Monday, August 10, 2009

Folk Fest - Sunday.....last day

Always a bittersweet time - great music but the festival winds down on this day a highlight for me was getting to go onstage with everyone at the end of the night to perform "Four Strong Winds" - a longtime tradition with audience participation. Yesterday morning after a brief shower which gave way to typical Alberta sunshine I took in "Next Gen" - a workshop led by Danny Michel (who I seem to have this weird habit of nearly colliding with on several occasions). A little bleary eyed and raspy voiced the group of performers nonetheless gave it their best effort. Danny joked that when he heard the title of the workshop he thought "Star Trek". Also onstage were Johnny Flynn sporting a very Canadian looking red plaid shirt, Sierra Hull and Highway 111, and Joel Plaskett who created an impromptu tune for the occasion " Don't Make Me Sing at 11 a.m." Johnny Flynn also commented that he didn't know if anyone had been to a British music festival but everyone there is a lot more angry...95% more angry..and said it was his responsibility to "bring it down". He certainly writes very poetic and evocative lyrics. Since we goddesses have to smell and look good I paid a visit to the Crafts tent and bought some deliciously scented (reminiscent of Turkish delight) soap called "Love" and get this - the company is called Goddess Temple Aromatherapy....appropriate, non? They make exquisite bath salts with various essential oil concoctions and have quotations from Doreen Virtue and Louise Hay - "Joy", "Muscle Soak", "Peace", "Love", "Relax".... check out www. I also bought a lovely little notebook cover with Japanese stitching - I will have to take a photo of that...the seamstress was a wealth of information - my pattern meant "strength". The Japanese created these patterns some 500 years ago. It will make my reporting duties that much more special... In spite of all these wonderful touchy feely experiences - there was a sour note - terrible customer service at the Ramada near the city airport. We were trying to check in and the clerk was not listening to my friend - they couldn't find a reservation for him through Folk Fest and kept saying they didn't have anything RIGHT NOW - instead of saying.....we don't have anything right now, when do you need the room and we can send someone from housekeeping to prepare.... Several phone calls later....problem solved - the room they gave us looked like it was prepared hours ago!! Either that or it magically materialized... Now the Folk Fest has done business there for 30 YEARS!! A lesson in customer service seems to be the order of the day...Contrast that with the nearby Starbucks experience where they were very cheerful and accomodating...sheesh. Back at site I listened to some of Hanggai from Mongolia - very wild - at points like thrash metal meets Mongolian folk music! A big crowd pleaser as was the opening act Idan Raichel a melange of people and musical styles with Israeli, Middle Eastern and Ethiopian influences - I think the Ashkenaz festival would be a good fit for them - with a message of peace and harmony - how Folk Fest.... Tonight is of all things Rod Stewart! Yes, Rod Stewart...
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