We were a little soggy and a little shaken, but yes, we survived the storm that shut down the 20th Annual Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.
There we were, on the main stage under a darkening sky, with the whole hillside singing "Gentle Arms of Eden" as the flash, crack and boom inches closer and the deluge begins. Do we continue? The people say yes. We rev up "1952 Vincent Black Lightning." Maybe that wasn't such a good choice in retrospect. Halfway through the song, hurricane wind blasts our guitars and faces with rain, totally soaks our gear. Lightning bolts burn my eyes and angry thunder pounds all around us and I see some of the audience ducking for cover while some of them start cheering even more, fists raised to the sky. It occurs to me to end the song midway through -- my voice is cracking from fear -- but Jimmy's singing brave, he seems strong. We get to the lyric, "He gave her one last kiss and died" and I am starting to panic and think it's game-over, if not for me, for somebody. I'm terrified one of us is going to be hit by lightning or hurt by this storm.
We bring the song home. The monitor engineer runs on stage with the time-out sign. The wind picks up worse, they say it got to 75-80mph, it becomes hard to see through all the rain. I gesture and yell into the mic "Go! Get inside NOW!" and run backstage with my guitar still plugged in, dragging wet electronics behind me. (Nice.)
There were two waves to the storm. By the time it was all over, major tents had either collapsed or flooded, camp gear had gone flying, lightning had touched the ground, porta-potties had fallen like dominoes and rivers formed in a matter of minutes. People were cut and bruised by hail but to my knowledge, miraculously, nobody was seriously hurt. Whew.
Falcon Ridge. We love it, don't we?
Can't wait to see you there next year. ~ tg&jh
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