"I think we should speed up" Sam said as the truck persisted in denying us access.
"Hey!" the truck driver shouted at us, "Do you have something to say to me?"
"Ummmm?" I responded to the rest of the car
"I flipped him the bird" Sam commented casually.
"Sam!" we all shouted (while also laughing) realizing that a guy in a rental truck had nothing to lose by hitting our car and he was now even more agitated.
"Hey! you gotta problem man?!" The driver shouted again at Sam.
"Yeah. You should be nicer" Sam hung out the window and screamed out as I looked for another way to escape from the scary truck, quickly merging in the other direction and zipping around to put several cars between us.
Truth was we were all a bit agitated after being in a car for 3 hours already trying to get to the Naukabout Music Festival where our friend's Barefoot Truth
were performing and we were to make our musical debut on stage with them slacklining and doing Acro during a song. To add to the fatigue factor, Sam, Jason and Chelsey had arrived that morning from Salt Lake on the red eye and despite sleeping a bit in the car, they were still quite zombie like bringing a bit of Adventure Race no sleep style to the music festival scene.
At this point it was 3pm and we were still 20 miles away with a stream of red lights in front of us. Barefoot Truth was scheduled to go on stage at 4pm. The outcome did not look good for the YogaSlackers, especially with a surly rental truck driver behind us determined to set Sam straight on what "nice" means on the East Coast.
Our fearless navigator and Boston YogaSlacker Reg, navigated us through traffic while also feeding us amazing food that he packed (bonus points for any navigator that ever brings food for us on a road trip- you will automatically become a YogaSlackers team member, no questions asked). Reg has a strong resemblance to Harry Potter in appearance and in magical powers and we think he must of cast some secret spells to actually get us there in time and navigate google maps on the iPhone and after another hour of traffic it was 3:57pm and we were finally making our way off the highway with just 3 miles left to the fair grounds.
"Where you at now?" Garret, our friend (and the very talented harmonica player in the band) kept checking in each minute trying to figure out how to get us back stage when he was supposed to be on stage with the band.
"Just 3 more miles...stall the band!" we begged, hoping we would have time to still rig the set up before they played.
"We have to go on at 4 but we'll make the first song really long and I'm not playing in it so try to get here in the next 7 minutes so I can get you in." Garret remained confident that we could pull it off.
We skidded around a turn and sped up the back entrance to the fair grounds as Garret was waving us forward towards the stage. We parked the car as he tossed us wristbands and then bolted to get on stage with the band for the next song- in a matter of seconds we could hear his harmonica blaring from the stage about 30 ft away. We had actually made it....now to figure out how to slackline across the stage.
Sam and Jason ran to the stage to check it out. Sure enough there were two posts on stage right and left, allowing us to set up a line across the front of the stage surrounded on either side by speakers, microphones, musical instruments and a 5 foot drop if we fell off towards the crowd. It could work- we just couldn't fall.
After they set up the line really high making sure it would clear all of the (rather costly) obstacles, we gathered on the side of the stage and worked on a strategy. Garret informed us that they wanted us to perform to "All Good Reasons" one of our favorite songs, and we got super psyched and formed a plan for our onstage debut.
Garret introduced us as we took our positions on the sides of the stage. As the song started Jason slacklined onto the stage from stage left doing a warrior one pose on the line as the crowd went crazy.
Chelsey followed, walking in on the line from stage right taking hand to big toe pose welcomed with more cheering and applause as she set up for an Acro performance in front of the line with Jason.
Sam walked in on the line from the left taking his famous mayurasana (peacock pose) in the center of the line facing the crowd as they roared with excitement and applauded.
Pressing from mayurasana back up to standing on the line, Sam walked off and tagged me in as I took a backbend over the line facing the crowd, realizing just how many people were out there (they looked even cooler upside down) and then spinning around and coming up to sit on the line- trying to find balance while overcoming the fear of knocking over expensive stereo equipment. Standing up from sitting, the line felt especially wobbly and I felt the energy from the crowd supporting me as I walked out into the center of the stage in front of easily one of the largest audiences I have ever slacklined in front of (Jason estimates that the crowd was 20,000...Sam, Chels and I estimate that it was more like 1,000 people).
Any nervousness left my body as I felt the support from the band on one side and the amazing applause and cheering from the crowd on the other. Lowering down to pigeon, I heard Garrett rocking out on the harmonica behind me as I flipped into a shoulder stand on the line seeing Chelsey flipping through the air on Jason's feet in front of me- it all felt a bit dreamlike- like a really amazing dream to really great music.
As the song sadly came to an end we all gathered on the stage with the band and gave a wave to the excited crowd. We made our way off the stage and then set up slacklines in the crowd by the vendors allowing people to give it a try while Barefoot Truth kept playing in the background followed by a bunch of other great sets including Bela Fleck. Hanging out with Garret, Will, Jay, Andy and Wayno, we enjoyed catching up with the band and helping them work on forearm stands in the grass along with some AcroYoga poses while making plans to manifest a future tour together including collaborative projects at places like Wanderlust, Bonnaroo and Coachella all while touring in a tour bus with a hot tub of course.
All in all, what started with 4 hours of gridlock New England traffic with scary aggressive drivers ended with an amazing music festival with great friends and people, including our favorite band who we know will be super big one day and we will reminisce about the time we arrived just in time to slackline across the stage with them.
We love what we do, especially when it involves our amazing friends. Big thanks to Barefoot Truth, especially Garrett for lining everything up and Reg for getting us there! check out their latest album Threads here: www.barefoottruth.com
with love for music and slacklining,
slackling (to music) for a better world