A microburst came through Arrington, VA Wednesday afternoon, leveling all the tents and structures at Oak Ridge Farm. Staff members were thrown through the air by walls of wind gusting over 70 miles an hour. The pummeling of Oak Ridge lasted 10 minutes and delayed Lockn’s opening until today. A big heart-felt thank you and much respect goes out to all the staff that worked overtime to rebuild the festival grounds.
Check out this sunset that blessed us Thursday evening. They are loveliest in the calm after the storm. Let us give thanks for the storm hitting before the humans gathered and the festival began. Can you imagine the mayhem that would be 30,000 human beings in this field when tornado force gales touched down and sent golf carts and tents flying through the air? Most of the mud has been covered with straw, but there are some muddy pits, especially back stage. All the tent structures are rebuilt and standing stiffly for those that will be here rockn’ at Lockn’.
Backstage checking out the scene at the Hang, I ran into Todd Lieman and Rob Pennock, who are here representing Airstream. It’s a beautiful little Airstream forest for Lockn’ lovers. In the madness some people were injured. Rob is wearing a cast. “Did you get hurt in the storm?” I ask. “Yup. You could say that. I hurt myself taking one for the team, but that’s not what’s important here,” he says, deflecting the conversation from himself. Then, with the humility of a samurai about to commit seppuku, he says, “The show must go on.”
The vendors were hurt the worst. Beautiful merchandise was damaged or destroyed. The Woodstock Artist Collective reported that the glass covering their framed painting and pictures broke from the shear force of the wind gale.
Thursday at Lockn’ did not go as planned, but rest assured there were lots of awesome people doing awesome things in the fields of Oak Ridge. Twisted Sister Tie Dye weathered the storm and had their spectacular tapestries flying high over the fields of Lockn, the land of the free and home of the Dead.
Some staff members got some guitars together and we all sang a bunch of Dead songs.
Now, it is Friday morning and finally it is starting to feel like a festival! Lockn’ has been built, blown down, and then rebuilt, and now the day we have been waiting for is here! Lockn’, Just like Virginia, is for lovers.