Friday, September 29, 2006

Ryan's Hunting Hay, Meeting Manson and Stalking Stars

The night before the concert is beginning to wrap up. The crew is stuffing press kits, finalizing press releases, decorating dressing rooms and getting food set for the morning breakfast. Venue staff are waxing the food court floors in anticipation of hungry Farm Aid fans.

Now, the hunt was on for more bales of hay (technically, it is "straw"). It happens every year, we hunt the area around the venue for hay to enhance the d├ęcor and inventive seating for various sites around the venue. Finding straw in Camden, however, might be an impossible task.

The stage is still full of activity prepping for sound checks. The stage is vibrating from all the bass. Guitars set—poised for a quick exchange—and Mellencamp’s band warms up on stage. He rocks out along with a test of the fog machine and glowing blue lights.

The production crews for the video feed are wiring TV’s throughout the venue, so the audience and staff can see all the action when not on stage. The stage crew is dead tired. I talked to a crew member named Manson…yes, his dad, he said was a fan (hopefully of Marilyn and not Charles!) Manson, who is sporting a Mohawk and goatee, says he is ready for the concert.

While wandering through the dressing rooms, I had the latest tidbit confirmed—sadly Arlo Guthrie will not be attending the concert tomorrow because of a last-minute health matter. We wish him a speedy recovery.

And a shout goes out to the first responder of the Farm Aid Quiz…with all the correct answers. One of her answers was even one that I didn’t have (and may need to confirm), but people around here said it was a winner. Good job Britta Lee of Menomonie, Wisconsin… it'll take a few weeks but watch the mail for your bumper sticker.

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