"I've been everywhere, man. I've been everywhere, man. Crossed the desert's bare, man. I've breathed the mountain air, man..."
Over the past few months, Buena Onda has been living a Johnny Cash song, criss-crossing the country showcasing the amazing Wayuu mochilas at a myriad of music festivals. Alabama, Arkansas, Washington, Michigan…I’ve been everywhere, man.
On our journey, while sharing a slice of Wayuu culture with the western world, I received a crash-course in festival culture.
As a “Festie Virgin” I was greeted in open arms by savvy veterans, who were as eager to enlighten me about festival culture as they were to tell me about how bitchin’ that Phish set was at Bonaroo ’09 or about “that one time” at Burning Man…for the fifth time.
Shaky Knees, Hangout, Sasquatch, Wakarusa, and Electric Forest: great music, better people -- people of all shapes and sizes, races and religions. Short, tall, strange and awesome, at these festivals, people are uninhibited by the constraints of reality. It’s both beautiful and shocking to a newcomer (I’ve seen some stuff, man - the type of stuff you can’t un-see *feverishly rips a cigarette*). But here’s the thing: everyone is your friend, everyone looks out for one another, and everyone shares the collective goal of having as much fun as humanly possible. Moods are high and vibes are great. Everyone es buena onda, if you will…nudge nudge, wink wink.
Using mochilas as our medium, we were able to impart a piece of Wayuu culture to curious concertgoers. This "mochila-medium" as I've been calling it since right now (better trademark that), allows us to share the plight of the Wayuu People. And our message did not fall on deaf ears, in fact, it resonated -- an amazing feat, really, given that many of our patrons were fresh off a face-melting
dose of acid 120 decibels of Bassnectar.
At the end of the day, we made a lot of great friends, witnessed some incredible performances (Charles Bradley is the G.O.A.T.), and were able to connect the Wayuu with the western world. One mochila at a time.
Of travel (and porta-potties) I’ve had my share, man. I’ve been everywhere.