The Beer Tent Blew Away
For those of you who attended Delfest this past weekend, you know what happened. For those of you who missed it, let me fill you in on a little excitement. First off, Delfest was awesome. Incredible music. Incredible crowd. Just a great all around festival. Kudos to the organizers. But on Saturday afternoon there was something that no organizer could be prepared for.
A little before 5pm some ominous clouds started rolling into the valley. Then came the rain. And this just wasn’t any rain. This was SERIOUS rain. Huge drops pelted me as I ran to the portajohn (sp?) to take cover and try to keep dry. After being in there a minute or two, I couldn’t take the smell any more and felt bad for anyone that actually wanted to use it for its intended purpose. So I exited into the storm. About this time the wind started picking up. As I was walking past the beer tent I noticed that regular folks like me were being allowed to take cover under the tent to try and keep dry. I did so. Now the wind was howling. Then came the hail. Big hail. The size of large marbles pelting my exposed feet on the edge of the tent. It was at this time that I noticed the tent frame was being lifted up and down by the wind. People started shouting to hold the (s)ucker down. It worked. And then the storm passed. At least that’s what we thought. About three minutes went by until the next wave came. This one was even more violent. Afterward, the radio said the wind was between 60 and 65 miles per hour. That is borderline hurricane force gusts. Beer tents can’t handle that. Even though we tried our hardest to hold it down, we were no match for the storm and it ripped the tent from our grasp and into the air, exposing us to the wrathful deluge of rain and hail.
Lucky for me there was another tent next door. The Merch Tent. It was still standing. I snuck in and grabbed myself a couple straps to try and keep this tent on the ground. The storm all together was incredible long, with the winds changing direction many times. But everyone worked together and we weathered some more serious winds until it was finally over. All in all it lasted almost an hour. It was the first time in my life that the weather scared me and I felt in danger.
Oh wait. I forgot to tell you about my 10 dollar beer. During the first wave of rain, a girl ran up to me and asked if they were still selling beer. I yelled to the volunteers and asked. They said no. I told her sorry and she ran away. Obviously upset. Then a minute later some dude is handing me a fresh beer and asking for 5 bucks. I only had a ten and was told I would get my change after the storm settled down. A couple minutes later the tent blew away.
I headed back to the campsite to make sure my tent (my brand new tent) was still there and not holding too much water. The campground was a disaster area, with tents and quickshades strewn about and left wherever the wind dropped them. It was quite a sight. My tent seemed fine. Took in a little water but nothing too serious. I was pleased. But I wasn’t pleased about the stage area. Gear got soaked. Tarps blew away. Speakers and mixing boards were a question mark. I was worried the rest of the fest would be canceled. But the show went on. They moved Old Crow’s set indoors and put extra speakers outside for those who couldn’t fit in the building. Great set of music. And then to my total surprise, they had the main stage up adn running again a few hours later for Leftover Salmon to play a set before midnight. Amazing work by the crew at Delfest.
So that’s the story of Saturday afternoon at Delfest. It was one to remember.