I have been to every Lockn'. We built a massive, blue tarp covered that sat hillside adjacent to the concert field the first year. We stayed in the fresh red Clay of Lockn' Farm for year 2, and ground level in VIP last year, after seeking refuge on a kind local's porch during night 1 last year. While all Lockn' festivals have been spectacular and have provided amazing memories and experiences, something happened the 2nd year that changed my life forever.
I was adopted as a an infant in 1979 in New Orleans, La. I began searching for my birth family in 1997 and, after 17 years, I found my mom. This was extremely gratifying but her inability to locate my father or remember his name left questions. So I signed up for 23 and me, a DNA service/database. I was instantly connected with a 1st cousin who turned out to be a paternal relative. Given the extremely heavy nature of the whole process, she withdrew and shut down contact with me... that was mid summer, 2014.
My festival partner, Thatcher, is also my best friend. We made our plans and, when the time came, drove 14 hours to Arrington.
I was somewhat disappointed by Bob Weir's hiatus and felt, at the time, that Billy and the kids was an inadequate replacement. Saturday night came to a close and I felt refreshed. For weeks, when I had been taking about the magical journey of finding my mom after 17 years, and the paternal connection that almost was. I would drunk and get sad and talk about it. A lot. I thought the connection was dead.
Sunday Morning came around and Thatcher left the rest of us at the campsite to go secure a good spot, Oak side, so as to have great positioning for the Panic Show that evening. He went super early. I cannot remember the exact lineup but I know that I eventually made it to the area he had "blanketed off" sometime before Willie Nelson took the stage. As we got situated I was tapped in my shoulder. A man, about my age asked me my name. I told him and he said he recognized it from Thatcher's shirt. He then stepped to the left and there, 14 hours away from home and 35 years later, I stood face to face with a thin, raven-haired girl- the same one who had understandably withdrew from me. Our resemblance was undeniable, from smile lines to toe bones.
Grace Potter stroked a set that was super high energy and then stepped to an organ in the middle of the stage (she played Ridge side) and played I Shall Be Released, solo. We cried. It was absolutely beautiful. By virtue of the cosmic forces at play in our spiritual gumbo, we established a relationship that is still building. A month after the festival I drove to New Orleans and met my dad for the first time. He is the only person I have ever met that is really and truly, at his core, just like me. And it would have never happened if not for this festival and a million things happening world's apart JUST RIGHT, leading up to Lockn' 2014 Sunday lineup, Oak side.
That's my story. I hope to see y'all there. Thanks for reading and BE KIND!! YOUR LIFE MATTERS!!