By Alex Terranova / @freshmusicfreak
If you haven’t read Part One click here.
Part Two of Four.
Friday Between 3:30 AM and 4:30 AM – Camp Smiley
I wake up abruptly. I feel like I’m sliding down a hill…Okay…maybe our tent location isn’t as “choice” as I first thought. Jackie wakes to me getting up…”Good Morning” she sighs. “What time is it?” she asks, not fully awake. “Four-ish, I think,”…I hear members of our camp talking and laughing in our communal meeting dome known as “The Onion”. The onion is a structure conceptualized and built Jano and Tiana. It is called the Onion for two reasons, One: It looks like an onion, and Two: it is where people come to peel back the layers and not hide who they are. I actually don’t know why it’s called the onion, but those two reasons are good for me…so that’s what I’m going with.
Tiana and Jano are the only voices I can make out but is seems as though there is about eight to ten voices total.
“I just want somebody to punch me in the face so that it knocks me out and I can go to sleep.” Tiana says.
Tiana is a riot to be around. I’ve known her for almost a year. She is a young, beautiful, super talented producer of music. She, and Melissa (a young, beautiful and super talented vocalist) make up the experimental Bass Music Duo Super Honey. I interviewed them both back in May and am stoked I get to experience What the Festival with both of them.
Read the interview here.
The sound of a hand connecting with a face permeates the surrounding area and everyone erupts in laughter and Oooh’s. Someone is slapped really hard.
”What are they doing?” Jackie asks.
“They are playing Pickle Back Slaps.” I tell her.
If you don’t know what pickle back slaps are…that’s when you take a shot of whiskey, take a shot of pickle juice and someone slaps you. Apparently it’s a pretty fun game. This goes back and forth with Tiana and other camp mates slapping one another for the better part of the next hour. As Jackie and I lay in our tent we can’t help but laugh. Daylight is just starting to peek through the trees and It’s cold. I think to myself…maybe we didn’t bring enough blankets and sleeping bags to fend off the cold. It’s a fleeting thought as Jackie and I pass back out.
Friday 8:30 AM – Officially Day One.
I’m starving. I get up and announce to the camp that I’m gonna do “B” and “E”…thanks Dane Cook. Bacon and Eggs. I am dead set on finding a place that serves this delicious combo of treats. I get Jackie and Jano up and we head into the festival grounds. We stroll the line of food venders and what would you know?…coming through in a pinch…Killa Dilla with the win! They have everything I want. We order up their sausage, egg and cheese Dilla. Once again…huge flavor of explosion. I know now why their name is Killa Dilla.
Breakfast…it just works.
We finish with breakfast just in time to head over to the media and check in with Leigh. I talk to him for a minute, he explains the essentials and that he will be available throughout the day. Jano spits off. Jackie and I head into the Illuminated Forest and find two guys working on the Registroid, an interactive art installation by Monkey C Interactive. The Registroid is mid-1900’s cash register that is outfitted with a music sequencer. Each button of the register triggers a sound element used to make a song. I.E. Kick Drum, Bassline, Hi-Hats and Synth. An additional row of buttons play sound effects and fillers. As I push buttons a tech-house groove pumps out of the speakers. While doing this, I get the guys names…David and Scott, and find out they are the creator and programmer of this amazing installation. They tell me if I play the right combination of buttons the register will open. I fail to open the register, but I set an interview with them for tomorrow at noon. They seem stoked. I am too.
It’s still early so we head back to camp to lay back down and take another nap…food coma.
Friday 3:30 PM
Today is cloudy with a bit of wind and the forecast warns of a 60% chance of rain. Nature…a big “fuck you” to you and your festival. The warmth of the day has been heating our tent, waking up is accompanied by a pool of sweat. Gross…I need shower. I get Jackie up and we prep to take showers. Oasis Spas are on hand…thank god. I have always taken showers for granted…I’ll admit it. I need this shower like a bee needs pollen. I happily pay the $8.00 for the five minutes of bliss the hot water provides to my soul. The showers are unisex with no dedicated changing area…nobody cares…both men and women strip down naked before entering their shower, there is no cover up, just beautiful bodies of all shapes and sizes expressing nakedness in an open air environment and everyone is being respectful of one another. What do you have to say about that North Carolina?
I finish my shower just as the sky darkens warning of the impending rain. Jackie is just getting in the shower.
“I hope the rain holds out.” she says.
At this very moment I feel the first raindrop strike my nose.
Friday 4:15 PM – Camp Smiley
New York based prodigy Jai Wolf is ripping the Splash Pool apart with his massive synth laced trap. His set is a perfect balance of anthem meets bass. The crowd cheers come one after another and can be heard clear as day from Camp Smiley.
Jackie makes it back from the showers wrapped only in her bright green towel.
“Where have you been?” I ask with a look of confusion.
“I got lost, I couldn’t find the camp, my clothes are all wet so I didn’t put them back on and to top that off…guys kept asking me what was under my towel.” she says.
“Hahahahahahaha…really?” I joke. She is not amused…I get the silent treatment while she dresses.
Camp Smiley is made up of 50+ people. They come from all walks of life and from all over. I notice when I return from the showers that our camp has doubled in size. This makes sense as this is Day One for those that didn’t make it yesterday. I finally meet Michael, Melissa’s (Super Honey) boyfriend who I’ve always heard about but meeting has eluded me. I’m introduced to everyone…Kaydia, Kelsey, Elise, Jordan, Logan, Anthony, Joel and many more, some of whom I have met before and some I have not. I do my rounds and talk with the people. My friend Sco-Jo is outside his tent getting ready to head out.
“You ready for tonight?” I ask…
“Fuck Yeah.” he responds with a big smile on his face. We chat about tonights agenda and shoot the shit for a minute. Sco-Jo is a good friend to have…he is always down for whatever.
Funny Story: Sco-Jo’s real name is Max. We call him Sco-Jo because one night we were out and Amy (⅓ of the Shenanigan Trio), meets him for the first time, looks at him and says, “You look like a guy version of Scarlett Johansson…I’m gonna call you Sco-Jo!” The name stuck…and here we are. I thought it was funny.
Friday 8:00 PM – Effin’ Stage
Jackie and I make our way back to the main festival grounds and pop over to the Effin’ Stage. Gang$ign$ is just starting his set. His blend of hyped, grimey, hip-hop infused trap is booming for a solid crowd brave enough to withstand the downpour of rain. Jackie finds shelter under the stage overhang and I circle around the crowd to grab some pictures. Donning a red flannel and bleached blond hair, it is hard not to see him, even from way back in the crowd. Track after track Gang$ign$ drops some heat.
“This guy is from Portland.” I say to Jackie.
“Cool…I don’t really like trap.” She replies….
Just so it’s clear, Jackie is really well versed in all genres of music, especially electronic. She introduces me to new music all the time, but I pick up on her vibe and we head to grab a bite to eat.
Alex 8:29 PM: Where R U?
We head back out to the Effin’ stage. Penthouse Penthouse is throwing down their signature sound of glitched out hip-hop beats mixed with a little house. Jackie most definitely is into this duo. We stay for the rest of their set. I take this opportunity, pull out my camera and snap some intense pictures of the rain in full on downpour. Awesome…
Jessica 9:42 PM: at the RV…getting ready to go out again.
Alex 9:52 PM: Meet at Entrance
Jessica 10:06 PM: Of what???
We don’t meet up. After a quick stop at one of the heating globes, Jackie and I work our way over to New York funk band Lettuce. We meet up with Jano, Maddie and the rest of Camp Smiley…Thank god for the Aunt Linda totem marking their spot in the crowd.
What can I say about Lettuce other than what a mind blowing 90 minutes of ass shaking groove. Everyone vibes on the fresh and funky sound. I look back and see my campmate Becky setting it off! Good times for sure.
Alex 12:02 PM: Where R U?
Jessica 12:14 AM: RV
We head to the RV to warm up and plot our next move. Alexis, Jessica and Amy welcome us into the RV with open arms and insist we stay there for the night due to the rain and cold. We accept…for sure.
We head back to camp to put on a couple extra layers and set our sights on Solovox at the Groove Cube and later Claude Vonstroke at the Dragon Stage. We grab the Shenanigan Trio from the RV and head to Solovox.
I don’t remember much after this point…
I do remember a dragon that breaths fire, a chandelier that shoot fire into the air, a guy named Bumblebee and a girl in a fur hat coming back to camp with us. I fairly positive that both sets were fucking sick…but I can’t be 100%. I guess I took a video at Solovox (not posting)…and this one picture at Claude Vonstroke…I know this is Claude because of the time stamp…enjoy the blurfest…
Alex 4:02 AM: We are at the Onion…
I don’t remember sending this text…
Tomorrow picks up at 12:15 PM…I mean today…
“This was my first year at WTFest, and had been told by many who had been before that it would be “everything you want from a festival”… And it really was. The sound was amazing, everyone I saw absolutely killed it…I mean…who doesn’t want to see Phutureprimitive on a stage that looks like a dragon and breathes fire?? The illuminated forest was a trippers’ paradise with lights and all kinds of sensory experiences. I loved the GrooveCube, late night. The pool party was a blast during the day, I only wish we had better weather.. But despite, we met so many great people.. There was just such a sense of openness, and a much more ‘grown up’ vibe. I went to Paradiso last year, and had fun, but there were so many kids! Despite the overall shenanigans, WTFest definitely had more of a sense of responsibility.. People just knew how to handle themselves. Even the vendors were great, well crafted, original, handmade designs… And pizza. There was really, really good pizza…Nothing hits the spot at 5am like warm, cheesy pizza. I absolutely can’t wait for next year.” Jessica – Eugene, OR