Monday, May 20, 2013

How to do a Festival in the Rain

We were looking forward to an amazing Sunday at the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival.  I had planned to wear this fun outfit. Unfortunately, mother nature wasn't playing nice and the forecast predicted a 50% plus chance of rain and the temp was not supposed to go above 65. I had to prepare for mud, possible downpours of rain and cold weather.  Of course I wanted to look stylish but I knew my original outfit wouldn't work. I decided on jeans, layers and kept my original plan for boots for the muddy field. Since we had never been to this festival we didn't know what to expect with the setup.  The website was helpful but didn't tell us everything.

Rainy Day Festival Outfit

My outfit of a cute sundress changed to a t-shirt, jeans, and a hoodie. I swapped out my straw panama hat for a baseball cap. I decided on minimal jewelry, a watch and hoop earrings. The messenger bag worked because I didn't have to carry my items all day. I left my bag on our blanket. I brought a poncho, just in case but didn't need it. This outif gave me comfort, flexibility and I still looked a bit polished.

This festival only had one stage.  We were able to set out our tarp and blanket for the day. I wish we had brought chairs. The outdoor festivals and shows I've attended before that allowed chairs, created a specific area for chair use and allowed the attendees who were sitting on the ground to sit toward the front. In this case 90% of the attendees or more had chairs. Much of our view of the stage was blocked. Luckily, there were two huge screens in order for us to see the artists. The location of the festival was right on the Chesapeake Bay at Sandy Point State Park. The festival has been running for many years and it's a professional set up. There is a beach area, food and craft vendors, charity booths and of course beer and wine vendors.

During the last act (8 hours into the day).

The weather held out. Even though the entire morning was overcast, we didn't end up getting any rain. About 1pm, the sun came out and stayed out the rest of the day. It got pretty warm. Even with sunscreen, I got a little sun.  There was no mud and I wish I'd thrown a pair of flip flops in my bag. Then I could have taken off my boots for the afternoon and left them at the blanket. Instead I had to take them off and put them back on each time I wanted to go somewhere.The layering of the hoodie with my t-shirt was a huge help.  I didn't wear my hoodie once we settled down but I was able to put in back on toward the end of the day when the temp cooled down. I looked pulled together and my outfit worked for the weather, even though my plan changed.  Sometimes polished and practical has to win out over the fashionista look you plan.

The music is the best part of any music festival and of course the reason I attend. It was fantastic. I discovered new artists and got to see some of my favorites. The evening closed out with Mavis Staples and Bonnie Raitt. Mavis called Bonnie on stage to sing and play with her band. FANTASTIC!  Two blues legends on one stage.  One of the highlights of the day, for me, was artist Quinn Sullivan.  He writes his own music and is a fantastic guitarist and blues singer. Did I mention that he's only 14?!  Check him out playing at Legends. He played this song yesterday.

There were so many other great artists. We had a blast. I'm sure this festival will become a regular on our summer festival circuit. We'll definitely be back next year, rain or shine!

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