All Good Music Festival: New venue, same vibes
Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2012 10:07
The 16th annual All Good Music Festival & Campout at Legend Valley in Thornville Ohio was incredible.
Because of my love for Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown, W.Va., the previous location for the event, and for the great memories that spawned there, I was hesitant to accept the new venue as the festival’s home.
To my surprise, the atmosphere at Legend Valley was full of the same positive vibes that have been felt at every All Good Festival I have attended.
When I arrived at the festival midday Thursday, I lucked into a great camping spot close to the stage area – a luxury I have never received at any major music festival. The people camping near my group were friendly and easygoing, a trait most of the festivalgoers shared all weekend.
Every year, the All Good Festival improves and becomes more professional. This year, it made leaps that were much larger than any of the previous four years I have attended.
For one, the All Good Festival joined other major festivals such as Bonnaroo and the Electric Forest Festival in using electronic wristbands. This makes those sneaking into the festival easier to catch and puts a stop to scalpers selling phony tickets.
I witnessed a couple who were close to my campsite arguing about a ticket purchase. Apparently, one of them bought a fake ticket off of a scalper and it would not scan at the gate, thus, the couple could not enter the festival.
While this update to the ticketing system may have upset some, it will make the festival better and safer for all who attend in the future.
In cases when a festivalgoer gets out of line and must be removed, the security can get authorization to shut off his or her wristband. Although this type of behavior is seldom seen at the All Good Festival, it is nice to know security can regulate the bad apples in the crowd if need be.
During one instance, there was a guy in the crowd who must have taken too many mind-altering substances and began to freak out. He was lying quietly on the ground and then starting screaming and shaking a girl standing next to him. She and others around her became frightened, and security was quickly notified.
I was unsure of the actions the guy was going to take, considering his unstable state, but had faith in Stephen Nesbitt, the security worker on duty in our area.
Nesbitt tried to calm the individual but was forced to radio for help. After a few minutes, a full security team approached the gentleman calmly and escorted him to the medical tent for treatment.
While the instance was unpleasant, it was good to see the security workers using peaceful methods and effectively calming the situation.
On top of the solid vibes from most of the people, the music was great all weekend.
I was excited to see the bigger names, such as The Flaming Lips and The Allman Brothers Band, which didn’t disappoint. But many of the lesser-known artists were equally as impressive.
The members of Dirtfoot, which played on the grassroots stage on Friday morning, describe their music as a "gypsy, punk, country, grumble boogie" – and, even as the band took the stage in the early morning rain, accepting such an outlandish descriptor of the southern band came easy.
Another artist to grab my attention was Moon Hooch. While the name makes one think of bluegrass, the double sax, drummer trio was funky and excited the crowd with its dubstep-like sound.
The Flaming Lips put on one of the largest stage shows I have ever seen. I urge anyone who has not seen them to go check them out as soon as possible.
The only negative, though, during the band’s show was that of the crew responsible for cleaning up the confetti, which was dropped on the crowd in large amounts.
All in all, the weekend was amazing and the festival’s new home was great. I still have many fond memories of Marvin’s Mountaintop, but Legend Valley was still All Good.