I recently saw a friend I hadn't seen in a while, and the first thing he said to me was, "You sold out. You're playing HullabaLOU." He's not the first person to suggest that. Now, I am not one to hold back my temper -- this red hair is natural, after all, -- so I probably lashed back at him a bit more than was called for (and I'm sorry for that). But still, I get so tired of people in this town acting like haters when something big happens here. You don't have to like the bands on the bill, and you definitely don't have to go, but you also don't have to be mean about it.
This festival is a big deal, whether you care for any of the bands or not. It's cool that it's happening in Louisville, and it'll be good for the city. I admit straight up that outdoor summer music festivals in the heat of the summer are not my favorite thing ever. The thought of camping at Bonnaroo turns me off more than you can imagine, despite all the great music.
I think it's wonderful what JK has done with Forecastle, growing it from a gathering in Tyler Park to the indie-rock mecca it seems to have become. It's also great, and it's great for Louisville. So HullabaLOU has a gazillion more dollars of operating budget than Forecastle had its first year. And a totally different target demographic. So what? The idea that the two festivals are anathema to each other is just silly. Maybe I'm just a little hippie who wants everyone to get along, but I don't see why we need to create hate when it's unnecessary.
Quit hatin', folks. I think it's fantabulous that the producers of HullabaLOU have offers spots on the stage to so many Louisville-bred artists, whether they are huge or still growing. In fact, I'd probably have fired off an angry missive if they held a big festival in Kentucky and didn't include any homegrowns. Also, I'm very aware that Kenny Chesney is selling out the show on Saturday, not me, but, as Michael Young so astutely said on-air last Sunday, (paraphrased) a lot of locals will get the opportunity to sing in front of thousands of music-lovers who have never seen them -- or heard of them -- before. I think it's a good thing for this town, whether you're going or not. Judging by the amount of Couchsurfing requests I've gotten for this weekend from so many out-of-towners who are coming in for the festival, it looks like it's going to be a great thing for the local economy, not just for Churchill Downs.
And just for the record, I wrote a blog similar to this one long before the producers approached me about playing it, so you can't say I only feel this way because I'm on the bill.
Now ... back to puppies and rainbows and unicorns ... it's a glorious day outside ... and I think I might go buy something nice for myself for birthday week!!