Not much except we saw a Blue Waters Bluegrass festival advertised for this weekend in the town of Medical Lake, WA, about an hour from Newport. It was about an hour's drive, but didn't seem like it. Medical Lake is about 15 minutes west of Spokane.Tickets were the cheapest for Friday afternoon/evening, (15.00 a person) so off we went to hear some good music! The festival was situated on the shores of Medical Lake, a beautiful setting for a festival like this.....We love going to things like this...you see lots of people doing lots of different things at a festival...people kayaking out on the lake, kids playing on the playground, people sampling the foods, it's a great place for people watching!
When we got there, the parking was very disorganized and there was a very limited amount of it. The volunteers in the parking lot didn't know where to tell us to park as the first lot by the park was full. One volunteer was just wandering around and throwing his hands up in the air when asked where we should park. So we drove out of the lot and down the road a bit. We ended up parking at another campground further down the road and they were ferrying people in golf carts from that lot back up the hill to the festival. Nobody seemed to know when a golf cart was coming and they didn't have walkie talkies to communicate with each other. For a festival that has been going on for ten years, they didn't seem to have a good handle on how to organize crowds and parking! Maybe they weren't expecting such a big turnout on the first night.
This was one of those festivals that you bring your own chairs and blankets and sit on the lawn to see the entertainment on an open air stage. That part was VERY well organized! Lines were chalked out for seating so rows were set up for you to position your chairs. The weather was fantastic, the sound system was great except for one or two "burps" of feedback or squeal or something, and the music was just great! There were some really young kids (well, when you are over 60, anybody younger than you is a kid!) who opened the first set and they were great!
Our favorite band was "Prairie Flyer". The lead singer sounded just a little like Kenny Rodgers. The band had great rapport with each other, traded jokes and had a great time with each other, which translates to a great time with the audience. This is a very popular Northwest bluegrass band as the audience was very familiar with their songs. At one point, an audience member stopped by our row and told us to do the "arm wave" during one of their songs called "The Rocket", a very moving song about a man losing a son in the war. "Please pass that on", she said. So we did. And when they played "The Rocket", the entire audience stood up and swayed to the music and sang along. It was a moving moment for the band. The lead singer, Jim Faddis, said, "Aw, do you guys want to make me cry?"
We're off to another festival today--Festival at Sand Point, Idaho...woo-hoo! Arts and crafts, more food, and a little bit of local music! See you there!