June 20st -23th 2002
at the 4th annual Summer Solstice Festival
While 70,000 people gathered at Bonnaroo to see the same bands they can see at any overpriced, commercialized mega show, 200 people gathered near Oil City Pennsylvania to see bands and things they had never seen before as the SShh Solstice Festival invaded Tune Town once again. For the 4th straight year musical excellence took over the awesome stage at Tune Town.
6/20/02 As usual I arrived at Tune Town a day early to host the pre-show party. People started arriving around 6pm. By 9:00 we had one band, one vender, eight advance sale ticket holders and two dozen volunteers. We all gathered near the vending area, got acquainted and had a very nice party lasting until about 4:30 am.
6/21/02 We began the morning at 11am with a volunteer orientation. Rules were covered assignments given, schedules posted. People began to trickle in...
At 6pm I kicked off the show with the story of my friend Tom and Rainbow Farms. I openly wept as I told the assembled about how the FBI snipers fired five shots into my friends head while "trying to arrest him". I spoke about the bill currently floating around Congress which would outlaw gatherings of this sort by bankrupting and jailing festival promoters. Over the years, when I have been speaking and protesting around the country an often asked question is "Why I don't sing or perform during my spots?" It's because I am a storyteller, but to lighted up on a very serious opening note, I had decided to sing this year. First I did House of the rising sun, (minus one verse) then followed up with my version of mercedes benz called "Give me a SUV" To great surprise applause followed my set and the festivities began...
*Home Sweet Home * * Mike and Jasmine take a break
At 7pm Dakini took over the stage and attempted to steal the show from the onset. People were asking "if this is the opening band, what is going to follow?" The answer came at 9pm when surprise guest RaisinHill from Connecticut took the stage 19 hours earlier than planned.
The three piece RaisinHill played their version of instrumental jazz for the entire two hours allotted. Once again everyone was asking how can it get any better? Between sets I turned over the stage to CJ Bunn from Masscann Norml and the Boston freedom Rally, he helped to enlighten the gathered in the battle of the government against the citizens called the war on drugs. At 11:30pm Waxy Monx, frequent flyers at SShh Festivals from Columbus Ohio took over the stage for three hour non- stop Jam. At 3am we shut down the stage for the evening and most of the attending napped to recharge for the next day of partying.
Saturday 6/22/02 We started the day with the temperature at 70 and rising. It was clear from the beginning that it was going to be a hot day, temperature wise and musically as well. The attending discovered a nearby swimming hole early in the day, hippie skinny dippers found a great spot to cool off. About 11:30 am Surprise guest Wild Goose Chase from Harrisburg Pa. took over the stage for an hour and half of covers and original rock and roll. At 12:30 pm Surprise Guest Nathyn Knott took the stage with an hour of folk favorites and originals. At 2 pm Michelle Vargo from NY City (another frequent flyer of SShh ) gave us an hour of her own personalized Folk Rock. At 4:00 pm Raisinhill returned to the stage for another 1 1/2 hour set and upstaged their own performance from the night before. At 6pm JiMiller band from Cleveland Ohio took the stage for a two hour set of Grateful dead and other classic rock covers. Throughout the night between sets Captain Joint (C.J. Bunn) and I continued the activist agenda and gave away free stuff from stage. At 8:30 pm Caveman from New Jersey made Tune Town their own. They started out by running through the campground to start a caveman conga line! The set was more than amazing, indescribable in fact, this band is taking percussion to a new level!!! If you want to know how far these guys will go, go see this band!!! My pick for the show stealers of the weekend.
At Midnight the Electric Jellyfish from Newtown Pennsylvania gave us a 2 1/2 hour set of improvised psychedelic rock.
In one of their last performances before disbanding
At 2:30 I again performed my two song set, the evening ended with a crowd marching up the field singing "oh lord won't you buy me a big bag of pot..."
Sunday, Seemed like most everybody decided to hang around for an extra day of partying. The sound men left the sound system up and played CD's most of the day. Conversations about the music we had heard over the weekend dominated the conversations. Who was best? Dakini, RaisinHill, Electric Jellyfish, Caveman, Waxy Monx? A consensus could not be reached. We cleaned up the park and by nightfall were down to a few camps of people who just could not stop partying.