Mike Bloggity is a fantastic blogger who is always on the ball about all the hottest events in the city. It was no surprise to me that he would be reposting on Folk Fest. It's a life changing event every year (no, I am not exaggerating). The days are spent wandering around from side stage to side stage, enjoyed all the talent. The nights are always spent at your tarp set up in the main feild to enjoy some of the bigger names in the festival. Your spot is marked by your tarp and the quality of the spot all depends on how early you get up and how determined you are. People usually camp out at the gates Friday to Saturday and Saturday to Sunday.
On Thursday... I had a moment. A nice half hour long moment of mad and crazy bitch. It's my duty on Thursday and Fridays to stand in line with the rest of the "tarpies" and find a close to ideal spot to watch the main stage. There are specific guidelines to participate in this practice. First of all... the front gate only allows so many people in first. Second, you are not allowed to run. Third, you have to pack up your tarp at the end of the night only to do it all over again in the morning. Your chair must be short (beach size. If you can roll a basketball under it, it's too big.) and your tarp must be smallish. 6 feet by 8 feet I think. Because the whole main stage field it covered in these tarps, it can be hard to maneuver around. Care should be taken though NOT to walk across them.
This is where my inner bitch came into play. We had set up our tarp on Thursday night in the same area that we always set up. It's fun because you see all your usual regulars who come back every year. We are after all creatures of habit. The first night I was beyond excited, I am not kidding when I say that I had tears flowing from my eyes because I was overwhelmed with joy as I sat, waiting for the gates to open. When I got in and put down the tarps, I looked around-- pleased. This was going to be a great year. We had new neighbors, a guy named Claude from Winnipeg. He just moved here 6 months ago. Some nice people sitting behind us. As the night went on and we got closer and closer to the final act. A group called City and Color, more and more people started walking over my tarp. Some when as far as to move my chair and walk directly across with their muddy feet. The annoying thing was, there was a path about 6 feet away. They didn't need to walk on the tarp. Wanting to create more room we rolled up our one tarp when the others had gone home and moved everything onto one. This steady stream of City and Color fans would not get off as I started rolling-up. I finally had to yell at them. I felt like a crotchy old man as I waved my hands and lectured them on patience and manners.
"It's rude to walk across the tarps. Stop it. If you would have a little patience for a moment I will toll this up so you can get to where you need to go." I know, doesn't sound that ferocious now but it was then. I commanded my respect and got it.
The next day I saw this post by Mike:
Which I can relate too. Some of the people with the tarps are kind of rude. Too big tarps with no one on them for the whole main stage event. It's a waste of space. People with tall chairs. People who fight over spots. It's folk fest. Share. It's community people. Check your entitlement at the door.
I am all about sharing my space. I have done so every year I've gone. With friends and strangers. The only thing I ask is you help me eat my food, you keep the tarp clean and you don't smoke or talk too much loudness during shows. If you have loud kids that won't sit down, sit near the back or the sides. And watch them. That's all I ask, in turn you can share my space and be my friend.
For the people who don't want to sit on my tarp or have one of their own either leave your shoes off when you tarp hope OR keep your shoes on and walk along the edges while making the "I'm sorry, I'm really trying to be respectful of you space" face. Is that too much to ask? If you are going to stand, do so on the sides OR when everyone else is doing so. It's that easy. Is that too much to ask?
We can exist. As a tarpie, I am proud of my spot and will enjoy it all through the night. I waited a long time to get this spot and really, this spot isn't that good. Haha. I'm not that hard core. Depends on the act to be honest.
As a trap crasher, always ask. Don't just plunk your butt down with your muddy feet on my tarp.
Picture borrowed from Mike's Tarpie post