- I've been to a lot of drunken festival type things. In the last week, I've been to two. One, a music fest that used to be cool before you heard about it, was a disaster and full of angry feelings. The other, a total sausage and polka and beer fest, was as fantastic and happy and amazing as always. In fact, the later (Wurstfest in New Braunfels) is where I see the most alcohol consumed per person out of anything I've ever attended en masse, yet it is always super happy and peaceful and fun.
- Speaking of Wurstfest: every year for the last six years, I've left early from work on the Wednesday during Wurstfest's week to attend with various folks. When I did this the first time, there were four of us. This year, we rented two 12 person vans and had 19 people total. Most years, I buy a shedload of drink tickets and consume enough beer to drown a dwarf. This year I wasn't drinking, but bought drink tickets and handed them out to people; not drinking was jst as fun as drinking. Most years on the way out I give someone my leftover drink tickets or pitchers of beer. This year six strangers over the course of the night bought our group pitchers of beer. Most years we buy more food than any group should eat in one sitting. This year, two of the food vendors not only recognized us, but gave us food for free (new stuff that they'd just started selling). Contrast this with any very large festival. Wurstfest is seriously the nicest, happiest place in Texas during the week. I may have to fly back to do it again in coming years, keep it a tradition with our friends.
- Speaking of FunFunFunFest: Austin has a festival every other week. For music, there are three Big Deals. There's the Austin City Limits music festival (we all call it ACL), there's South By Southwest (SXSW, not just music but damn there's a lot of music) and there's FunFunFunFest (only recently large enough to warrant attention from the masses) which is normally hardcore and nostalgia acts. My wife has been to FunFunFunFest all nine years it has existed, all three days it happens. I've been four times. This time was definitely my last; I'd sort of decided that two years ago and didn't go last year. This year nailed it: I'm not made for music festivals that involve more than 1000 people. That said: Radkey, Peelander-Z, Amon Amarth, Alt-J, Sick Of It All, The Fat White Family, and anything involving Jello Biafra or W. Kamau Bell: all good. The Fat White Family was a remarkable performance, easily the best rock and roll I've seen, ever. Take the Stones from the last 60s, mix with Iggy and / or the Stooges, and add a lot sex. Still, FunFunFun used to be gritty, hardcore smaller or medium-sized acts and/or nostalgia acts. There were maybe four hardcore punk acts, and a handful of metal acts (versus tens of both in previous years). I miss the local and obscure bands. I don't need to see Judas Priest, thanks. Slayer, though, was pretty awesome two years back.
- Speaking of everything else, I am going to miss Austin. It's been home for a very long time. I have months to see all the things, though. I plan to.
Yours in Christ,
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