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Friday, January 21, 2022
Art of Rock and Roll Walnut Street Gallery: Your source for Rock and Roll Fine Art and Memorabilia
Rock and Roll ArtRothbury ~ There and Back AgainRock and Roll Art



Day 1:

Cast of Characters:

Bill and Laura - Shipping Dude and Queen Bee

Mike -Roadie Extraordinaire



The RV


 The Van



Our Home Away From Home

Today was day one of our adventure. Really the adventure started several days ago with the organizing and packing. But today we actually packed the RV and the van with food, art and lot's of beer and wine. We were supposed to leave at 8 AM - but as was expected we left 2 ½ hours late. My deal was that Bill and Mike were driving however the boys ended up in the RV and I drove the van. Thank god Mike installed his XM radio in the van - I spent the day listening to details about Michael Jackson's untimely and mysterious death. It did bring back memories of John's untimely passing 7 years ago and strangely almost to the day - as many of you know Bill and I were in Vegas with John and spent the evening with him. Just as with John - everyone said that MJ looked skinny but fine. We thought the same thing about John. But I digress.

Driving across the country is something I haven't done in awhile. I saw many different and totally bizarre things. The "Abandoned" missile silos on Highway 14 have modern satellite dishes attached to the fencing - WHY? I hear that NORAD has relocated to  Hwy. 14. Then there was the ranch with the decorated the fence posts with bleached cow skulls .... Hmmm ... I ask why again. Or the barn that had a roof that looked like covered wagon. The joys of Americana. (I must mention the bridge in Nebraska that had giant silver birds on each end ... hmm)

What a paradox - traveling through the back roads of America while listening to a modern technological wonder - XM Radio. If it had been 15 years ago I would have only had a cassette player or AM/FM radio. But we get to experience it all.


Day Two:

Really a boring day and I can not believe how tired I am from driving ten hours yesterday. Bill (shipping dude) did take over in Davenport and Mike continues to drive the big rig!

The thought that this is just a journey to the event is weird. This is a trip to a journey! There are three of us now tomorrow there will be five - we will be fine BUT it will be a situation of many people tripping over each other. Stay tuned for this continuing story.


A View From Our RV - Day 1 at Rothbury

Day Three:

Cast of Characters has increased - add Anne (our super art consultant) and her husband Brian. The group is now complete.

We have:

Bill and Laura - Veteran art gallery owners.

Mike Wyatt - Roadie extraordinaire

Anne and Brian - Festivelians

We made it - a few bumps along the way - they wrong credentials, no electricity for our booth and so on - but a few glasses of wine, good dinner (thanks Mike!) and we are on our way. The real work and fun begins tomorrow. The area is really beautiful - trees, cows, grassy fields and mud - they promise sunny skies starting tomorrow - thank god I bought rain boots at Jax. We do not have flush toilets and I have not found the showers - but I will go with the flow. It is really cold tonight. Bill and I didn't pack for cold and humid. We are parked right behind the main stage area in guest camping. So we are "Lucky" most are camping on the property but a few miles from the action. We can see the Sherwood Forrest from our RV - can't wait to check it out. I am really stepping out of my comfort zone - but so far so good! More tomorrow - enjoy the pics!



Our Neighbors in the Guest Camping and




the Main Stage on Day 1


Day Four:

Today we spent the day setting up the tent ....normal business stuff ...we are really roughing it though ... there are no showers and we are really learning to conserve the RV water. The festival grounds are incredible - there is a section called the Sherwood Forest that really comes alive at night - check out the pictures - words can not describe this event. Plus check out the String Cheese sound check right in front of our booth.


This series of photos shows String Cheese's sound check - first there were only Anne and Brian watching  and then ...

Just Anne and Brian ...



The people start coming ...



Then there are hundreds ...



The news of the open sound check spread like fire throughout the festival!


Day Five:

The music on the main stage started today (Friday) everything from Marley and NAS to String Cheese - so you can imagine the diversity of the crowd and as it got later into the night the varying states of dress and consciousness the people were in. Cheese was great and they added a percussionist since I saw them last - really rounded out the sound - and I was amazed they started to play a Michael Jackson tune.


Our booth was located right next to the main stage - we had a primo spot!







Was definitely not the art buying crowd once the sun went down. It is only about the music. Festivals are so different than the crowds at the Dead at Red Rocks in 2003 and 2004. There is a sub-culture of festival people with their hula hoops and costumes. I was pretty proficient with the hula hoop as a kid - but these people have elevated it to a dance form. The seamier side of this experience is the overuse of lot's of strange drugs that make the festival goers lose their sense of boundaries or "Filters" - this would be a great place to gather data for your thesis if you were studying sociology!

Tomorrow will be the special VIP party with BK. And we are getting a shower today! The simple pleasures are great....

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The night sky at Rothbury was incredible and there were about 35,000 people in front of our booth!

Day Six:

The afternoon of July 4th we hosted a private reception for all the VIP guests and Bill Kreutzmann in the VIP area by the main stage. The VIP coordinator and everyone involved were so accommodating - the party went off perfectly. We picked up Bill at his tour bus (much larger than my RV) behind the stage and took him to the party .... As always he asked if anyone was there. Sometimes I think he still gets nervous before these events. There were about 50 people waiting to meet Bill - some collectors and the VIP's. The VIP's were people who paid quite a bit to have deluxe accommodations - air-conditioned showers, flush toilets and tents with beds! Everyone loved meeting Bill and sharing their stories with him about the years of going to the Dead Shows.  And their response to Bill's art was amazing. Needless to say we sold quite a bit of art and got Bill back to his bus before the Dead went on stage. What I love to watch are the people who meet Bill for the first time and how captivated they are with Bill. He really relates to each person and takes time to speak to everyone.


Some of the VIP's attending Bill's Reception



The VIP Tent by the main stage - WOW.

One of the cool things about Bill coming to the event is that he inspires the collectors and they purchase. Bill Eveleligh, Anne and I can talk all day long about the art, the process and the inspiration BUT when Bill explains it people relate and they collect. So the 4th was a good day for everyone!


Laura and Billy After the VIP Event

(In Our Festival Attire)


The Crowd Outside our Booth:




Day or Night there were thousands of people!



After the VIP party the crowds started to gather for the Dead. Once again we saw some pretty out of control people and I felt like I was spending more time searching for medics instead of selling art. The concert was spot on. Even though they had not played together over the last 5 weeks the show was flawless. And the light show was something Bill Graham did not experience in all the years he was hosting the concerts at the Fillmore and including the groundbreaking "Liquid Light Shows".

The Dead played "Fire on the Mountain"

Day 7:

Ok - the build up was for the Dead Show and the BK VIP show ... but we still have one more day - Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan. I have never seen Willie Nelson - but like his music - Dylan - who doesn't love him BUT he is very inconsistent - but let's talk about the after party on the 4th.


  Sherwood Forest







When we are on the road  it is not all about the party - It takes us about an hour to set up each day and an hour to tear down - SO - when you guys go off to your tents or the Sherwood Forrest we are breaking down ... I am not complaining - we experienced the Forrest that night and WOW! I thought that if I was doing a hallucinogen it would have been unbelievable - it was still totally cool for someone "Straight". And I was tired and "Straight" - but I was impressed. Each nook and cranny had some creative art installation and theme. And there were thousands of people wandering thru the forest experiencing the same thing I was. At one point we were asked if we could step aside for a wedding!

The night goes on and on - just trust me - it was beyond belief.

Day 8:

Yesterday (Sunday) was our last day. Dylan, Willie Nelson - all the music - was great and there was a definite shift in the crowd's behavior and attitude. Those that were here were either exhausted or real music lovers (not just here for the festival experience) I know we were really tired and we had to look forward to Monday morning breaking down and beginning our journey back to Colorado.



Some of the Characters we met along the way ....


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Some were normal and some were ...



Some were old friends and some were new ...

When we arrived on Wednesday the main stage area was a field of green grass and this magnificent stage being erected. To look at the main stage area today is incredible. Today the field is dirt and trash bags are piled high. After about 3 hours we have our art packed and the van and RV ready to move. We have tried to maintain the standard of total recycling throughout our stay. We are leaving very little behind. And what we have left is either headed for the compost pile or recycled. It is eerie to look at the empty stages and fields where 35,000 people were hanging 12 hours before. Even the Sherwood Forest looks tired and vacant.


Everyone was gone and Rothbury Year 2 was over ...



The grass was gone and the trash was piled high ...



Well we are packed and ready to leave - we have 24 hours of driving ahead of us. We are really happy we came to the festival, we loved the people we met, the music we heard and the sites we saw were magical. Will you see us next year? I think so......