Sunday, Sept 20- I wake to the crinkling sound of the plastic canvas beneath me. I’m not sure whose tent I’m in or how I got here. Can it be Sunday already? I take a moment to gather my remaining strength and roll to the nearby tent flap. Poking my head through the now unzipped lower corner I spy a nearby inflatable couch. I rise to my full achievable height and, from my knees and elbows, close the seven or eight feet between it and I. I ooze my way up and onto the couch and onto my back. From nowhere melody enters the frame with a plate of turkey sausage, ham and biscuits and drops it down onto my eager belly. To my right I spy a gallon jug of water with the word “share” scrawled in black sharpie. Over my left shoulder Dennis hands me a heaping bowl of my favorite greens. Music from the Shangri-la stage wafts up the hill and throughout the campsite and indeed the entire festival grounds. Seph and TK on Acoustic guitar and Djembe (respectively) perform “What a Wonderful World” and, despite the battery acid pumping into my quads, and the pounding between my ears, I’m inclined to agree. But I’ve gotten ahead of myself. For the sake of continuity, let’s say we start at the beginning.
Sunday, Sept 12- I wake to a message sent in the early morning hours by Chanelle Vigue, Co host of Radio Rubber Room and Co Founder of Jet Trails Media. “You are coming to pink moon, right?” Of course. “excellent. Jess has your name. Tell her you’re the reviewer for RRR.” That’s how it started. Not one to ask questions to which she already knows the answer, she didn’t inquire if I was interested. She knew that I was in.
Flash forward 24 hours. I’m on my way to meet Chanelle at her apartment in the Near West End of Richmond to discuss the battle plan. I arrive to find her in full on crisis management mode. Among other things, Chanelle is responsible for collecting an obscene amount of digital media in the form of pictures, video, and audio recordings, all of which she is in the process of transferring to a 2 TB hard drive, presumably to make room for the obscene amount of raw data she is preparing to collect over the course of the next week in the mountains of WV.
This is the first of many Pink Moon projects which will not go according to plan. When encountering someone who is hard at work, I find it’s best to help if you know what you’re doing, and shut up if you don’t, so I tinker on a nearby acoustic and wait for the storm to pass. After about thirty minutes of language that would make Marion Barry blush, the task is finally complete. Among the heaps of video is footage from Flint Rock Hollow Farm during a recent work weekend spent with fellow Pink Moon Preppers readying the site for the upcoming Pink Moon 7. I will spare (hoard) the details for now, but I will say that I am blown away by the breathtaking geography of the property, which seems to offer unobstructed views of the entire lot, including all three stages, and camping. From the time I entered Chanelle’s apartment, I have been acutely aware of the pressure that comes in tandem with planning an operation of this size and scope, but as she gives me the digital tour of the grounds I see all of that stress melt away and, for the first time since our conversation began, she is positively giddy.
From here we talk about who is going and how we are getting there, what gear is going (all of it), what bands we don’t want to miss, and so on. I leave feeling like the fifth string on a five string banjo. It’s a beautiful September day and, since I’m on my bike, I give the mighty Powhite Parkway a miss and opt instead to take a cruise through Carytown and across the Nickel Bridge back to my Forrest Hill home. “Terminator Whatever” and “Ted 2” are playing at the Byrd Theater. The Fan’s own Summer Movie Review is in full swing.
Returning home I start packing and consider my route. As I lay in bed I can’t help but think of all the people like Chanelle who are getting little or no sleep tonight. When I consider the work it takes to shape one tiny piece, I find myself overwhelmed imagining all the people out there hard at work right now shaping their own little piece of this beautiful puzzle. Sleep comes neither cheap, nor quickly.