RETURN TO ALL GOOD
THORNVILLE – I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to feel a nice, cool rain shower as I was Friday afternoon. After spending hours on a dusty hillside in blistering heat and thumping rhythms, the rain was a blessing.
Once again, people are asking me, “So, you were at All Good, huh?” Since the answer is a resounding, “Yes,” I’ll enjoy an opportunity to write in first person for those curious about the All Good Music Festival, which took over Thornville’s Legend Valley, and then some, for four days last Thursday through Sunday.
I was really excited to go this year in particular, because if I could write a wish list of bands I’d like to see for the All Good genera—which leans toward folk, blues, Bluegrass, and Grateful Dead-esque bands, if you know what I mean—they were all included in this year’s line-up. My particular favorites this year were The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, The John Butler Trio, the indescribable Primus, and the tremendously underrated Ragbirds (whose set was cut short for scheduling purposes—ugh!). A surprise was the MarchFourth Marching Band, an odd (but severely entertaining) mix of marching band and burlesque show.
Outside of the main stage area, which boasts two large stages and a small city of vendors, there’s a sea of vehicles next to tents, with camping shelters covering them. Last weekend, the camping shelter was a good idea as there was plenty of rain following Friday’s early heat-fest. Frankly, I was good with that; I’ll take a cool, overcast day over searing sun anytime, but that’s just me.
There was a camper fatality. According to the sheriff’s department, July 21, deputies were called to the event because Norman Maxted, 49, of Texarkana, Arkansas was found unresponsive. He was camping alone and someone found him in a chair. No foul play is suspected. Also, a woman told deputies a man sexually assaulted her July 20. Deputies eventually had to tase the 21-year-old man she said was responsible when he resisted arrest.
Then there was a man who the highway patrol found wandering naked along I-70. He was simply transported back to the venue with no charges. Actually, he was readily visible crossing I-70 from where we were camped. Many of the campers cheered him on as he (surprisingly cautiously) crossed the interstate, celebrating each lane of traffic he successfully navigated before disappearing into the woods beyond the highway. Others feared for his safety, and some us found it completely hilarious, particularly since there was no harm done, other than I’m sure some major embarrassment on his part. Anyway, he probably won’t do that again.
Basically, All Good, or any music festival for that matter, is what you make of it. If you love camping, prepare for whatever weather may come along, and you’re into the genre of music, chances are you’ll have a great time. I certainly did!