This year's Tucson Folk Festival experience was very different from the last one. Nothing about the festival changed. Just my approach to it.
Last year I cleared the entire weekend and saw as many of my favorite musicians as I could. Fun, but exhausting. This year I decided to relax a little.
The one must-see was Robyn Landis, because she's not from Tucson. If I didn't catch her, it might be another year before I got to hear her live again. So, an hour before her performance, I parked about a mile away from the festival (no point fighting people for parking spaces on such a nice day) and ambled in the direction of the festival (taking in an antique car show along the way).
Once on the grounds, I saw a couple of people I knew. ("Are you playing?" "Nah, not this time.") I met Ron the Drummer at Old Town Artisans maybe ten minutes before Robyn went on, and we listened to her together. Then I meandered around to where other people were playing.
I didn't carry a program. I didn't get the names of the groups I heard. I went into one of the vendor tents to say hi to the guy who peddles funky batik clothes and has sold me many shirts over the years. I walked up to a booth where people were handing out flyers for the legalization of marijuana. I signed up for their mailing list. At one point I bought some frybread and ate it while I listened.
Eventually I meandered back to the car, stopping at a couple of bookstores along the way.
I missed a few people I would have liked to see. My hope is that I'll be able to get to their shows individually. In the meantime, I'm glad I took it easy. Sometimes it's nice to just let the experience wash over you.