Arriving at Folly Fest, I saw an empty field in front of the Fairgrounds site, next to the historic Courthouse in beautiful Gagetown, New Brunswick. I knew it would be tents everywhere but I didn’t expect something: in randomness comes friendship and in friendship comes community.
When I talked to Lee about advice for where to set up (one thing I wanted was the possibility of sleep), it was suggested to me two things: high ground and away from the barn. The barn was the location of the late night Silent Disco. Good advice.
I headed out tent in hand. A few people were setting up. I avoided the side of the field closest to the Main Gate and went to the middle of the field and found a circle of tents with a little corner free. I asked if I could set up. The guy said sure. Next thing I know Josh is helping me set up my tent. Great guy!!
I went to do my first volunteer shift. I was put in the parking area, directing people to park in a farmer’s field. What a nightmare. Friday it rained cats and dogs and maybe a few barn animals too. Got soaked, but enjoyed myself, even as I was getting chilly. Parked one couple and they asked if I had a rain jacket. I thought for a second about my clothing situation and said no. Next thing I’m handed a yellow rubberized rain jacket, and told to use it for the weekend. Thanks Ashton and
When my shift was done two downpours later, I made my way back to my car. I was ready to put a dry shirt on and another downpour. I went Randy-style, shirtless for the next couple hours, until I got too cold.
While I was out in the flooding field that become a parking lot, tent were popping up all over the place. It was very haphazard, not being a traditional campground, with everything in order. This was a real tent city.
For my second volunteering shift, I worked the main gate. I was Smiley Doug, checking bracelets and directing those without to the ticket ladies. When I was done the shift and headed back to the tent, tent city had become a tarp community. Tarps were used to build tent-like structure around circles of tents. The most interesting is that these little community grew out of the randomness but fun and welcoming. I was invited to sit with multiple tarped communities.
On the second morning, I had coffee with Sarah. She brewed it in the cup, creating a sludge in the bottom. One of the best cups of coffee ever. Sarah’s mother-in-law lives in Indonesia and she grew the coffee, roasted the coffee. It’s terrific when love goes in the process of food preparation, compared to the store bought pre-processed stuff we can get.
Back to my neighbour, Josh. Their circle had created a tarp covering as well. It was perfect, giving everyone place to be social, without being wet in the rain, standing inside the Fairgrounds or hanging out unsocial in their tents. And the randomness of me choosing a site next to Josh is that our circles of friends overlapped. I had no idea when I chose the spot.
Folly Fest is about sharing and a lesson for me in building community. Happy Folly!!!