate and deliberate fashion by individuals with gloved hands. I walked along discussing the overwhelming feeling of world annihilation with a friend and we decided to duck into a bar for a farewell drink. My artist pass was no longer a ticket for free beer or food so I dug in my pocket for four dollars to cover the cost of a pint of Sierra Nevada. I smiled at my friends as they gathered around me apparently with the same thought in mind. Thank you friends for a wonderful weekend in Bristol. I hope to see you again next year.
Jill Andrews September 18, 2011 Rhythm and Roots Reunion