About a month ago I made a journey to the center of the country with a friend. We travelled by car. My intention originally was to make the voyage without needing to stop for a hotel, but the twenty-two hour trip was a bit more than I could handle. I made it through about eighteen hours of driving before I was losing my mind. This landed us in Indiana, just past Indianapolis. The local news detailed murders quickly glossed over by the excitement of an impending Colts debut.
We had planned to make it to Kansas City on Thursday for four nights of camping in total. When we arrived on Friday, though, it became clear that it was better that we were arriving then. The area we were camping in, positioned under a massive bridge arching over the Missouri river, was a muddy mess. A tremendous storm came through that night and kept us from seeing Excision and G Jones — among others. We spent the night hopping between neighbors’ shelters, listening to music on a portable speaker, and sharing stories; oh, and stumbling through darkness and mud to find the closest available water station.
Though G Jones would not return due to prior commitments, Excision and his crew made their way back to the festival after evacuating by helicopter the night before. If he hadn’t I suspect there would be a bit more of an effort to get some kind of compensation from the event organizers. Nevertheless, attendees competed for the most clever variation of the festival’s name — “Gravyfest,” “Swamptopia,” and a “#swampfestopia” that was scrawled in mud on a pillar of the bridge.
The Missouri river proved to be too insignificant to quell the severity of temperature changes. It was above ninety during the day and in the low forties at night. This proved to be extra draining and difficult for those of us refusing to put shoes on because of muddy feet.
The remaining two days were actually quite enjoyable, though. We enjoyed performances by Liquid Stranger, Excision, Griz, Borgore, Gramatik, and Eoto.
On the way back we stayed in a hotel in Illinois this time. The second night of travel we needed to stay somewhere again, but were flat broke. We pulled off the road in Mifflington, PA and found a house with “Wanna Rough it?” scrawled across the front. Luckily we weren’t axe murdered that night.