Hinterland Music Festival Video and Life Updates

So…it’s been a while, eh?

This summer has been crazy-busy with a bunch of awesome stuff. Sam and I are diligently squeezing in a lot of adventures into our free time and weekends. We’ve traveled up north to Traverse City, down to the Smoky Mountains, around the Chicago area, and I was lucky enough to take a whirlwind work trip to Charleston, SC a few weeks back. Our big trip is slated to start on Wednesday, when we head off to Denver for a Southwest road trip through Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah: plus Total Solar Eclipse views in the path of totality! 

I landed a new job at Inventables! It takes up more of my time, but I love the challenges and work I do now. I’m in a position to focus on my career, and I’m making the most of the opportunity. Plus, I’m mentally preparing myself to go back to school in a month (?!). Needless to say, I’m been so busy living my life that I’ve not had a chance to share it. That’s ok with me. 

Still, I wanted to share something on my blog so I don’t feel like I’m completely neglecting this space. Two weekends ago, Sam and I attended the Hinterland Music Festival just outside Des Moines, IA. Sam’s been to Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, but this was my first music festival. It was absolutely awesome. Rather than a full write-up, I made a short video from our long weekend at Hinterland (set to The Head and The Heart’s “Rivers and Roads”).

Hinterland was, in a word, awesome. It’s incredibly intimate, so it’s possible to see some of your favorite folk, rock, bluegrass, and alt-country bands up close and personal. I still can’t believe Sam and I were in the front row for The Head and the Heart and alt-j. Both bands were playing at Lollapalooza, too, but there’s no way we could have experienced their music there like we did at Hinterland.

The food selection was great, the vendors had cool stuff, and there were plenty of port-a-potties around. It was a manageable size for a festival: we never felt over-crowded at the stage, our campsite (bronze), or parking lot. Coming from Chicago, it was nice to have some elbow room when hanging out on the amphitheater lawn or waiting at a food truck for dinner.

One of my favorite things about the festival was that they didn’t sell any bottled water: bring your own and fill it up and one of the plentiful water stations! I wish every event in the world took this approach.

Other highlights included:

  • Waiting at the stage for front row “seats” for two of our favorite bands: The Head and the Heart and alt-j.
  • Camping in a field and falling asleep to the sounds of cicadas and crickets and other nocturnal creatures we can’t hear in Chicago.
  • Finally finishing a book. Is that weird to say? I know not a lot of people go to music festivals to read, but I enjoyed the downtime away from my computer and phone to just relax.
  • Lounging on the hill for Ryan Adams‘ set on Saturday night. Sam and I both fell asleep. That’s not a slam to Ryan Adams at all (I think it may even be a compliment). This is also a weird thing to consider a “highlight,” but I think it says a lot about how comfortables Sam and I felt at Hinterland. Living in Chicago, I always have my guard up. It was nice to feel safe enough to fall asleep in public with thousands of people around.
  • I can’t say enough good things about the lighting and effects at alt-j’s performance. Seriously MINDBLOWING.
  • Hearing lots of stellar bands, even if I didn’t know them very well when the weekend began. Seeing Shakey Graves and Gary Clark Jr. live solidified my fandom.
  • Spending time on the road with my hubs, including a pit stop at the World’s Largest Truck Stop (because why not?)

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and great introduction to the world of music festivals. Thanks for the good times, Hinterland!

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