I fly for reason behind the colors
VAIL – Journey, pilgrimage, odyssey, quest and the list of descriptors never ends, but these moments taken to write, conjure, realize them can seem fragile with mortality.This is not an article about the show this weekend at 8150, or the football game in Gypsum. Through my work at the Vail Daily, I’ve met some of America’s most exciting musicians, and I’m taking off with some of them.My trek started Thursday morning, and I’m bound for San Francisco and the sixth annual 911 Power to the Peaceful Festival today.
I quit my job at the Vail Daily. I fix a bed in the back of my Subaru Outback. I buy 15 gallons of “live water.” I borrow a Smith Corona typewriter – that doesn’t require electricity – from Austin Richardson. I borrow a couple of point-and-shoot cameras from Preston Utley. I get a rechargeable guitar amp. I get five pounds of fresh pasta, five loaves of bread, five packs of tofu, tons of vegetables ($10 for a grocery bag full of anything from the Vail Farmer’s Market), lots of herbs, spices and I jump into the vehicle and head west.My plan is to have as few plans as possible. I will be touring with Michael Franti and Spearhead to begin with, but I can’t be sure for how long I’ll follow this man and his disciples. I only know that I will have no duties other than to write when I feel inspired.”Be careful not to get too close to your heroes,” says Kent Roberg. “It’s been said that they will always let you down.”
Franti founded the festival on Sept. 11, 1999, in Dolores Park in San Francisco, and 6,000 people came. The free concert turned into an annual series of music and arts festivals.Last year, 30,000 people came to the event. This year will bring performances by Michael Franti and Spearhead, String Cheese Incident featuring Keller Williams, Gift of Gab from Blackalicious, John Butler Trio and Xavier Rudd. Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Mario Africa, Jeff Mackler and Barbra Lubin will be speaking during the event.”The festival began in 1999 as an international day of art and culture in support of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal,” said Franti in the event’s official press release. “The name and date 911 were chosen to call attention to the emergency status of Mumia’s impending execution. We expanded the event in 2000 to show support for all prisoners on death row, and to speak out against the exponential growth of the prison industrial complex. In 2001, the day of Sept. 11 took on a wider significance as a result of the tragic loss of life by the attacks of the day. The fourth and fifth events in 2002-2003 created a space for healing and compassion for ALL the people killed or displaced by terrorism and the war on terrorism.”
The idea is to head to the Laytonville, Calif., chapter of this year’s Earthdance Festival which is a round-the-world event held at midnight, Greenwich Mean Time on Saturday, Sept. 18.Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead), Zakir Hussein and the Drums of Peace will be headlining the event, which plans to break the world record for the largest drum circle to date. They will be handing out free drums to all ticket holders who don’t bring their own.So, that’s where I’m headed for now.
In pursuit,Andrew HarleyAndrew Harley is a freelance writer based out of his station wagon.Vail, Colorado