Let’s get it out of the way right now: nobody likes to carry multiple loads of camping gear any further than they can throw it. Unfortunately, secluded camping inside of wooded hills comes at a cost. And that cost is the energy and strength expended in that exact conveyance of materials.
Seemingly aware of this, Wuhnurth staff did a spectacular job at providing a timely and organized shuttle service for the duration of the weekend. The staging area at the front of the parking lot (approximately one mile from the actual festival grounds) was clearly evident and safely watched over by security. The wait was never long. Wristbands were checked before each shuttle left the loading zone. Wheelbarrow and wagon pushers were accommodated by lowering the gate and ramping equipment onto the trailer. People were friendly and there was no hostile activity in sharing space. The drivers were friendly and made special stops for those already attempting to trek on foot so they could join the ride. And while it seemed to be a colossal inconvenience at the time, I can’t help but remember how peaceful and beautiful the actual ride down the simple country road was.
SETTING UP CAMP
I listened in jealousy as I trudged past the main stage on my way into the woods in search of a campsite. Ladymoon was my official welcome to Wuhnurth 2010 but I didn’t have time to stop; we needed to set up before the sun went down. A well-decorated dirt path led through the woods and dumped into a clearing. Here, The Woodland Stage, porta johns, and a small village of vendors awaited. Multiple trailheads branched off of the opening and intertwined across the bohemian settlement coming to life in the trees.
As with previous Wuhnurths, campers had the freedom to choose their home location for the weekend. It seemed that all paths ultimately led down a hill, making it difficult to find a flat spot for tents. As we set up on the smallest slant we could find, my friend reminded our group, “It’s camping. Not The Holiday Inn.” We all nodded in agreement and went to work.
THE MUSIC BEGINS
I was able to catch last of Midwest Hype, arriving just in time to see the entire band dressed in black from head to toe, completely covered in glow stick rings. Like some kind of psychedelic alter-ego, Midwest Hype (known for their wildly entertaining sense of humor) have referred to themselves as GLOB ever since. Three days after Wuhnurth, Saxophonist Ben Morrissey’s facebook status read, “We represent the Church of the Holy Glowstick Armor. I'd like to take a moment of your time to talk about GLOB!” to which one fan responded, “I've been a devout member since Friday and my life has been very glow-tastic ever since! Thank you GLOB. Thank You.”
Papadosio could be given the unofficial title of “Music Festival Champion Band of 2010”, boasting an impressive list of appearances this summer including Springfest, All Good, Camp Bisco, Forecastle, Floyd Fest, Camp Barefoot, and The Werk Out Festival. Papadosio even produced their own weekend event, Rootwire, featuring music and art from a grassroots perspective.
Their Friday night performance at Wuhnurth was perhaps their best yet- offering a tickling of the senses from all directions. Live painting, fire spinning, and a bizarre character costumed to look like Father Time all played around on stage as the band performed. While Indianapolis was buzzing about art and music at the weekend’s Oranje Festival, Papadosio delivered their own mini-Oranje to fans in Spencer who couldn’t be two places at once.
In more ways than one, it was a noteworthy performance; the band also announced it was their last show ever as a four-piece. The addition of keyboardist Billy Brouse’s younger brother Sam (who will handle sample work) will allow Thogmartin to focus more intently on his guitar.
A quick trip back to The Woodland Stage put me before The Malah, an electronic jam band from Greenville, SC. Although I could have danced away their entire set and wanted to stay for more, my accomplices were on electronica overload from the Papadosio set and were ready for some funk. Lucky for them, Family Groove Company was holding down The Main Stage. We caught most of their set and again trekked through the dusty path to The Woodland stage, admiring the colorful lights that flashed against tree branches to create a wonderfully mysterious series of shadows.
After a brief stop to see Kaleidoscope Jukebox, we made one last trip to The Main Stage in anticipation of Digital Tape Machine’s debut performance. Unfortunately, sound check lasted an eternity (way beyond their scheduled start time) and I was pulled from the audience by my friends when I started to nod off while still standing. Curse my weariness; I hear I missed one helluva set.
Continue to Wuhnurth: Day Two.