Yesterday was one of the most hectic, nerve-racking, and yet most beautiful days I’ve ever seen at Shakori Hills! The morning began with a group of us in the main office deciding what the best plan of action would be to get our fesival-goers and ourselves through what Hurricane Matthew was going to throw at us. We’d been watching the weather, and could tell that we’d mostly just get wind and rain, but how much of each was unclear. We tightened the tents and went on the lookout for any danger that could occur. We thought about getting some generators, and we spoke to our scheduled bands. Once we saw that the conditions weren’t unlike some we’ve had in the past, we decided to move ahead with a schedule shift. We were still able to have most of the planned bands play.
As I left the office and joined the attendees outside, I saw an amazing group of folks still loving everything about the festival. Lots of folks still here, a good amount of them were families! I saw kids huddled on one side of the Coffee Barn making fairy wands and having a Craft Bazaar. On the other side, an old-time band had gathered and was growing in a cozy jam circle. Our food vendors were selling breakfast/lunch, and the coffee and cider were flowing. Folks were smiling, the festival joy was still there. My tension eased a bit, and I began to feel festival magic again.
Late afternoon in the Dance Tent, Darlingside (a band that’s never played with us before) didn’t let the rain get them down and sang enchanting harmonies to a packed house. Later, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn blew us all away with their banjo majesty, their patience, and the sweetness with which they lifted us all. Our Miami bands who braved the storm and drove up in its path to be here had great shows as well!
Friends, this has been a rough festival. It will take us all a while to get back on our feet after this fall. Many folks decided not to come (understandably) because of the storm’s possibilities, ticket sales were at an all-time low. Our crew came together yesterday in an amazing way to make it so the folks still here would get an experience they’d never forget. Now, we need to ask for your help. Here are three good and easy ways:
- Come join us today! It’s a beautiful fall day, and we have an amazing lineup! Everything is going forward like normal. The grounds are not super muddy, and should dry up as the sun warms them. Our vendors are selling yummy food and very cool crafts. Come, bring the family and friends, and support our community. GET SUNDAY TICKETS HERE.
- Give a tax deductible donation to the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center! Give in multiples of $10 (every little bit helps). The money will initially go directly toward Shakori Hills festival expenses. CHOOSE YOUR DONATION HERE.
- Get a Dream Team Membership! This, for the bargain price of $1000 gets you 10 4-day passes to any GrassRoots Festival; a Lifetime All-Access Lanyard for you and a friend to get backstage at all of the festivals, meet the bands, and enjoy backstage hospitality; and a $50 coupon to our GrassRoots Store (festival shirts, mugs, etc). These passes really help us get to the next festival and plan for more incredible music and moments for all of us to experience! GET YOUR DREAM TEAM MEMBERSHIP HERE.
Also, we did have a rough time here in NC, but one thing to really keep in mind is that there are always folks who are worse off who need our help. Haiti was hit straight-on by Matthew, many lost lives and the repair will take a long time. Think about sending help there as well. Here’s one way that we have found: The Lambi Fund of Haiti.
Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. We have always needed you, but we need you now more than ever. We hope to stick around for as long as possible for moments like these, and for many more. Stay tuned for more opportunities to help.
UPDATE: We have a fundraising platform! Check out our FUNDRAZR! And thanks again.
Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival Co-Coordinator