Dreamed that I was at Artswells. Deliriously running about, trying to outsource a ladder to hang lights because the one I had been given to use was dodgy and collapsed. Fortunately I had one strapped to my car, though it’s only 2 steps high. But it didn’t matter, because I was doing what I like doing best in a place I would like to do it most.

Why Artswells? First, why not artswells?

Because I couldn’t make it work this year. I did a festival last weekend, Resonance. It was very much fantastic. A little more house music than I’ d like, but I wasn’t in charge of booking. Good thing too, I wouldn’t know where to start with that sort of thing. I’d likely be able to figure it out, but there are people much more qualified for such things. It was up in the cowichan valley, a beauty of a spot, reminiscent of a certain beach, albeit with a river alongside, rather than ocean. I think there is a good possibility those boys have started something lovely. I had a great time, getting to run about and light things up and generally making it look like this. Image

I think for the most part, people could see and enjoyed themselves and thought it was pretty so, total success, right? Got home Tuesday night, spent most of Wednesday sleeping and by Thursday morning realized I didn’t have time to make it to Artswells. Not there. There was no issue, except for the money challenge (the challenge being I have none) which always seems to work itself out. Failing that, borrowing money for the ferry and hitchhiking will always be the best of back up plans, as far as I go.
No, the issue comes from the fact that I signed on to help at shambhala with the friends I would do just about anything for. Do I wish they had the call to do Artswells? Yes. Do they? No.
If I left Artswells Sunday night, missing what looks to be an amazing Sunday night and drove through the night to arrive in Victoria on Monday morningish, I’d likely be okay to drive by Tuesday morning..probably. As in, I’d probably make it in time to get enough rest to drive a one-ton filled with gear up and down twisty mountain roads safely and happily to arrive at the show and then go to work like a crazy person.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful time at Resonance, I will have a wonderful time at Shambhala. It’s what I do. Awesome is my default setting. But there is something about Artswells that calls me. It vibrates at a frequency that makes sense. Those things don’t come along all too often. And it kills me that I’ve missed it two years in a row now. So much so that I’ve spent part of the morning since I woke up surfing housing, jobs, etc. up in wells, Quesnel and the Cariboo just to entertain the notion that there’s no way I can miss it next year if I live there!

One reality is, I’ve come to a place where I prefer live music. Is it because I’m getting older? Because I’m less able to differentiate between the seemingly endless categories of house music and various other genres? Because I’m less inclined to dance to something unless I really really really like it and I find myself dancing less and less? Because I’m sick to death of neon fun fur?
Yeah, probably because I’m old. Let’s just go with that one.

As we get older, is it ideal that our tastes refine themselves? Should we be broader in our acceptance of things people like? It’s not that I’m not accepting that there are people out there, younger and older than me, who want to dress in vinyl and fuzz and rock out to a driving beat that they would never consider boring or unimaginative thrown down by a guy who is so involved in what he is doing there is relatively little space for interpersonal interaction. Actually that last sentence makes it sound as though I’m extremely intolerant of such things.
I’m totally not.
If I so desired, I could make an extensive list of friends I have who are electronic musicians who play music I love so much, it would be all anyone could do to get me off that dance floor. And it’s also not fair to compare one music festival to another because there will be great and not so great aspects to every single one, depending on what you’re hoping to get out of the experience.

Here is what I can see is the difference between Artswells and the rest (excepting Tiny Lights because it’s exactly in the same category for reasons I’ll make obvious later) at least for me.
(Did you catch that last part? FOR ME. Not for anyone else does this opinion apply, because it is mine. And I would never presume to tell you that your love of fun fur is wrong for you, just because it’s wrong for me. I’ll address why I have this belief another time. )
I would like to live there. Every other festival I’ve ever been to was a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Artswells takes place in a location that speaks to me. It wants me to come back at a time when the festival isn’t happening because I would find just as much joy on any other day as I would while the festival is happening. I don’t know how I know this to be true, it just is. Ymir, obviously, the same. Mostly because I already have and do and will live there and I know that it’s home. It’s not my only home, but it’s at the top right this second because I have yet to find a place, a community, a creek, a mountain, a house, etc that compares.

But I’m not there right now. And I’m not in Wells. And so I woke up sad. It doesn’t happen everyday, but it happened today. Some days are like that.
So to my Ymir family, I miss you and I would like to come back soon and I will and please reassure Gala that it’s not forever and I’m sorry I’m not there to take her for walks and be alpha.
To the Wells family that I’m still getting to know and love, it wasn’t to be this year, but two years of sad is about all I can take and so there is nothing in the ‘verse that could stop me from coming next year.  But I know, thanks to those luscious friends of ours, Mr Shawn and Miss Carla, there will be interactions aplenty and musicians who travel back and forth, connecting us through highways made of stuff more tenuous and tangible than asphalt.

And we’ll light it up. Image