This year I spent Memorial Day weekend at the 11th annual Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Eastern Washington. I applied for credentials and covered the fuck out of it 2 years ago when Pavement and WEEN performed, but last year my lady was pregnant and I had a straight job, so I sent someone else in to review the festival for us. As I gave my media pass away, I vowed that I would make sure to attend it this year. Now, a year later, I had an 8 1/2 month-old son and a baby’s mama that would need to stay home with him. Nobody else that I knew of was going and nobody else that they knew of needed a ride up there. The lineup, whcih originally always looks so amazing, was somehow, starting to look like a complete waste of fucking time and I was not very enthused about the idea of having to go spend 4 days (yup, it’s 4 days now) all by myself in a field of dust and filth with the swirl of human waste and dirt blowing into my face, scratching my dry eyes and stinging my sinuses. Eventually, I began to toss around the idea of offering a ride to a stranger.
When we went in 2010, we caught a ride in the van of someone who has since become a good friend of mine, so the whole idea wasn’t completely foreign, I suppose. The main difference was that the driver was a friend of a friend whom I had actually met in person prior and was part of a couple, in which the other half was someone that I had actually hung out with quite a few times. In my youth, I’d definitely hitchhiked before and certainly picked up quite a few hitchhikers myself, but those situations were slightly different and, even when I did that, it was a risk that didn’t always work out for the best. I remember hitching up to the Gorge 13 years ago and the dipshit that picked me up (some dude who had nothing going on and who I actually managed to convince to go to the show on a whim, after I got in his car, just so that I could make sure that I made it there myself) got super drunk and lost his keys with all of my shit locked in the hard-top cover in the back of his flatbed pickup; forcing me to put some reasonably older dude that I had just met in check; snapping him out of his joky, bumbling disposition and making his foolish ass call/pay for a locksmith to come out and rectify the fiasco.
I finally caved into the idea of placing a Craigslist rideshare ad for a couple of reasons, with the most important one being a feeling that it might serve to benefit an article; it could either become a “why it’s a good idea to rideshare to Sasquatch” article or the exact opposite. Plus, if I was going to drop 4-plus days into this venture, I thought that I needed to try and become more like the younger more enthusiastic me who was more open to meeting new people, rather than the “I know enough people, scram the fuck off” current me that had mostly swallowed the former. One thing was for sure: I was going to drive myself. Anytime that you have to ride with someone else that you’re not exactly planning to kick it with non-stop, you risk the scenario of needing to ask someone if you can go back to the car to get your sweatshirt, not being able to get your sweatshirt, or worse. I’ve taken rides where I didn’t want to bring too much into someone else’s vehicle and then didn’t have any food the entire time because of it; this time I was going to have everything set up and be completely self-sufficient (and I was). The ride was going to be a long one and, if I had someone decent to talk to, it could go smoother. If not, I might have to kick someone out in the middle of nowhere or drive us both off of a cliff.
After I first entertained the idea of a rideshare and began to convince myself that I had nothing to worry about, I visited the Sasquatch Facebook page and started looking at many of the posters that planned to attend the the festival. Shirtless Sunset Strip-looking juice-head bros wearing Oakleys and pink feathered boas, Katy Perry fan-types, young “hip” neon warpaint wearing suburban goons ready to party, etc. etc. I remembered the drunk asshole who stepped on us during the Pavement set, while they were playing “Range Life” and how we were about to get into a fistfight and I realized that I had completely forgotten how many people don’t care at all about the bands that are playing at a festival like this. They are simply going because they want to hang out at a giant “frat party” in the campground. Even at a Phish festival, most of the people are still there because of music -or, at the very least, they know who’s playing. Of course, this was looking even more like it could be a fucking disaster. To create a better filter, I wrote a fairly long –extremely long for a Craigslist– rideshare ad. I figured that would weed a few people out and, if you can’t read the whole thing, then fuck you… walk. The second thing that I did was make it hyper-specific and slightly offensive to anyone that I wouldn’t want to ride with me anyway. One thing became immediately apparent, however, was that people don’t really read these things too well.
Full disclosure: I ultimately wound up going it alone and it was the best result that ever could have hoped for.
There were a couple of responses that almost worked out, but they didn’t. The very first response that I got was from someone telling me that I should ride with them in an RV and give them $50. Not only was that completely against the point but, when I found their own ad on Craigslist, they were actually trying to get a “party bus” together with a bunch of strangers, which is exactly the opposite of what my ad was all about. Some people tried to respond humorously back at me, but my sides weren’t splitting, or anything. Then there were a few responses asking me to leave later, to where I would miss some of the actual festival. Some lived in completely different cities that weren’t on the way, but wanted me to pick them up. People, in general, seem to feel fairly entitled, but I guess that just means that the filter was working, because those mother fuckers weren’t heading up there with me. One guy actually had the balls to ask me not to listen to the Grateful Dead on the way up there in my own car, while doing him a favor. Another girl started her email off with “At first I passed on your ad because it was about a mile long. Then I came back out of desperation...” and then felt that it was necessary to mention that she would rather not to listen to “krautrock, metal, and murder rap,” but if that’s what I “need” to listen to, she could “handle it.”
Even with all of this bullshit, a lot of people went out of their way to let me know that they “enjoyed” the ad (posted below), which might be why they didn’t take it as deadpan serious as I was when I wrote it. To all of you choosing beggars, I hope that you all either had to take a shuttle together and the transmission fell out on I-90 or that you had to pay out your asses to date rape each other on that douche bag’s Winnebago. That had to be the worst.
Anyway… here’s a copy of my stupid Craigslist ad:
I’m driving from Seattle to Sasquatch & might have space for you (Seattle to Gorge)
Date: 2012-05-22, 11:49PM PDT
I run a website called Monster Fresh and am planning to head up to the SASQUATCH! Music Festival this weekend to cover/photograph it. Unfortunately, unless something changes drastically within the next day or two, it looks like I’m gonna be rolling up there solo to kick it by myself for 4 days in the heeeet, which sounds wack as fuck. I’m leaving from Seattle and the ride up there alone is hell. My girlfriend can’t make it; she is staying in Seattle with our 8 month old son. He can’t make it, because I’m trying to be a good parent. Nobody else that I know is heading up this year, but I’ve got a press pass and am doing this thing, one way or another, regardless.
I’ve been trying with everything in my power to avoid rolling the dice posting a craigslist rideshare ad. Since, it really doesn’t look like anyone that I know is going or that anyone they know is going to need a ride and, since I’m one person who should have ample additional space in his vehicle, I’m tossing it out here to see if something works out. I’m, most likely, heading out Thursday night, possibly Friday morning.
Not to sound like a dick, but I’m not trying incredibly hard to go to the festival and make a bunch of friends. That’s not to say that I’m not opposed to getting along with whoever rides up there with me or that I intend to be cold, because I do hope it works out and I can give someone or even a couple of people a ride up there and we get along pretty well. In general, however, I’m legitimately going to the festival to see the music and not because I’m hoping to get lit up at a giant frat party. I’m an adult man, if I want to wear dayglow facepaint and take whip-its, I can just do that shit in my living room. I don’t really require thousands of other strangers to make things happen for me.
If you are a young guy that’s not into wearing shirts, but is really into sporting leopard print cowboy hats, pink boas, puka shells, and/or wrist bandanas, this isn’t gonna work out. If you’re a young girl that’s not into wearing shirts, that’s probably not gonna work out either, because my baby’s mama would probably cut me in the face. If you’re not offended because I think your favorite band is terrible, that’s good. If you are, we’ll probably argue. I write critiques all of the time, it’s what I do. It’s not personal. I form opinions about things. It’s something that defines us as people, our likes and dislikes. The things we respect and the things that we despise.
Personally, I’m hoping to catch Charles Bradley, Spiritualized, Kurt Vile, War on Drugs, St. Vincent, probably Feist, Wild Flag, Beirut, etc. I’m gonna see Beck again too, because I tried to breakdance on stage when he played Bumbershoot in 1997 and got yanked off and cracked in the jaw by security, so I already have a pretty solid introduction to that review.
I mention those things because, if we don’t like any of the same music, you probably won’t enjoy what we’ll be listening to on the way up, which will likely include anything along the lines of krautrock, Stephen Malkmus-related jams, Bill Callahan, Silver Jews (Drag City artists), Squarepusher, Grateful Dead, Amon Tobin, Angels of Light, The Books, maybe some sludge/stoner metal ala SLEEP or Melvins, and possibly some hardcore murder raps or WU-Tang, EL-P, Death Grips, etc..
Alright, that’s everything.
word to cheese curd
Must like and/or be fascinated with beards of bees