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So how WAS it??!! 
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Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:41 pm
Posts: 88
Location: WA
I've followed the BB for years, though I ended my 12 yrs as a worker several years ago. It means a lot to me to follow along-- the joys and sorrows, the challenges and high points, the waxing and waning of attendance, the performances, workshops, discoveries. So I'm kind of mystified that I see nothing here about how it was this year: won't you be so kind as to share with those of us who are still with you in spirit? Thanks!


Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:29 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 441
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
YES< YES< please let us know - favorite workshop, meal, dance, performance, weather report, how was the 'duets', etc.


Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:01 am
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Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:49 am
Posts: 24
I wondered how it was too. I'm told everyone from the message board is now on Facebook. There is apparently a MichFest page there? This place is eerily quiet. I remember the old days when it was "the place to be"!


Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:09 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 441
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
we must remember to keep it going - get creative and ask questions - remind those on facebook to also post here too


Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:43 pm
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Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:49 pm
Posts: 1731
Location: West Michigan
It was AMAZING! One of my best fests ever. Hardly any rain (til load out day ugh...and a light sprinkle on Tuesday). It was VERY DUSTY. But yes, an excellent week, and the Glow Party in the Twilight Zone Thursday night was one of the best parties we've ever had. The forest was lit up with glow lights and we had an amazing playlist for dancing. I had so much fun!


Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:40 pm
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Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 221
Location: Central Iowa
For me, it was a very low-key fest. I seem to have had a lot of missed connections. We couldn't find each other in crowds, lots of miscommunication about times/places, that kind of thing.

There also seemed to be a lot of grief going around in my circles. A couple of friends had recently lost pets, and there were the persistent rumors about fest's demise.

That said, the nutloaf seemed particularly tasty this year. ;-)


Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:21 am
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 441
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
thanks for reporting in -


Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:54 am
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Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:02 am
Posts: 273
Location: Greater Kansas City Area
I had a wonderful fest! It's always wonderful, even when it doesn't seem so at the time :-) I tend to take it easy, not do a lot of running around, it's my vacation, my down-time, my time to relax. I did a wonderful work shift, overnight at Acoustic Stage! Next year I'll know to bring something soft to sleep on, other than that it was amazing to look up at the stars & that wonderful moon! The entertainment was great! And yes, the Nutloaf was very yummy this year, that could be because I gave up the vegan thing for the my time on the land and had the version with the cheese :-)


Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:34 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:01 am
Posts: 281
Location: The South. Y'all.
I can't say nutloaf was one of my highlights - in fact, I don't eat much of the food - but the ice cream bars rocked my world.

Weather was amazing. Just a bit of rain.

Fav workshops - hooping and zumba. Both had great instructors.

Loved Cheryl Wheeler and the super set, especially CC Carter and Nedra Johnson.

It's not an official part of the festival but the pre-fest concert at the Comfort Inn was amazing to do. Great energy.


Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:50 pm
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Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:41 pm
Posts: 88
Location: WA
Thank you, and more please! Looking online you'd think nothing had happened but trans struggles. A complete flood of online vitriol (misdirected in my opinion, anyway). I'm sure such a negative blitz also impacted attendance. If they can pull off next year, the "40th' should get folks out. Any info on numbers this year? What was Opening like? Candlelight concert? Other highlights?


Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:59 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:28 am
Posts: 195
Location: Between Hither and Yon
Fest was splendid! Most of the comments, connecions and feedback seems to be posted on the many facebook michifest pages ....not near as organized and handy as this BB...but not so prone to the activity of trolls either....

Camping in the woods with my sister-friends was the best vacation I've had in years....you all come next year for the 40th...okay?


Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:13 am
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:07 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Portland, OR
It was great!

Best weather ever in over 20 Fests...humidity never went over 20% or so all week. Hot in the sun, cool in the shade, especially delicious when a breeze blew by. Cooled off nicely at night (I like it cool at night) but not that cold. Really perfect.

Not that crowded, which is bad for Fest, but I have to admit nice for the experience. Plenty of room around us all in Over 50s, no lines were too long, janes never got too full and tp was plentiful. ;o)

Less people also mean that the skeeters and wasps feasted on those of us that were there and who appeal to them. I use stuff that works well, and I kept re-applying it, but the skeeters got me on the hands after washing them, and when I went into the janes at night. Could have been worse, though.

Great stage entertainment and movies at night this year...though that's usually true every year. Hard to single out performances, they were all just great. A nice highlight was at Acoustic during a set break when Sandra Valls (a comic who MCed a few stages and had a set on Sunday) asked Chrys Matthews to come up and sing a few songs. Why Chrys has never been invited to perform at Fest, I have no clue. She's great.

Bim outdid herself for the Fairy Walk on the path into Over 50s. So very many light sticks - it was absolutely breathtaking walking down that path every night. Much thanks to Bim and the womyn that took hours to crack and hang those light sticks and then cleaned them up the next morning...every night.

I am not at all a fan of nutloaf, but even I have to admit that it was pretty good this year. In fact all of the food was pretty good this year. No soupy/watery stuff, and no huge hunks of uncooked veggies (yep, even the huge chunks of potatoes in the Moroccan/lentil Stew were fully cooked - might have been a first for me ;o). The last dinner was the same dish formerly known as both Tofu Rice Casserole/Savory Casserole (depending how far back you go) but with a new name "See You Next Year" Casserole or something like that. All of the food from the Main Kitchen was pretty good this year, to be honest...good enough for me to actually notice, and I am not the biggest lover of Fest food.

There was a bit of a shift in the way the food lines worked...which seemed mostly aimed at making things safer for celiacs. Things like the bread was usually not first in the lines, and the peanut butter was not usually next to it. And the peanut butter had 2 spatulas and they were vigilant about policing the use of them so that you took some PB on a spatula and then used the other one to scrape off the peanut butter onto the bread - not allowing the spatula to touch the bread. Which also meant that you had to spread it on your bread (or rice cake) with your fingers. And also meant that sometimes you had to go to the end of the line, get bread, and then go back to the PB in the middle of the line and get that...making for a less orderly procession down the row of food. I think they need to think a bit more about this as it seemed that they took a process that worked well for a long time and then messed with it and made it worse. I did like that there was less serving of food by shifters and more self-serving of the food (though this could be because a lot of shifters were no-shows). I like to take how much or little I want and not have to have a conversation about it every time. ;o)

Cell phones...oy. Biggest change for my Fest was seeing womyn on their cell phones...at their tents, at stages, all over the Land. I almost had a "Sister, I am going to grab that fucking thing out of your hands and throw it into a Jane!" moment walking on a path when someone just stopped cold in front of me to text. Sigh. We kind all knew it would happen one day...and that day is here - most womyn could use their phones on the Land, all over the Land.

Elvira made an announcement from the stage, and made it clear that she was officially speaking for Lisa Vogel (who declined to make the announcement herself), that next year will be a great year for Fest, but will be the last year that we will experience Fest as we have come to know it. I heard her announcement and have worker friends so I am not sure what I heard where but the gist of what I remember about all of this is this: Fest will change a lot for the 41st, costs must be drastically cut and the reality that the gate is closer to 2,500 most years instead of 8,000 must be embraced. Workers/crews will be cut by at least a third - combining some crews, eliminating others (if you want to apply, it will get more difficult to get a spot in 2 years). It has not yet been decided what this will look like.

There was no talk at all of there being a change in the intention that this Fest is for WBF, the talk (not necessarily from Elvira/LV, just talk around the Land) was of changes with examples like one stage for all of the shows (only one set of equipment to rent, only one stage crew (albeit a larger one, I'd guess) - large savings); combining breakfast and lunch into brunch and streamlining it to fruit/bread/rice cakes/PB while also offering more food for purchase on the land...stuff like that.

A few workers I met asked that we all fill out our festival feedback forms making sure to list the 3 things that we could not live without at Fest; and the 3 things that we could do without (that would also be big cost savers). LV reads all of those forms personally...I know that I'd appreciate the input if I was her...

So, bottom line, if you want to experience Fest as we have for years - next year is your last year to do that. It's going to be different after that.


Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:38 am
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 441
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
so, so sorry to hear about the cell phones - ugh - also about the fest changing directions (?) I really wouldn't mind 'smaller' as long as WBW doesn't change.


Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:01 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:57 pm
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It was wonderful. The weather was pretty darn good all week -- not too hot, not too cold. Attendance was under 2500. Can't remember the exact count. There definitely WILL be a festival next year. I heard this from LV herself, more than once, so please do your best to dispel any rumors to the contrary. The 40th is happening. Be there.

There were a record number of Deaf womyn on the land this year. I think the number was around 70. Recycling had an all Deaf workshift, which was reported to be a lot of fun, and Night Stage Security discovered the benefits of Deaf eyes.

DART downtown was very full, as was Over 50s. Sprouts was hopping. There were around 15 boys in Brother Sun and about twice as many girls at Gaia. There was a good turnout in RV, and many bags of ice were used.

Earthquake volunteers kept busy with flat tires, dead batteries, keys locked in cars, and keeping the fest vehicles going round and round. Dusty's wheelchair lift broke down, fortunately without stranding anyone, and Stuffle had a cracked wheel rim.

There was a bee's nest right at Triangle Traffic and, despite having it well marked, a few people got stung.

A yucky virus made the rounds of the Security crew, but they took turns in true lesbian fashion and kept us all safe anyway.

Burrito night was delicious, as always, and Saints sold many doughnuts and much coffee.

Tragically, the Cuntree Store's order for lime Popsicles was not filled correctly, and they only had some inferior flavor.

The Opening involved painted tree branches, but I was working, so cannot give a full report. Elvira was hilarious. Nedra rocked the night stage, and Cris did a lovely reprise of songs from Changer. The Close included howling at the full moon, which I heard clearly from my tent.

I saw some womyn with amazing body paint, and I heard that burlesque night in the Zone was very popular.

I enjoyed a moment of fame when a womon stopped me on the path because she had seen my picture on the wall in the Over 40s tent in the Wanted Project display. That was cool.

The paths and showers and campgrounds were filled with beautiful womyn of all kinds.

_________________
Elizabeth


Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:33 pm
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Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:49 pm
Posts: 1731
Location: West Michigan
Regarding cell phones, I did see some women on them by the RV Janes, which was jarring to me, but I guess to the rest of festieland that practically counts as parking lot lol. I didn't really see anyone on their phones downtown, thank goodness. When my best friend needed to call home, we had to drive over a mile down the road to get my (Verizon) phone to work, and all the way to the paved road for her phone to work.


Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:17 pm
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