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My first Hillside, and happy it was

This weekend, I should have been working hard at writing papers, ’cause y’know, I have 3 weeks left of my masters program and uhh deadlines are coming up hard n’ fast. But instead, I spent it out in the sun at Guelph’s annual Hillside Music Festival, at Guelph Lake. I was pretty stressed going into it – how could I afford to lose essentially 3 full days of working time?! And then I got there, and the crazy awesome lineup of Canadian and international artists made it all fade away. I did make an honest effort to work (read 1 article…) and then gave up. For my first music festival experience ever, this is gonna be pretty hard to beat. Besides loving nearly every performance I saw (quite a feat in itself), Hillside is unique:

  • no major corporate sponsors = no annoying ads everywhere
  • so environmentally friendly that it’s only possible at Hillside (and let’s be honest, only in Guelph):
    • ZERO disposable plates, cups, utensils – everyone had to bring their own water bottles and beer mugs, and there were dishwashing teams to clean all the reusable plates & utensils, and each garbage outpost had bins to separate compost, recyclables, garbage, and dishes)
    • a solar-powered stage, and trikes to transport stuff around instead of gas-powered golf carts
  • international food vendors – delicious goodies everywhere! (all serving food on reusable plates!)
  • almost entirely volunteer run
  • if you’re not a hippie, your inner hippie definitely comes out = everyone attending is super friendly, and most go bare-footed the entire weekend
  • local artisans selling their crafts (found an amazing brass albatross necklace!)
  • people are encouraged to take shuttle busses from DT Guelph to the festival instead of driving (or they can camp there too)

That being said, these were my fav performances. Seriously, blown away. Go listen to them (click names!)

  • Arkells (friggin’ wicked live)
  • Bahamas (essentially a sublime mix of Jack Johnson + John Mayer + 60’s backup vocals, perfectly harmonized)
  • Bombay Bicycle Club (chill, but rockin’. Yes, that’s possible.)
  • Adam Cohen (son of Leonard Cohen, an amazing singer-songwriter in his own right. What a sexy voice.)
  • Alanna Gurr (wasn’t going to see her, but my teammate is her drummer, so I thought I’d show up to support – did not regret that decision! Beautiful voice.)
  • Half Moon Run (their first time at Hillside, but man did they play a wicked set. Definitely won everyone over within their first song.)
  • The Jezebels (like a better indie version of Metric)  
  • Ohjibou (I don’t even know how to describe them. Just go listen.)
  • Young Empires (like a fresh version of the Arcade Fire and the Killers)
  • Zeus (rockin’)

My only regret is that I did not possess Hermione’s time-turner so that I could hit up every performance and workshop. I will most definitely find a way to come back next year!!

Our henna tats!


2 thoughts on “My first Hillside, and happy it was

  1. (1) bahamas covering purple rain was the slickest, sleaziest, most enticing thing I have ever seen;
    (2) check out dan griffin’s solo stuff. of the arkells.

    Posted by jonathan | July 31, 2012, 6:26 am
    • Dan Griffin played at this festival too! He was the very first act I saw. Solid stuff.
      At one point, Bahamas played guitar with a puppy puppet covering his left hand, fairly adeptly too. It was awesome.

      Posted by bygodsgrace | July 31, 2012, 8:51 am

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