It doesn’t sound fun but for most people, gathering in a field or parking lot with thousands of others to hear music is a great way to check out some bands. Ever since I learned that a perk of digging the din that few others do is that you get the venue to yourself, I have been spoiled. No line at the bar. You can stand right in front without being hammered by overzealous fans “getting into the tunes.”
I wrote this piece on music festivals for Revue as information. I was surprised to find the Milwaukee music event, Summerfest, was such a hit. But I was even more interested in learning that the Doors played there one year, and Sly and the Family Stone another. That’s some pretty progressive booking for that time. This Wiki entry is pretty damn good, and I had to dig a bit in Nexis to verify anything I repeated. Don’t trust Wikipedia, even with the notations.
This was one of those articles that was a real pleasure to write, maybe because it wrote itself. The only thing I thought of later on that I might have touched on is the OD tent, which is a fixture at all such events. I’d like to talk with a couple of medics who have staffed those over the years and get some stories. Maybe next year.
Steve Miller is an investigative reporter with over two decades of experience in daily newspaper, Web and magazine reporting and writing. Miller has done time as a court and cops beat reporter at the Dallas Morning News and as a national reporter for the Washington Times, and as a correspondent for national publications including People magazine, High Times, Boston Magazine, Miami New Times, Houston Press, The Daily Beast and U.S. News and World Report. In 2012, he was an Edgar award finalist for his book, Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender. He is a recipient of the digital investigative award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Miller was also the former vocalist in the Midwest punk rock outfit the Fix in 1980-81.
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