Posted by 10gauge on Sunday, February 1, 2009
This is my first festival that I've gone to since I started playing the banjo and wasn't sure exactly what to expect. I had a great time and here is the full report.
Location: Goldfield Ghost Town Apache Junction, AZ
Time and Date: Jan. 30-Feb. 1 Sat., Sun. 10AM-5PM. No bands playing Friday night, but I imagine they were jamming at the camping area of the venue that night. I read camping was $15 at night.
The Good: The venue was really cool. Having the old west flavor really added to the festival and the gun fights are really fun since I enjoy shooting sports and like single action firearms.
Tangled Strings was awesome, every song they sang was gospel and it was really up beat and fun. The banjo player in that group is great. After they played I was talking to Rick and my son gave him the best compliment he could offer, "your music put me to sleep". I sing my son songs at bedtime every night so in Jack's mind the best music puts you to sleep. Rick got a real kick out the compliment.
The Bost Family Tradition was wonderful. I thought it was great that Pamela the Mom of the family band had her baby on in a cozy on her back while she played the bass. All of them were great musicians and Faith has a gorgeous voice. Jeff wasn't afraid of his witness, which I thought was cool and I watched the whole set even though my kids were ready to go home after a long day.
I finally got to see Shasta Daylight which Howard Anderson plays banjo in. I've been over to Howard's house a couple times for the jam he and "Sunny Susan" holds. Shasta Daylight did very well. I enjoyed their stirring rendition of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" when they were on the North stage.
The Bad: Someone had suggested "The Mining Camp" for lunch, but they don't open until 4pm Mon.-Sat. So we ended up at Burger King.
The barricades for the gun fights were stored behind the chairs people were sitting in near the south stage, because I wanted to stay mobile, I chose to stand but I ended up having to stand behind the barricades and though you could hear and see fine, psychologically it made me feel like I was watching the "game" from outside the stadium.
The Ugly: I really wanted to see some of the attractions at Goldfield, but they were way too expensive for me. I wouldn't put it past me for just being a cheapskate. I sure felt like one, but 9 dollars to get us in to see what looked to be one room with rattlesnakes seemed like a lot to me. Also, I'd have loved to do the mine tour since mining in the old west is an interest of mine, but at 19 dollars for me and the kids, I just couldn't justify it. I probably would have bit if the snakes had been 5 bucks for me and the kids. I'm sure I would've dug the mine tour for 10 bucks or thereabouts.
Recommendation: Being that this was my first festival since I started and I’m an enthusiastic newbie, I probably enjoyed this event more than I would if I’d been to many. That said, I would definitely recommend this event to anyone who was interested.
Sunday, February 1, 2009 @8:54:39 PM
If you haven't looked up the Arizona Bluegrass Association yet here is their URL for the 'local' festivals in Arizona. You may have picked up lot of flyers at the Goldfield Festival.
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