If you haven’t heard yet, I have decided to climb aboard a new venture. I have taken on the task of representing US bands – from all across the country – in Fanbase Music Magazine. Many of you have not heard of this magazine, because it is based out of South Africa. They’ve been doing so well in SA, they made the decision to take it to a Global Level. My Column is entitled, ‘Bridging The Gap’.
This article is a huge deal for one reason. This is my very first column I’ve written for Fanbase… I really wanted everything to be perfect, just for that fact.
Copperhead Music Festival is a festival put on each summer outdoors. The line up of the bands are very versatile, ranging from major label music acts to small-town southern indie acts. If you went to this festival, you would have been in the company of bands like Joan Jett & The BlackHearts, Foghat, Molly Hatchet, Chicago Farmer (naming just a few.) Being an avid music lover and songwriter myself, I was just so excited to be a part of the ‘behind the scenes’ for this concert. I mean, JOAN JETT was there…..she’s the woman that kicked open the doors for Madonna… Yep… And I get to have the rare opportunity to INTERVIEW her?!?! This felt like a dream come true.
So the day began great, the fact that I actually woke up early is winning half the battle for me. (I’m a musician, I just don’t do stuff like that..) The night before my big trip I map quested the city and briefly reviewed how to get there. If you know me, that also is something I typically do not prepare. I felt like I was taking over…….the media tent that is!
Off I went, driving straight into the scorching depths of the sun, all dolled & lathered up with sunscreen and my over-sized sunglasses, with my trusty GPS by my side.
I was about an hour outside the fest, when my phone rang…the next decision made will have a rippling effect on the start of my career as a columnist-being the interviewer, rather than the interviewee… To answer or not to answer? I know now-I shouldn’t have…and if I was a law abiding citizen of the United States, I certainly wouldn’t have. I was driving in a ‘work zone’ on a highway. Getting caught answering my phone under those conditions could lead to jail time, or a mere $475.00 traffic violation.
I bravely swiped the ‘talk’ button on my phone..to my surprise it was the Booker that got me into this Festival, just checking up-seeing how my drive was going. She mentioned how thrilled she was that I would be there to cover this story. Along with how thrilled everyone coordinating the event was. That made me super excited. There is nothing better than walking into a situation feeling welcomed. I was also very interested in seeing how people would be treating me throughout the day, being on the media side of the fence, instead of the entertainment side.
So far the view from my car was telling me it was a great experience! At this point, mind you, I was still en route…….or so I had thought…….
2 hours later ….. traffic jam
2 1/2 hours later ….. I began to get nervous (I should have been to the festival at least an hour ago.)
3 hours later …… I thought, WHAT THE F***
I turned to my GPS, and to my own self-inflicted horror-I see the destination name changed from ‘Sparta, Illinois’ to ‘Sparta Road’. OH NO! At this point, I am about 5 minutes away. I’ve traveled this far, I might as well go all the way now…see what this Sparta Road is about. At the point of what GPS selfishly imposed as my “Final Destination” there was, in front of my eyes, next to my car a wrinkly looking, older man having himself a nice jog on the unpaved gravel road. Still inside my car, I slowly creeped up to him. That got his attention long enough to stop, and lean himself over into my car to chat.
“Hello,” I start.
“Hello, there!” The sweet man replies.
“Do you happen to know where Sparta – the actual TOWN is located?” I asked very calmly.
“No ma’am I don’t believe a Sparta Town exists around these parts” states the man.
At this point, my stomach is turning. I’m beginning to feel ill. I am not one to panic, but I started to feel like I might….the cute little man and I said our goodbyes and I went to the nearest gas station. My gas gauge is lit up, informing me it is completely empty. I had to fill up. I had just enough cash on me to do that. After I filled my car up with gas, I went into the station to look at an actual map. (I no longer trusted my tripped up GPS.) I see where I went off course, and I see that I went off course in almost the completely opposite direction from where Sparta was located. I saw, but did not want to believe, so I continued by contacting one of the organizers of the event who lives out there, and asked them if I was close. They laughed at me, because that was obviously a question we all knew the answers to.
The realization set into my brain at how far I had traveled, and how much further I had to go. By the time I would arrive, the festival would be nearing the end.
Feeling defeated, I went back into my car, sat down in the driver seat as this salty discharge began to flow from my eyes. Tears? I could not believe I was actually crying over this. I was so excited to make a great impression. I really wanted to meet all the wonderful people involved and all the wonderful musicians.
I then began my long journey home. I am happy to report my travels home lead me directly there, without getting lost.
I heard the Copperhead Festival rocked. I also heard a rumor it will be expanding next year.. There are talks of having the festival in Sparta, Illinois (of course they will……) They are also planning on expanding the Festival out into the Southern California area, along with somewhere along the East Coast. It is all very exciting. Next year, I’m thinking I may even be able to make it out to the media tent for some interviews.. at this point ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
Pieces of me are hidden throughout this story I have written. It is pretty normal for something like this to happen to me the first time out. Often times I get caught up in the excitement of the moment, missing the point of what I am doing there to begin with. Hey, I’m only human. I make mistakes. I fall, I get up again. I have picked my nose in public. So I’m about as normal as they come.
I hope you enjoy my column, give me lots of feedback, and that you will visit often. Being a musician myself, it will only be natural for me to feature the music industry from a musicians eyes. From working one on one with a producer, to what it’s like during a photo shoot. Sound Techs, Engineers, Photographers, Directors, Web Designers, Booking Agents, Record Labels, you name it. Over time, I am hoping to wedge a piece of each identity the industry has to offer into this column. And of course, I’ll be interviewing some more amazing bands along the way!