If you see me at the Rothbury Music Festival over the Fourth of July weekend, I will no doubt be stumbling around in my tie-dye, sunburned and babbling, trying very hard to stay on top of my buzz. I will be having a great time reliving the glory of what my wife calls my “salad days,” when I didn’t have a lot to do other than imbibe, play disc golf, and rock out at concerts.
Of course now I have a kid and a mortgage, which has led to there being about equal numbers of white and non-white hairs in my beard (though the white ones are clearly going to have a majority soon). I don’t have a clue who most of the bands playing Rothbury are, nor do I really care much. I’ll be there to see the geriatric headliners — The Dead, Bob Dylan, and Willie Nelson — the guys I grew up listening to, back when they were merely old. Children be warned: There are going to be a lot of us (parents) at this year’s event.
Call it the Fogey Pass if you will, but the new 2-day ticket that went on sale Sunday all but ensures that I will not be wandering the grounds wondering why I’m the oldest person there. It only gets you in from Saturday at 8am through the close of the festival on Monday morning, but it still includes camping and ensures that you’ll see the three big headliners. (As of this writing, the only other announcement concerning schedule is that String Cheese Incident will be headlining Friday night, if you care about those guys.)
Not to be macabre, but I’m old enough to realize that these relics — Willie is 76; Dylan, 68; and the original four Grateful Dead members average 64 1/2 — aren’t going to be around forever, and I want to see them all as many times as I can before they go off to join Jerry in the sky. At $150 plus fees, compared to $250 for the 4-day pass, the old man ticket is even a bargain. Heck, the fact that I can take my kid to see the fireworks Friday night and don’t have to negotiate some sort of painful quid pro quo with the wife makes me think that they’ve got the pricing backwards.
Video: The Dead – “Sugar Magnolia” (live on Letterman April 23, 2009 )
THE DEAD (ONLY SUMMER PERFORMANCE) • BOB DYLAN AND HIS BAND • THE STRING CHEESE INCIDENT (ONLY 2009 PERFORMANCE) • WILLIE NELSON & FAMILY • THE BLACK CROWES • DAMIAN ‘JR. GONG’ MARLEY & NAS • STS9 • G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE • GOV’T MULE • BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE • YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND • THE DISCO BISCUITS • LES CLAYPOOL • COLD WAR KIDS • JOHN BUTLER • CHROMEO • ANI DIFRANCO • MSTRKRFT • MATISYAHU • GIRL TALK • GUSTER • FEMI KUTI & THE POSITIVE FORCE • MARTIN SEXTON • FLOGGING MOLLY • RAILROAD EARTH • THE HOLD STEADY • TOOTS & THE MAYTALS • RALPH STANLEY & THE CLINCH MOUNTAIN BOYS • BRETT DENNEN • ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA • GRACE POTTER AND THE NOCTURNALS • SHPONGLE DJ SET • SON VOLT • JACKIE GREENE • LOTUS • SOULIVE • MAN MAN • PETER ROWAN BLUEGRASS BAND W/ TONY RICE • KING SUNNY ADE & HIS AFRICAN BEATS • KID CUDI • STS9 (LIVE PA SET) • THE GLITCH MOB • DAVY KNOWLES AND BACK DOOR SLAM • EOTO • PRETTY LIGHTS • REBELUTION • QUANNUM ALL STARS FT. LYRICS BORN, THE MIGHTY UNDERDOGS, GIFT OF GAB, LIFESAVAS & JOYO VELARDE • TOUBAB KREWE • SAM ROBERTS BAND • HILL COUNTRY REVUE • LIPP SERVICE (ELIOT LIPP + MEMBERS OF PNUMA) • 2020 SOUNDSYSTEM • BREAK SCIENCE FT. ADAM DEITCH • THE HARD LESSONS • UNDERGROUND ORCHESTRA • FUTURE ROCK • THE MACPODZ • STEPPIN’ IN IT • GIANT PANDA GUERILLA DUB SQUAD • CHRIS PIERCE • RACHEL GOODRICH • THE RAGBIRDS • FOUR FINGER FIVE
Additional artists to be announced …