Brad and Barry are joined by Lord Taco and What Podcast Patreon Frank to talk about Bonnaroo and the pandemic, but also the loss of the legendary John Prine.
Guest: Frank Swanson
Journey through the stories that define the artists playing Bonnaroo. Who are they? What are they? What will you see? The What. Which bands? This year? That Matter. With Brad Steiner and Barry Courter. The What Podcast, a podcast for Bonnaroovians by Bonnaroovians. Boy, John Prine, the news came down this week, John Prine is lost to COVID. One of the shows that we said you should not, could not, would not, damn you if you missed. And I missed it. And now I'm paying for Barry. We need to figure out in September which which one of those shows is going to be that one for you. I do the same. Well, I think everybody does. You make a put your foot down and this is a big circle around it. This is the one I'm not going to miss. And then you're either tired, it's hot, you're somewhere else. Do I want to walk that far across? Whatever. Well, you're saying who's going to be the artist that may or may not be with us next year if we do? No, I'm saying who you're going to put a big fat check on. Okay. Then you're going to miss it. Because if it was going to be an artist that we might not have next year based on his rap sheet I would go with the baby, the baby, because he's having some troubles. I don't want to predict that type of thing. Oh, Lord Taco already opening a PBR by the way. I don't know if I had to guess the show that I'm going to say over and over and over not to miss do not miss do not miss. And then I miss probably the Sylvanasso Super Jam. I'm really fascinated with what Sylvanasso is doing with this project and then I'm going to talk it up and talk it up and then I'm going to probably nap. Well, it's legit. I mean, we all do it. I mean, you know, I said before Tom Petty is that one for me. But that one I left. There have been those where I've just slept through it, walked by it, didn't go, whatever. I'm sure anyone that's been has those same stories. Well, the other thing that we probably need to do between now and September is come up with the list of the shows that you can't believe you missed. Yeah, the ones that you absolutely are so irritated and angry that you let fly right by you. There's a bunch of those for me. Yeah, I know. As many years as we've been 15 years now, there's going to be probably 50 that I can I can point to like what in the world was I doing? I mean, I even the Beastie Boys one for me, I was there, but I was not into it. I didn't know them. And that's a layer. That's a layer I didn't even think about. Like I was there for it and I didn't really like it as much as I probably should have. Now I love that show. That was so fun. That's what I'm that's my point. It was kind of an after the fact. I wish I could go back and tell myself to pay better attention. After seeing the Childish show, by the way, I can't believe I slept on him for as many times as he came through my life, especially twice at Bondaroo. I said, I don't care. What was I doing? What was I doing? Some of that, like you've said the other day, like Lizzo was there before, right? Everybody saw that show. Don't know how good it even was. You know what I mean? She's probably not the same performer. Why is it then? So things like that, what are you going to do? Not many people as many people would would claim that they did, but not many people actually saw Black Keys at the cafe. You know, 12 years ago, you can say that you did. I don't necessarily think I believe you. I was there, man, I was there. I don't know if you were. Which brings back to the prime thing. I mean, and I'm I'm honestly not I don't mean to harp on you not being there because I've done it. That's not the point in this. But it was it was amazing. And it was great because of who he who he is was the guests, you know, to see Brandy come out and sing with him. But like I've said, to see him so happy to be there and the crowd that was there was just appreciative of just like me. They knew who he was. Another one. I got it. I mean, mine was mine was Solomon Burke. Yeah, I am as big of a 60s soul fan as you can find on the planet. And when I saw Solomon Burke's name years ago, I was like, there's no there's no possible way you're getting me to miss the show because there's I just don't I don't know if he's going to make it to Bonnaroo, much less, you know, how much longer he's got after it. And when they basically had to walk him out and sit him on the throne, I was around 500 people and I didn't care because this was a living legend that I was watching. And you know, the soundtrack of so many great moments in life. And I don't care if there's five people or 5000 people. What I'm watching is is pretty special to me. Yeah, there's a lot of those that I went to like I love Elvis Costello. But for him to have been there with Alan Toussaint, that was my that was the one year that my wife actually came up for the one night. And I that was I made her go see Springsteen and I made her go see that one. She likes Elvis very much, too. But she would have had no idea what they were doing. They weren't doing her favorite Elvis Costello stuff. We we we literally said this needs to be an episode in the future. And then we started talking about it. What is wrong with us? So today, here's what's going to happen. We've got another Patreon chat to have to share with you a little bit later on in the show and, you know, some details about the ticket giveaway. We probably need to share with everyone towards the end. But first, we probably need to, you know, put a bow on all the things that have happened in the last couple of weeks. The fear, the anxiety that's around, you know, not just Banra, but festivals in general. We talked about a lot of it in a Uber secret show that happened last week that if you were lucky enough to to catch. Sorry, we're going to probably repeat a lot of this, but it's one of the benefits of being a patron, by the way, at the what podcast dot com. You get Uber, Uber secret shows just for you. But over the last couple of weeks, it's gone in 15, 20 different directions, hasn't it, Barry? Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, greatest lineup ever. Most people agree. We're really, really good lineup. And then this happens. It gets moved to September. You could kind of feel the collective air being sucked out of out of things, but everything has been moved or canceled. And then word comes out what 10 days ago or so that you could sell that Bonnaroo was using a service called Light and you could put your tickets up for sale on there and no refund. So that's kind of what we talked about last week was and I think I think you were exactly right, Brad. And I think in the optics, the optics of it don't look good that Bonnaroo has built its name and reputation on doing the right thing and being very fan friendly. And as I've said, since we started this, not giving the impression that they have their hand in your wallet type of thing. So it doesn't look good. But I mean, the New York Times article from this past week talks about this, this very trend and it's not just Bonnaroo, it's the entire industry. And the numbers are pretty staggering. I mean, they're talking it's like 12 billion dollars, I think, it is affected by this virus right now with shows that have been canceled and they're looking at losing nine billion because of it. So I think when you were making your point about the optics, I was trying to argue, trying to see it from their point of view that there's a reason, you know, they know this, they know what the optics look like. But I just have to imagine that the conversations coming from higher up, whatever, and the accountants has to just be scary as hell. You know what I mean? Well, to go back and what we were talking about in the OORA secret show, I understand what is is I understand all points and I understand where Bonnaroo is coming from. And I understand where all the other music festivals are coming from. You have a festival scene where Hangout has canceled when they had the entire summer to reschedule. I mean, they had the summer wide open, they could have picked any date and they could have gone. If you went to Hangout, you could still go. I mean, it's a summer festival. It's a summer beach festival. Who's going to complain whether it's, you know, 95 degrees or 101 degrees? Either way, they had to cancel. And the reason why they had to cancel is because they could not get their headliners to agree to a new date, mostly because, you know, they didn't want to risk it and because it just didn't work out. They don't reschedule unless they have most of the lineup confirmed to another date. They're not going to reschedule with half of their headliners. That just doesn't happen. They reschedule because they have already locked in an uncertain amount of artists here. Who those are, we don't know, but it will absolutely be the headliners. Just not going to be anything other. What I found out from a midcard act level manager is that they don't even foresee a live experience happening at all until November when it comes to tours. They won't even think about a tour. They won't even start a tour until November, partly because there are some of these festivals that, you know, are going to take precedent because they're big looks, they're big money, and November is sort of the safe zone. But they are all freaked out about bringing, you know, artists from town to town to town and exposing them to something that may still be around. So from what I was told is like if it's November, it's November, but pretty much wipe out the rest of 2020 as far as tours are concerned. So what that means to festivals, you know, I foresee the festivals that are still going around, still happening to still get most of their lineup intact. It's the Lollapalooza that you got to worry about. I fully anticipate based on several, several conversations at this point that Lollapalooza is completely canceled. You can pretty much wipe that one off of the list. And if that's the case, you know, these artists have got to figure out a way to make money somehow. So they are hoping to God that these festivals can happen in the fall without too much fear of this, you know, virus returning. So, you know, they're going to do the festivals. They have to make some sort of money. And as far as a tour is concerned, you might as well just write that off entirely. And the first that it's even going to show up is November. That's something when you said that, that's just stunning because this is April. Yeah. You know, that's a good ways off. And one thing or a couple of things that we've learned in your line of work and my line of work and doing this is a lot of this is about relationships. You know, a lot of the shows that happen, whether it's at a small venue here or a festival usually come out of some relationship that is developed over time. You know, you do this this year, we'll move you to a bigger one next year. But this act and hey, I got this other one also. There's that aspect. And then there really is not a large number of people doing this. The live nations of the world are the 800 pound gorilla. You know, they control a lot. And so I think that gets to your point where the bands and management, they're all working together. You know what I mean? There's not going to be a lot of rogue independents out there saying, no, we're going to start touring. It's going to be just what you're saying. So yeah, I mean, if you're an unfair, this is where if you if you want a dog on live nation, you're you I mean, you probably have a really good argument there. You know, well, actually, I can talk out of both sides of my mouth on this one. Live Nation is going to be the reason why some of these artists get any sort of dates from now until the end of the year. But if you are an independent venue that's not affiliated or ran mostly by Live Nation or one of these big companies or winner, you know, A.G., good luck trying to get, you know, your room filled from now until the end of the year. And that is going to really, really destroy some of this some of these venues. Now, the other thing that we basically talked about is how that affects the people who have already bought tickets. And look, I I said this pretty openly on Twitter a couple of weeks ago that if there's a rescheduled date, they're not going to issue a refund. Not going to happen. They stand to lose way too much money to offer cancellation refunds. If there is a festival, they are going to, you know, want their money. It's just like a baseball game. Right. If if there's a rain date, you're not going to get your money back because they're going to play the game. Now, with that being said, I find that to be perfectly legitimate for any other festival in the country. If you postpone Music Midtown, OK, if you postpone Voodoo Fest, if Four Castles postponed, OK. But Bonnaroo has made their entire mission about the connection that they have with the people and how it's different than every other experience on the planet. It's special because of its brand values. It is completely in the antithesis of their brand values to not offer the people that have meant so much to them the opportunity in this climate where they have zero money, where they have no ability to pay, where they have lost their job, when most of your clientele are in the service industry or have been majorly affected with zero amount of money that is coming in right now to then also ask them to be on the hook for four or five hundred dollars for a music festival they may not even be able to go to when all of this is done because they're going to have to be working. It is the absolute wrong thing for this entity in above any other to not offer some sort of relief in the way of a refund and punting and making it about, oh well you can sell it on the resale market, goes against everything that they're about and I think is going to cause more problems in the long run. You're going to end up angering the people that believe in you the most when you need them the most because next year they ain't coming back if you do this to them. If you do this to them this year, they're not ever, ever going to come back for you and you are not going to be able to espouse all of these high and mighty values that we totally believe that you have and totally have been preaching about for years. You're not going to be able to keep saying that because when it mattered, it ended up being about the money. So all I'm saying if anybody is listening in Bonnaroo, just do the right thing. Do the right thing, you'll be paid back two fold, three fold by the people that you're doing the right thing by. Give them the opportunity to cancel their ticket, give them the opportunity of getting a full refund or even maybe an 85% refund. We understand you need to make money but don't make money off the backs of people who are struggling to survive right now. Give them the opportunity, that's what your brand values are, do the right thing and they'll pay you back in the future. Yeah, no I don't disagree with anything you've said. I have to believe, well I have to wonder how much of that might have happened were this five years ago pre-Live Nation and how much Live Nation made that decision, number one. And because knowing as we do the folks in Knoxville, AC Entertainment, I just wonder what that conversation was like because those guys, I'm willing to bet if not all of them at least more than a couple raised their hands and said exactly what you just said. I'm sure, yeah I'm sure. But then the edict still came down because I mean as big as Live Nation is, I don't know, would they do it just for one festival? I mean I just can't see that decision being made by Live Nation. Everybody else no refunds except for this one. I just think that'd be a hard call to make. It's a good point but also if I'm Live Nation I also have not only maybe a half capacity festival if this even happens come September, I have a half capacity festival and I probably don't have any sponsor money to go with it. The sponsors are not going to come back on after four months of getting basically zero amount of money into their business and then spend that marketing money on a music festival instead of paying their people that they just furloughed. It's a different world and they're going to get zero, they're looking at the future and getting zero money for this major, major festival world that they have to put out. I mean they're going to be a sieve of money and they're trying to save every dollar they can to make this thing work. I understand, I just don't think it's the right thing to do and you have a good point. Do it for one festival not the other. I don't know. Thinking about this is what we do but it's very similar to what we've been talking about at the newspaper where I work. It's so early to try to predict anything. You know what I mean? It's so early to, it's changing so quickly that for us the stories that we're writing, there have been two or three that I know as I'm writing them will not be the same story a week from now type of thing. I say that because of your point about sponsors. I just think that's a great, great point. Who knows what that world's going to look like in the fall? Then you throw in, I think we've talked about trying to, everybody's going to be looking at those eight dates, four in September, four in October, whatever and they're all trying to get it. Not just the festivals but the venues, the businesses, the nonprofits, whatever. There's only so much fencing, there's only so much security, there's only so many volunteers. All of those things are going to be key components. The idea that even a Coca-Cola on down to your local insurance guy who normally maybe helps sponsor some of these things, who knows where they're going to be in September? Then you're going to go to him and say, hey, you remember you promised a sex amount of money. I think of the spicy pie guy a lot. Yeah he's hurting right now but he is betting on and hoping, I'm guessing he's hoping on the festival world coming back and when it comes back he can make up the money that he missed. Now imagine all of the money that is just gone away for him with all the cancellations and then when he comes back he is going to be looking at a festival that may be half full. He's going to want to, if I was a spicy pie man, I can't remember his name but Mr. Spicy Pie, Doug Spicy Pie, he's going to want to figure out how to make up the rest of that money. I don't know what they tell him. I don't know what they tell him when they have lost half of their ticket buyers, they've lost half of their sponsor dollars. Who knows, I know Lord Taco is sitting with beta breath waiting on PBR to be the beer sponsor. Do you think PBR is going to spend the $2 million to be a beer sponsor right now? I think they're going to be making a lot of hard decisions. They're going to be looking at what makes the most sense for them at that particular time. And with the Spicy Pie, what if there, I know Bonnaroo is a huge event for him, but what if there are two or three, he's what, in California, right? The same weekend that are right there, does he do a smaller event with less effort and by effort I mean costs, all that sort of thing. I don't think we know. I don't either. There's going to be a lot happening. And then, I'll give you one step better. Now we have a world where we don't know if festivals that have rescheduled can get a lineup or sponsors to even fulfill the date that they have. What about the festivals that haven't even announced their fall festival yet? You've got Music Midtown in Atlanta, you've got Voodoo Fest here in New Orleans. I heard the Voodoo Fest lineup this week and what are you supposed to do with it? They've had the lineup done for two months. What are they supposed to do with it? They can't announce it because they don't even know if they're going to have it. They can't announce it because who's going to buy a ticket to it? This window, although feels so wide and so wide open because it's April and that's not until October 31st or it's not until September 23rd or it's not until the window is getting very tight and very small and closing by the day and you have a festival like I just used Voodoo, you still got a presale, you've got an announcement, a lineup announcement, you've got an on sale, you've got marketing and you're going to try and squeeze that in from, I don't know, July when nobody will have any money or maybe just now getting back to work till October and you have to promise a certain amount of number to insert sponsor here to make it worth their money. The window is getting very, very tight and I think that that's why you get people like Festival write tweets like he did that got people really worried and upset about summer festivals canceling. If you think the window is getting tight, if you agree with me and understand my logic is that the window getting tight for people like Voodoo, imagine the window for say Lollapalooza. It's over. They haven't announced their lineup, they don't have a ticket on sale, they don't have a sponsor, it's over. And so what are they supposed to move it? Okay, well, this is the city of Chicago going to let Lollapalooza just pick a weekend where they can just use the biggest park in all of Illinois? No, that's not happening. That's what I'm saying and not only is the window closing or getting tight as you say, but there's a bunch of people trying to get through it and they're all trying to get through it at the same time. I don't know how Chicago operates, but I'm going to bet there are things in that park, big and small already, you know, what if like our here in town, we have the four bridges arts festival comes to mind. That's their biggest event of the year, they make their, it's a nonprofit, they make their money that at that event. What if it's the same weekend, you know, that Lollapalooza, if it was here, wanted to or there's eight others that are trying to have, that's what I mean. There's only so much security. There's only so much, there's only so much space. Everybody here wants to have their events at the riverfront. And Barry, that's not even to even acknowledge the freedom, excuse me, the freedom or the desire for someone to even be out in public. Did you see the study about people who, who will or won't go to a sporting event come fall? If there was not a vaccine, some 70% of respondents say they're not even going to go to a sporting event unless proper precautions are made for social distancing. What are they going to sell a ticket and then have three, you know, seats in between the person? Are you out of your mind? Right. It's not going to work. No, it's so not only, not only do you have a, a window that's closing, everybody trying to go through it at once. You also have to have clientele who even want to be a part of something that requires you to be around in certain amount of people. And then on top of it all, you know, you hear scientists or experts, et cetera, say that, oh, it might just get, you know, that second wave from the fall. When it comes back, you're going to have freaked out thousands of freaked out people. It's a great point. There's all of the things that we're talking about trying to predict people's psyche is one of them. That's a great point. We don't even know. I mean, we're what? Two months into this, we're nowhere really near the other side of it. Right now, people are, you know, antsy to get out. They think they are. What happens if we're shut in for another couple of months and more people do die? You're exactly right. The idea of do I want to go to a large crowd? I mean, that's a great, there's just so many factors. I honestly wish that I could, I wish that I could live like Lord Taco. Just drinking in my bus. That is really great. Parking in his garage. Life is good. I can do this anywhere. And you do. I have gotten to the point where I am, I'm getting closer and closer to feeling like this is not happening. And I'm not saying that because I know anything or I've got any sort of like information. But you mean that Bonnaroo is not happening? Yeah. I don't know if anything in the fall is happening. It's just, there's just no, I hate to use the word infrastructure, but there's no playbook to doing this correctly. And the worst thing that can happen is you open up a gate for 65,000 people, 30,000 people to walk in and you run the risk of getting someone sick. What happens if insert brand here gets someone sick and that person unfortunately dies because they were at your music festival? Your music festival is gone for the rest of eternity. The lawsuits, you do not have insurance by the way for this. Now I saw that somebody posted that insert thing here had an insurance policy for something like this. All that I've been told is that as soon as South by canceled, the insurance companies ripped that clause completely out and you couldn't, I didn't rip it out. They ripped out of any future deals that they made with people who wanted an insurance policy for music festivals or large gatherings. They took that clause completely out because they saw exactly where it was going. You can't even buy an insurance policy to cover you if something like this were to terribly happen. So, so guess what? What are you going to do if insert person here, if insert person here is lost to COVID and where is taco going? Yeah, I bet you can guess. He's had five PBRs. I wonder where he's going. You got this world where if something tragic were to happen at your festival, you're shut down for probably ever. Yeah. Think about, I mean, one of the things that we noticed, like you said, when South by canceled and then Coachella moved was the optics. Nobody out there wanted to be that guy. You know, the Florida beaches. I mean, they just got pounded in the public, you know, court of opinion, court of public opinion because they were putting people at risk. So no, you're so yeah, go the other side of it. That was shut, shut, shut down. Now it's who opens first, you know, who wants to be that one and take that risk and will their insurance companies let them, you know, I'm going to say probably not. Yeah. I think that, you know, I have been trying to keep my head in the sand with all of this and live in a world where everything becomes normal afterwards. And we don't need to worry about what happens in the fall because it's all going to come back. I think that you probably, if you're, if you're like me, you probably need to start wrapping your head. You probably need to start wrapping your head around the idea. This is not going to happen. Yeah. Yeah. I, if nothing, I don't know that I'm there yet, but I am certainly to the point where I don't know. There are so many things that can happen that we've already talked about that you're probably closer to the truth than we want to want to believe. Just because I think a lot of people are just think there's going to be some magic bell, you know, somebody's going to ring. And then it's like, Hey, we're all good now. Everything's good. And I just don't think that's going to happen. Yeah. I think it almost feels like it almost feels like when you have like a flood or whatever, you don't know how bad the damage is till it all goes down. And then with a flood, you, you find damage weeks later that you didn't even consider. I mean, that's a, I don't know, another analogy type of thing. And that's a good one. I keep thinking of it's not the unintended consequences. It's the consequences that we don't see and can't, we don't know yet. Yeah. You know, again, everybody thinks they're going to ring a bell. We all have this giant wallet full of money that we're saving because we can't go out and we're just going to hand it to, you know, people in need and not everybody has that wallet. You know, I would argue that not many people have that wallet, especially the clientele that go to these sorts of things. I would damn near say that the people, the 16 million people that are unemployed over the last month, I would dare say that that's probably 75% of the Bonnaroo clientele. I keep thinking at one of the early interviews I did for the paper was with the local coffee roaster. Okay. He had 11 people, including himself. He laid 10 of them off and I said, well, you know, can you coffee has a shelf life, right? He said, yeah, three weeks. He said, I can, so I, it's not like he can use this time to stock up, you know, number one and number two, he said, and this is what my point is. He said, and it's not like when everybody gets back to work that they're going to buy five cups of coffee instead of the one just to make my life better. You know what I mean? And that one keeps resonating in my head because he's exactly right. Even if people do come out of their houses and say, I want to help everybody there, they're not going to buy five cups. So right. Right. And by the way, the money that if ever comes to you from the government, Lord knows that ever happens, but if it ever comes to you, are you using that $1,200 to buy five cups of coffee? No, you're probably using that $1,200 to, I don't know, pay rent. Yeah. Dig out whatever hole you write or do food. Yeah. Exactly right. Either way over the next few weeks, you're still going to talk. Montero. Oh, somebody's here. Oh, oh, hey, we got a package. Hey, Kimball. So yeah, it's my neighbor. It's my next door neighbor. I can't get them in the middle of a show right now. So geez Louise, I'm on the phone. Hillary, Hillary wants me to, here's the thing. Hillary wants me to go get the package from the front door because she's wearing a see through shirt. You know, the problem is that she's wearing a shirt that she probably shouldn't be wearing if someone, oh say comes to the door, you know, whatever. And she, oh, Brad, can you get that? Yeah, sure. Hang on a second. You guys just wait. I got this. Well, where's your see through shirt? Well, I'm wearing see through pants, which is a. Oh, I knew it. So. All right. So here's the here's what we're going to do the next few weeks. We still have artists interviews. We still have things to talk about. And you know, next week we've got Ed O'Brien from Radiohead. Well, I'm such a dork for I. Brad did a let me break. Brad did a great interview with with Ed O'Brien. So you guys are going to love it. It might be at O'Brien. The video quality he was close the entire time. So it may or may not be him. Who knows? Was it Ed O'Brien or was it Lord Taco? You know, it was Barry's giant cartoon head on a stick. It looked like a villain is what it looks like. The interview was terrific. And then Larkin Poe, I I did an interview with those girls. So unfortunately, we're not we're having to adapt. You know, like I did it without you. You did that Ed O'Brien without me. But we got it done. So yeah. So we got at least got those in the next few weeks, professor and talk to more patrons. In fact, we got a patron we're going to talk to right now. Introduce the patron coming on the show with us there. Barry Courter Frank, Frank, one of our early introduction. You did it, Barry. Right from Iowa. And he's it's a it's a fun interview. He's an attorney. He's been going. He's 20. What do you say? Twenty five. He's been going since he was 19 with his buddies. So we hear hear about what he loves about it. And what I like, I keep thinking about is he's got posters from the six that he's been to hanging on his wall. I just this festival means a lot to people. And we keep saying that it's not just a four day excursion. It's become it becomes part of our lives. So let's talk to Frank and then we'll come back and wrap things up. Frank, one of our patrons on the what podcast podcast for Bonarovians by Bonarovians insert Bonarovian Frank. This is thanks for doing this. This is as we promised with our Patreon, some of them have the honor, I guess. That seems pushing things. The honor is you get to see Barry dressed as Charles in charge. I love this outfit. It is a very nicely done polo shirt. And then under it, it's your high school mascot. Pretty much. You can't be too judgmental these days. No kidding. One day at a time. It's like it's like we've been preparing for this quarantine for years. You and I, Barry, this is this is sort of what we've been doing forever. Kind of actually video chatting with each other for hours upon hours. Tell us about yourself, Frank. Where are you? I am in cloudy Des Moines, Iowa right now. I am a lawyer. I'm a lawyer since 1985. Stop making us feel bad about our choices. That's the most I don't like to tell most people that part when I meet them. But I've been going to Bonarov for six years now. Started going in college and then had we went with a big group and group campaign and then we kind of started falling off. Joined Rutan Clan. And then this year we were planning on doing RV, but we'll see about that. You made the big leap from guest camping to group camping to RV. That's a big choice of yours. Our second year, I was the head of our group camp and we were the second biggest camp. And that work is a little cumbersome. So we decided, you know, I don't really want to do that anymore. And our group was getting smaller. It's harder to get people to come from Iowa. The older they get, they got jobs, they're in school. And so this year we ended up just getting rented a minivan. There were seven of us. So we had a great time and we decided, you know, if we have that few amount of people, let's see if we can upgrade it a little bit. You rented a minivan? Yeah. How? Okay, not to get too personal. How expensive was that? I think for each of us, I mean, we each paid under probably $200. And then we didn't have to use our cars and you know what I'm thinking? We need a van. We need a van. We need a van. I've done it with the cow. I've taken my car pretty much every year and I was so happy to come back and not have this destroyed vehicle like you do at another camping festival. So I would do it again that way for sure. So I endorse it. That was my question is how many other festivals do you attend? Uh, good, you know, this year or next week I was supposed to be at Coachella for the first time. So we'll see if October comes around on that. Been to Four Castle, Voodoo, Lollapalooza, Pitchfork. Now the kind of the ones that are every year for me are Pitchfork. Hinterland is a festival here that's pretty small, but it's more Americana. Last year, headliners were like Casey Musgraves, Jason Isbell. But really just, you know, you see a good lineup and you, you know, just try to go. I was in school for seven years in a row, so I always kind of had the summers to do whatever you wanted. So what are you going to do with Coachella, like Coachella and Bonnaroo all happening within the same like four weeks? How in the world do you make that work? I have no idea. Only work doesn't get too mad at me. But that is the plan. You're going to, you're going to go to, yeah. We moved all of our, I had to cancel our RV so we can re-rent another one. But for Coachella, we just moved everything to October. So it works pretty well. All right. So Coachella plan, you're flying into LA and then renting the van again? So my good friend Scott, who was in our first Bonnaroo crew and went maybe three or four years, he lives out in Newport Beach, right on the beach. So I just fly into- I've got to get better friends. I just go down to John Wayne Airport and whatever city that is and then- It's in Oakland, right? No, it's Orange County. So it's only an hour and a half from Indio, I think. So we were just going to rent a Jeep and then drive down to Airbnb. So a little more laid back version of the camping festival for us. We always, I mean, you'd be a good one to ask. What are the differences between the festivals? I don't know. Bonnaroo is obviously my favorite. I got all six of my lineups, you know, hung up right there. And it's the thing we look forward to every year. I would say Austin City Limits is probably the best city festival I've been to. Just best run, easy to get around. Bonnaroo is just, I mean, for me, it's more about like the vibes, you know, maybe the real Bonnaroo is the friends you make along the way. And, you know, we've got people that I never would have met that I talk to every day now that I see once a year. And that's just, you know, that's what it's important for me. And then I also love music. So Bonnaroo is a good place to go and kind of get your money's worth. Do you do any other camping festivals though? Have you, other than Bonnaroo? The one here, Hinterland I camp. I've camped at, when I was younger, I grew up as more of a country music fan. So I've been to some of the Midwestern country camping festivals like Country Thunder or something like that. That's what they called me in high school. But now if I had the choice, you know, I like, you know, Four Castle is a good example of it's a cool city. You can get a cheap hotel and go take a shower and, you know. Whereas when we went to Voodoo, I think we stayed in the worst La Quinta Inn in Metairie, Louisiana. Yeah. Nice choice. I mean, that festival is just a logistical nightmare to get in and out of. So I'm glad to hear that because I live five blocks from it. I literally don't know anything about it because I've never been, but yeah, I can imagine driving in from Metairie every day is not necessarily the way you want to go. Yeah, we went in 2017, I think, when it would have been Kendrick Lamar and LCD Sound System. And the inside of the festival is really cool. It's just, you know, we had to give up on Hoobers and walk 50 minutes down to Bourbon Street or however long it is. So you just kind of. Wow, you walk from City Park to Bourbon Street? Absolutely. Oh my God. Oh man. Well, we've been drinking. It's a great time of day, by the way, if you ever try to do that again. Don't, actually don't ever do that again. I called New Orleans after I was my only time there. I said it was a 72 hour city because I don't think I can survive any longer than that. Yeah, well, we were doing so. Frank, let me be honest with you. Quarantine helps. I think it's helping everybody kind of relax a bit. I mean, it's an obvious question, but what sort of went, what sort of things did you and your friends all talk about when it was looking like this, that Bonnaroo was going to probably be postponed or canceled? I mean, we've all gone through it, but I don't think we haven't had a, you know, Brad and I have talked about it with Taco, but we haven't had a, you know, a guest or whatever. You know, we have a group chat. I'm still in the routine group chat. I've always, you know, ever since our second year, I've kind of me and my friend Carter, who have been all six years, kind of take the administrative role of planning Bonnaroo. You know, we do the, I rented the RV. We get the hotel room for Nashville the night before. And so this year it was just kind of, you know, part of my job, I'm a insurance coverage lawyer. So I've had to deal with COVID stuff at work a lot. And so I was kind of getting, you know, heads up on what was coming a little earlier. So I just tried to start kind of saying, you know, I don't, I'm not sure this is going to happen guys. Of course we all love it. We're all, you know, if we can go in October, we can go in October. And we might actually have more people because of October. But you know, we're nobody had, I think only four of us have had, had bought tickets yet. So just kind of try to be pretty flexible and see what happens, but pretty bummed. That's obviously like best, best week of the summer. Who, who's the artist you absolutely do not want to lose from the lineup if there's going to be some shake outs. Oh man. I just because of, you know, sometimes there are people you really want to see and there's people you really want to see at Bonnaroo. Jason Isbell for me is kind of the one that I really want to see at Bonnaroo. He means a lot to me, just his music and losing him there would just be pretty big bummer. But then, you know, headliner, I just, you know, see in Tame and Paula kind of try to rectify what I thought was kind of a bummer of a 2016 set. Really? Music. Yeah. I'm definitely in the camp that thought that late night set was cut way too short. And yeah. All right. So it's interesting. It's interesting you say that because if there was one thing that was tough for me for that show, they weren't giving me favors for me because LCD was right before them. And it was the first time I'd ever seen LCD. So plus some some some other things that were happening, you know, in my mind and my body. I said to myself, like, it was just such a big come down from LCD to Tame. And then so the thing that was so great about LCD is exactly what I was seeing with Tame. And I was like, oh, I'm seeing this sort of again. And it didn't feel as free and as light as in as fun as LCD was. It felt very stoic and put together and great for all that. But it didn't seem like it was loose at all. And I know that's sort of why Tame, you know, gets them. I mean, that's why people like Tame. But I like a little bit of looseness. And that's why I can never watch that all J show ever again. Too tight. Everything's too choreographed. And I it's got no personality stage for me. What I would say is like, I when we go and we go to a great set, I say, you know, some people really meet the moment of being at this huge festival. They know this is our big day. Like, this is our chance to kind of show who we are. Last year for us, that was, you know, rolling blackouts, coastal fever on Thursday night. We just looked at each other. We were like, these guys know that they are playing to get famous. And, you know, they really killed it. I mean, sometimes people just treat it as another date. So hopefully they, you know, it seems like Kevin Parker's kind of fleshed out what he wants his live show to be now. So pretty excited for that. I do, I do have a feeling that is going to be still tight and still really, really produced and choreographed, but I have a feeling it's going to be a lot more fun and expansive on on the west. And you could do that. Like Childish Gambino was very coordinated, but it was fun and he was loose. You know, they had all their beats down to the second, but he was still just. Well, it's a great point, I mean, the Muse show to me was just like you're talking about. It was still it was so tight and so it was too much, too much for me. It was too perfect. Choreographed sounded terrific. I think I didn't. I equate bands like that to Matchbox 20. You know, back in the day at Matchbox 20 in the 90s, everybody, they have hit after hit after hit. But I know. Back in the day, it sounds stupid now to go to a Matchbox 20 show. But if you go to a Matchbox 20 show in 1998 or 1999, that's what you want. It sounded exactly like the album. And I never understood why anybody would want to go to see this outside Matchbox 20. Well, that Muse show, I went back to the campsite. My birthday is usually on during Bonner's. So I think that day I'd been like Sergel Simpson and it was his birthday, too. We went back to the campsite to kind of get ready for the night and for the Tom Petty show, the super jam. So I guess that would have been Saturday. So I guess I didn't really see much of Muse. I'll be honest with you. You were not going to get better than that Sergel show that year. That was unbelievable. And it reminded me of the Black Keys years and years and years before when three guys can stand on stage with no lighting, one, I mean, just white light straight down on the stage and destroy for, I mean, the better part of 50 minutes was phenomenal. That was a message. So I went, what's the what's the act that you don't want to lose? Me? Yeah. Oh, you know. Yeah. Well, I wonder if it changed. Brittany. No, it hasn't changed. No, it hasn't changed. Nothing. Nothing changes for me for Brittany. I think it's Miley for me, to be honest. You don't want to lose Miley? No, I mean, I don't want to lose. That's so different. I want to see that. And there's probably the only chance I'm going to get to see her. And that's another show that like that's going to be really cool to happen at Bonnaroo versus at your local arena. Same, you know, Lizzo too, like just the positivity there. You don't want to lose that. We got a chance to see Lizzo at this Maha Omaha Festival in August. And we had been there. The first night was Courtney Barnett and Jenny Lewis. Good crowd, you know, pretty laid back. And then Lizzo. It was Lizzo and 40 minute beer lines. You couldn't get anywhere. And it was one of my favorite shows I've ever seen live. So I definitely want to talk about it. It's such a great question. Hang on a second. The reason I like that question is because Barry's about to congratulate himself for a good question. It is a good question. The reason I like it. The reason I like it is because it's a selfish request versus an artist that you probably would never otherwise see. And now I've got to rethink this because I mean, I can see Brittany anytime. So if I lost her, I can give her a call. If worst case scenario, what does it matter? I got to rethink this. I do think that's a good answer though, because their 2015 set was probably, you know, top five sets I've ever seen in Bonnaroo for sure. Who's on your list? I want to see that Turquoise show with Adrian Ballou. Adam Lee. Yeah, you just saw it with me. We just saw this. Not with. No, no, no, we saw Turquoise. We didn't see the remaining light show. OK, that's another one. There are several. This Ed O'Brien. That's that's what I wonder, Brad, if you'd maybe changed a little bit. Well, I think for me, it's Miley because that is probably the only chance I'm going to get to see her. Well, I'm a little different in this world where I don't try and anticipate the negative, right? I I feel like this whole thing is now just a whole bunch of people anticipating the whole thing going away. And I'm just not there yet. Right. I'm not there believing that everything's going to be canceled. Everything's going to be different. The world is going to we're not going to have any artists are not going to have any sponsors. I just I'm not there. So I guess I haven't even wrapped my head around the idea that somebody that I really wanted to see is not going to show up. You know what I mean? Yeah, sure. Maybe I will be. I mean, I might change my job. But you know, you asked the question. It's a good question. Oh, that's my question. That was your question. Oh, OK. Yeah, you asked Frank. So Frank, when you when you were planning to go to Coachella, were you let me ask, was it an excited thing to go to Coachella or do you make the plan to go to Coachella because you feel like you have to go at this point and knock it off the list? I would say it's a little bit of both. I mean, we've been going to Bonnaroo for six years. It's kind of the polar opposite in lots of different ways. But this year's lineup for me was just like Frank Ocean raging against the machine. All the great Indy acts that Bonnaroo has kind of struggled to keep coming back, I think, compared to 2014. And so, you know, kind of just go. That was for me more of a musical pilgrimage. Whereas, you know, when Bonnaroo's had downed lineups, we still didn't have a question of if we were going to go or not. Last year, last year, I had to wait for the lineup to come out because I was studying for the bar exam. I was like, if it's terrible, I can't jeopardize this. But if it's really good, then I'm going to go. I like the idea that it was the bar exam that he had to worry about. Mary, you and I just worry about the bar. Exactly. There's been years where I think I went to Bonnaroo with one hundred dollars in my pocket. So I talked about that last week. You know, I just don't see anybody like that coming this year. And anyway, it's like struggling for money coming this year. We talked about this in a very secret, secret show last week that if if we lose the people that the people we probably lose in all of this are the ones that are struggling for money to begin with and that, you know, Bonnaroo is, you know, basically too expensive for them at this time where they have no income. Right. Yeah. I don't I don't necessarily see a lot of a lot of people with a hundred dollars rolling into Bonnaroo this year. Yeah. I mean, it's going to be during the school year, too. So a lot of college kids, I wouldn't have been able to go if I was still in school. So you know, it's tough, but we've done Bonnaroo when there were just under fifty thousand people and it was still the same great time. I just feel bad for the festival organizers, you know, taking that hit. Never not great. I think it's fascinating that, you know, we keep harping on this, but the fact that you're in Iowa and going and the other patrons are New Orleans and or Dallas rather in Orlando and the wall behind you, you mentioned you've got the posters. It's it's it's not overstating things to say how this festival gets into people's lives, is it? I mean, it becomes a year round kind of things. Oh, absolutely. Our first year, our friend Brett, who had kind of introduced me to all my college friends, comes in, tears into the house on a Friday. We're drinking and he's like, you guys should come to Bonnaroo this year. There's a great lineup. We're all you know, what the hell is Bonnaroo? I think four hours later, nine of us had tickets and we were ready to go, you know. And so, you know, and since then, you know, it's been kind of for some of us, it's an every year thing and other people, it's just, you know, come when you can. There's always a spot for you. We have kind of reached the point where I love talking about Bonnaroo, but I stop inviting everybody I know, you know, I don't I don't need everybody with me there. I need the people that I I want to be at the show with. Yeah, it's a certain select group that I'm comfortable experiencing this with. There's only so many people that see me in the morning. Yeah, yeah. There were there's been times people have been like, should we come to Bonnaroo? And I was like, I don't know if you want to feel like you hate yourself for five days in a row, but if you want to come on down, you know, like it's it's a acquired taste. Frank, it is one of these things where like you can look at the person and know if they're ready for this. You know, it's like you might. Oh, it's adorable that you want to see Nelly. But I don't know if this you're cut out for this. And do I want to be around you for five days, 24 hours type of thing? Yeah, but everybody, everybody deserves the chance. And some people surprise you, you know, and there's been people who I thought wouldn't do great that are, you know, still coming in and, you know, some of my favorite people to hang out with because they can show up and just be chill, you know, roll with it. You know, some people are have their schedule and they got to see X, X and X. And some people are just, you know, I have two shows all, you know, all week that I want to see. And that's that's the only thing I'm going to demand. So it's very true. I will say this, though, if I have to give you any sort of advice as to who to bring and who not to bring in. You're right. There are a lot of times people will surprise you. But here's the weird part is in January, you can buy a ticket, right? In June, you go to the festival in between then you and your girlfriend will probably break up. So buy the ticket with the girlfriend in January. I've had my own, you know, bad times with that at Bonner. It happens. You know, it either brings you together or separates you. Well, you're the organizer in your group. Does that help or hurt? Because I'm thinking along what you guys or Brad was just saying is part of what I try not to do is be reliant on anybody else. You know, like we've said before, we don't go to shows together, you know, in our in our in from Camp Nut Butter. You're on your own. And that's I think everybody that goes is that same way. And that's why it works. Right. I mean, if somebody is having a bad day, then everybody can be having a bad day type of thing. You know, when we had bigger groups, I think we were actually more obsessed with trying to stay together. When we had six, we just kind of were, you know, do whatever you want to do. We'll find each other. Go see a show if you want. And we ended up all just kind of seeing the same shows because we wanted to be together. And we had you know, we had a good mix of people, whereas like I'm into most kinds of music. I think like Saturday we did, you know, Juice World, Hozier, KC Musgraves, National, Lonely Island, Deaf Heaven, or, you know, just go into everything. And then the people who care about EDM music, they can get their fill after midnight when all my stuff's done, you know, and then I'll, you know, soldier on for them. You know, it is an interesting thing that Barry just said that we never go to shows together. We hardly, there's usually one show a year that I dragged the entire camp to that I really want everybody to go to. But other than that, we never go to shows together. But oddly enough, we always end up running into each other. Yeah. Always running into the same shows. We it's that sort of organic thing that makes it work. Yeah. I do think every year you kind of end up having like your buddy, like the guy who's with you all the time or the two or three people that are going to be with you at almost every show. That's always kind of worked out for me. But just, you know, you got to be pretty loose about everything. And yeah, I mean, just don't take it too seriously. It's very true in our, in our camp. The old people usually stick together, Barry and you know, our buddy Mike. And then for me, it's usually like me, the wife and our buddy Nick, Nicky T. That's usually our our clan. And then, you know, Lord Taco is with whatever woman he decides to find that day. And it was Brian, you and Brian Stone travel around with whatever lady you find throughout the afternoon. Exactly. Sometimes you just got to follow your heart wherever it's taking you. I mean, I've honored, you know, like last year, unfortunately, we had all the plans in the world to go to see, you know, John Prine. And we had been at the Casey Musgrave show on the on the What Stage where the sound was just horrible. And so we said, you know, I really like the national. My friend Carter, his big show this year was Lonely Island. So I said, you know, let's skip everything else. Let's get really close for those two sets. And then, you know, we'll live our best lives at these sets we really want to see. And if we have to lose, you know, something peripherally that I really want to see, you know, Jim James, John Prine, those were two on my schedule. But then, you know, it doesn't work out that way. Sometimes you get bitten by it, obviously. Yeah. John Prine was one that I knew. I knew the entire year last year talking about John Prine and telling Barry, I knew saying the words out loud. This is a show that I will not miss. You should not miss this. We don't know if this is ever coming back the whole time. I'm like, I'm never going to go to the show. Yeah. And I knew it. I knew it. And I actually stupid me did it. You know, I it was too hot. Didn't work. I was too tired. I wanted to go see something else. And I miss John Prine. And you know, they did him a disservice, putting him at that time on that stage with the other acts against him. You know, there would have been 20 other festival slots that he could have been in a better spot for everybody to go and worship at his feet, not, you know, nine o'clock on Saturday night when everybody's getting ready for, you know, the biggest night of honor in my van. Barry, was that when it was? Nine p.m. on Saturday? It was earlier because I was thinking it was more like six-ish. I was the sun was going down. OK. I was looking at it this morning to see where the hell I was. And yeah, well, pretty terrific. And this thing, Brandi Carlisle come out. You know, that's one of those surprise moments. But the thing that I remember was the smile on his face. You know, obviously he's been struggling with his health even before this this year, obviously. But just to see how happy he was was pretty great. And then for me, I mean, I'm late to I'm late to the whole John Prine thing. I was thinking about that my whole life. I've never been really a lyrics guy. I'm more about the melody. And the last three or four years, for a variety of reasons, the lyrics have meant more. And he's just about as good as it gets. Yeah. So to be able to see him finally, he's one of those that I missed. Brad, I'm like I had chances to see him many times. And I just the idea, to be honest, of 90 minutes of a guy on a guitar telling stories at that time didn't appeal to me. And now, you know, especially when you when you put a venue on top of it, which is probably a theater and you're probably sitting and napping. You're going to yawn whether you're into it or not. That's what I always end up doing. You know, honestly, I yawn at every show I ever attend because I'm just like, you know, I just kind of vibe and then you're like, oh, man, what's going on here? Same thing. Same thing when you bird. I love Andrew Bird, but I can't not fall asleep during his show. You know, it's just one of those things. The venue means a lot. And if you're sitting down and watching, you know, a a slow singer songwriter with a guitar in the theater that you're probably not boozing at, more often than not, you're probably going to be really, really bored, which sucks for him. You know, but a festival, I should, you know, I knew I knew what it was going to be. And I and I just blew it. I wish they would have given him the Brandi Carlile spot, not because that set wasn't amazing. And we had me and my buddy last year, Ethan, we looked at each other when she was singing the mother. We're like, why are we both bawling? Right. Oh, yeah. I look down the line. Every dude standing next to me was hands on knees. Yeah. Tears falling down the face. We had went and saw the Princess show and a couple of my more EDM focused friends were like, well, we'll just come with you guys to whatever's next. I was like, I'm not sure you're going to vibe with this at all. And so they went and did their thing. And we just, you know, cried and just like this is exactly what you want on Sunday morning. And then I got the chance to see her again at our at Hinterland last year. And it was the same, you know, Waterworks performance for me. So she's unbelievable. It was by far, well, not by far, but if there was a show that got me last year, it was that one. I don't remember my oh Childish Gambino. Childish Gambino. I think my favorite was definitely Childish setting up like the Friday night energy and then everybody gets out of there and they're just like, holy hell, what are we doing tonight? And then we went to Beach House and thanks to, you know, what we were doing that day, the Beach House set for me was the most perfect set I've ever seen at bottom. My favorite set in six years, not even close. You did the same route that we did. Man, I hope it works out for you this year and I hope everything makes it to Manchester because you know, just a word of warning from three people who lived in Tennessee for a very long time. It's still hot in September. It's still very, very hot in September. So in fact, it might be hotter because I've been trying to wrap my head around this, Barry, the reason why and you know, Tennessee people know this pretty well. The summers have started later and later and later and first of June has actually been very nice for the past few years and there's a reason because summer is not starting until almost July now in Tennessee and it goes all the way up to October. And believe me, there have been plenty of years the last few years where Halloween has been 92 degrees. So let's prepare yourself. September will probably be as hot or maybe even hotter than June. As long as there's a breeze, you can survive Bonnaroo. It's when that breeze is dead and you're sitting at the campsite is when you're just like, get me the hell out of here. This is right. Well, hopefully we'll see you on the farm and thank you so much for, you know, listening, and you know, doing what you do at Bonnaroo. We hope to see you then. I guess. Yeah, I appreciate you guys. Thank you. See you buddy. Yeah. Absolutely. Thank you. I just got to figure out how to get out of here. That's okay. We got to figure out our own thing. What are we doing next? Barry, Taco, you're trapped. You're trapped with us here for now. Yeah, it's all right. Welcome to Camp Nut Butter. You can never leave. All right, guys, I'll see you later. Thank you. Thank you. Bye. Bye. See you. Thank you. The what podcast to podcast for Bonnaroovians by Bonnaroovians. I'm Bonnaroovian Brad. That's Bonnaroovian Barry and then a Bonnaroovian taco. Hi, Lord Taco. Hey, how are you doing? By the way, I love our, what we've basically all been doing together. Quarantine beards. We've all been doing them well and Barry coming in very nicely. We shaved it off just two minutes before we started this because I saw it. I've never seen you with a beard. I've never seen you with a beard. No, you haven't. I'm growing my own face mask right here. Great point. I have a weekly call with Taco every Tuesday. Me and Lord Taco and some other friends just get on a video chat. Ever since we moved down here and one week he looked like Taco. Literally the next week he looked like Santa who had given up. It was just boom. It exploded. Like how in the world does this happen in a week? I'm on three weeks, Taco, and I can't get any sort of length. It's just stuck here. How does yours do that? Well wait till September, wait till Bonnaroovian. Yeah, PBR does it. Yeah, wait till Bonnaroovian. Your face looks like Barry's head. Alright, so we were going to talk about the ticket giveaway. We can talk about this openly. I don't really know how to give away tickets to a festival that I just don't think is going to happen. That's a great point. Or give away to somebody who may not be able to go in September. So you're going to hold off on tickets until a couple weeks from now? You want to go like that? I think so, yeah. Okay. I think so. Well now you guys know what we're going to do. Well we can ask people who are listening, but I think that's the right thing. Just hang on to them. Let's wait till we're closer. That way, whoever we give them to, we want them to use them. Well here's what I don't want you to do. Take whatever ticket you have and think that gets you admission onto the farm at any time throughout the year, Brian Stone. Our friend Brian Stone, for his 40th birthday, he thought that he could just walk onto the property of Bonnaroo and take some pictures and be Mr. Big Shot and repost some of the pictures. And they were good. He got some nice shots of what Bonnaroo looks like without people. But please don't do that. I cannot believe that we haven't gotten yelled at about that little excursion. No, not only did I send the picture of the fountain to our good friend Ken Weinstein yesterday and said one of our guys may or may not be there right now. And immediately wrote back and just said that looks really cool. Yeah, I mean it was, but he basically dressed fast. You know that, right? He does this every year. I know that. And if we encourage people to do that, they're going to have Bonnaroo themselves. It's going to be, you know, hundreds of people sitting on a farm that they're trespassing in. Yeah. I mean, Brian walked into the the Snake and Jake Christmas barn and basically saw the Bonnaroo sign that hangs up over the what stage. Well, yeah, he doesn't need to give that kind of stuff away. I know it was. It was gotta be some magic, some mystery. Yeah, I don't think it's a good idea. So please don't do that. This is a what podcast public service announcement. Please don't trespass onto the farm. Please don't trespass a great stages park, please. The law abiding voice of reason. When did this happen? I'm naive. You know, I'm just trying to protect my people. All right. We'll talk to you next week at O'Brien next week. Another Patreon chat. That's Brad. No, I'm Brad. That's Barry. That's Little Taco. We'll see you next week on the what podcast.