You know, the one you live day in and day out.
Go to bed, get up. Drink things and eat things. Pay for things, go to the gym, assess your waistline.
Give love, receive love and think about making sandwiches.
Sometimes life throws you curve balls like when you open your fridge and realize that you’re out of pickles, and your vision of your future sandwich cannot come to life and causes GREAT anxiety to the point that you leave your house in mismatched flip flops and your fat pants only to find that the store is out of the extra garlic dill pickles so you settle for the reduced sodium ones. While you may get heckled by the homeless man that lives in front of your house for your footwear selection at least you get to eat your sandwich. A very honourable life decision indeed.
Being an adult is awesome. You don’t have to ask to go to the bathroom or if you can buy that chocolate bar. You just do it. Your like the boss…party of one, making those big boy or big girl decisions on the reg. But, the flip side of being an adult is facing the realities of life, and while I like to think that many of the people I spend my time with do a pretty good job at ‘adulting,’ no one is immune to the trials and tribulations of that thing called life.
Nick Alvarado once said to Kora and I that growing up is for suckers, and wasn’t he right. “I feel like a big kid, trapped in a Muppets body.”
The half human, half Muppet named Nick (aka Pumpkin) exemplified what it meant to grab life by the acorns and stop worrying about every little stress and adult nuance that was thrown your way. He created music that would flip the worst of days on its head and revelled in the celebration of this thing called ‘living.’
Now, where I’m going with this, is that the team that puts on Boogaloo Mountain Jam (of which Nick was very much apart of) curates an experience that has the same mantra as Nick Alvarado. Build a three-day festival that has one foot in that nostalgic childlike state and another in progressive music and art – celebrating that thing called life. Boogaloo goes beyond your average festival. Hell, in a sense it transcends a festival entirely. It’s a family affair, and don’t you forget it. It is also increasingly a destination event for many of us Canadians, willing to take the financial plunge to experience a weekend that will no doubt change our world for the better. Like I said last year, this festival is magic and is one event you need to experience for yourself.
[Side note here from Betty] The B&K Team travels near and far to bring you honest recounts of the festival community, culture and experiences. We’ve heard time and again that our articles and reviews have motivated many people to check out a festival the following year, and I do urge you try on Boogaloo for size. Taking out the guesswork for you as best we can, we would like to share Betty Anne Kora’s Official Do’s and Don’ts of Boogaloo Mountain Jam, as recounted by second year veterans.
DON’T stress about how you get to the festival site if you are traveling from abroad. This is without a doubt one of the most easily accessible festival locations there ever was. Located in Silverado California, an hour from LAX, Boogaloo has an endless supply of rides and friendly Californian folk happy to pick you up from the airport (even if its someone you previously didn’t know before). If you decide to hire a car, the mileage between the site and the airport is low, so you won’t be stuck with a big bill after you blow all of your spare cash on sparkles and vodka.
DO come prepared for all weather types. Being in April, and the weather still variable in California, you could be faced with rain, heat and chilly nights. Even us Canadians were chilly (I know…suck it up right?), so pack accordingly.
DON’T expect to wait in major ingress lines. The flow of traffic checking into the site is seamless, with wait times ranging from 5-15 minutes. They’ve got a good system going, so make sure to high five the parking attendants.
DO pack enough meals and snacks for yourself and to share with friends. While the closest store is a 10-minute drive away, who ever enjoys leaving a festival? While Boogaloo did have a selection of food vendors and a meal plan program, it can be challenging getting yourself fed and watered when you are on a music timeline. Unless vendors are open 24/7 for food, I recommend stocking up on supplies. Emergency granola bars for the win!
DON’T go on a spiritual quest into the outlying hills by yourself, or even at all. Being from Canada, we look out for large predators in our wilderness, like polar bears and rabid huskies. Rattle Snakes aren’t really on our fear roster, and several were spotted in the surrounding area. So stay clear and don’t be ‘that guy’ who that has to sacrifice his leg to the party gods.
DO take a walk and check out all of the amazing vendors on site. The offerings are incredible, with many one-of-a-kind accessories and apparel. Stunning jewellery, leatherwork, costumes and fur coats are just some of the items we purchased and as far as authentic goes, these vendors are next level.
DON’T forget to bring boxed wine. Even if you’re reading this like ‘I fucking hate boxed wine because it’s low quality and sometimes contains sulfates,’ do yourself a favour and fuck off. Boxed wine is for winners and party degenerates like myself and if boxed wine was a man I would marry it. It comes in two delicious flavours: red and white and if you mix them it turns into a delightful rose.
DO get slightly sideways, grab a friend and go on a ‘trip’ looking at all of the wonderful artwork that speckles the festival. There are many notable artists from California that showcase their masterpieces and are intended for you to get lost in. My friend Anne was convinced that one of the paintings was growing citrus fruit out of it, but I have a hard time believing it because citrus isn’t a fruit. It’s a classification of fruit. If it were I’m sure it would be delicious. It might also shut down the lemonade stand industry entirely, which I might have mixed feelings about.
DO check out all of the stages, which are art cars. Each individual stage is incredible and truly unique with an inspiring story behind it. They are a slice of history and are deeply rooted in the musical community. Make sure you shake your thing on Charlie The Unicorn Art Car…it’s an experience that you simply cannot forget…like when Duncan performed a strip tease on one of the stripper poles.
DON’T miss out on the live performances late night at the Hip Hop Stage. This comedy troop made us laugh so hard we could barely see straight. Half improv and half rehearsed, this show had us so immersed in the ridiculous nature of it that I lost track of space and time.
DO create a music schedule for yourself so you don’t miss out on all of the incredible artists throughout the weekend. It’s one of those festivals that can easily distract you with all of it’s ‘awesome’ which can sometimes lead you to miss out on your favourite musical ninjas.
DO bring a hand-held bubble maker. You will not be disappointed and you will also be amazed at how many other people find it equally as entertaining to play with bubbles.
DO bring a refillable water bottle. There are tons of water stations around the site, so you can stay semi-hydrated.
DO make a ton of room in your address book on your phone. You will honestly leave with more friends than you know what to do with. If you don’t want more friends in your life, don’t come to Boogaloo!
DON’T expect to make phone calls or post to Instagram. There is no cell service on site, which can be frustrating for some, but make the experience all that more immersive. Leave your phone obligations at the door and use it to take photos and videos…not comment on your favourite fake Facebook account.
DO take an hour to explore the ball pit. This thing is far too outrageously fun for your own good.
DON’T throw all of the balls out of the ball pit.
DO remember: what happens in ball-pit stays in ball-pit.
DO THANK THE ENTIRE BOOGALOO CREW FOR WORKING SO HARD ON THROWING SUCH AN INCREDIBLE EVENT! HIGH-FIVE THEM, GIVE THEM HUGS AND LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR!!!!
Words by: Betty | Photos by: Kora