80/35 Day One

all photography by  Liz Brown

all photography by Liz Brown

I've officially attended my first musical festival, guys! Can you believe it took me this long to go to one? Sheesh. It was about time!

I've been to concerts before (like the time I saw the Civil Wars for a mere $12 in Ames) but those concerts were always at smaller venues with dimly-lit stages. But this thing was a completely different animal! I'm used to crowds of less than two hundred, but almost 30,000 people attended 80/35 over the weekend! More after the jump...

I went down Friday night right after work and met up with my friend, Liz Brown. She's a ridiculously good photographer and I try to utilize her talents as much as possible. I basically followed her around all night as she took portraits of people throughout the festival grounds.

I think people take it as a compliment when someone cool asks to take their picture, don't you? She walked up to so many people to ask if she could take their portrait and I think everyone said yes. I'll post some of the portraits later this week. They're just so good. Liz is fearless. 

To be honest, I'm both an extrovert and an introvert and it took some time getting used to all the crowds. Thankfully, it was really great for people-watching because festival fashion is very distinct and hard to ignore. I saw lots of cutoff denim shorts, black fedoras, and oval-shaped glasses (those are everywhere now!)

Friday night I heard two different bands play - Holy White Hounds and Nas. I wasn't familiar with either one of them, so I couldn't sing along or anything. 

Holy White Hounds was very loud and Nas reminded me of Jay-Z mixed with a little of Eminem. Honestly, neither one were really my style, but I enjoyed watching the people around me bob their heads and spill their beer. Plus, the weather was nearly perfect.

I didn't actually plan on attending this festival because I was already planning on going to Hinterland in August. But someone from the agency behind the festival offered me a press pass!!! I would be lying if I said I didn't feel kind of famous when I put that lanyard around my neck. It allowed me access to both the VIP areas and the main stage. So, yeah, I was kind of thrilled. I couldn't help but wonder: is this how celebrities feels all the time? 

And that was day one of the festival. Well, it was technically evening one, I guess. Whatever. Later this week I'll post day two for you guys. 

As always, thanks so much to Liz for all the pictures. And thanks to Jill for the pass. And thanks to Des Moines for being accommodating to all of these different expressions of creativity. What a time to be living in good, old Des Moines.