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May 25, 2009 / merlisser


This weekend was the outdoor music festival, greasy food, carnival/farmer market style gifts filled extravaganza known as Riverfest. Of course, some people mock Riverfest and think they’re too cool for it. My response, whether or not you go to Riverfest, you still live in Arkansas and as a result, get an automatic -150 X e to the 200,000,000th power added to our cool points scale. Oh and trying to be cool when you’re over the age of 15 screams desperate and sad. So you might as well have some fun.

My main draw this year was my chance to see the B-52s for $12.50. That’s gold right there.

The B-52s have been a mainstay in my CDs and mp3 lists since college when they came out with Cosmic Thing when I was in high school. “Love Shack” was a staple for any party. Their songs are bright, happy tunes (or they at least have a happy beat) that are good for running.


IT’s hard taking a photo in the dark.

It was a great set. It had songs from the really old days like “Rock Lobster” to brand spanking new like “Fun Plex” and everything in between. (that means “LOVE SHACK”) I was in the pit and danced like only a thirty something obese white woman with no rhythm could. It was a damn good time. The interesting thing was the wide range of ages. You could tell that there were people who discovered the B-52s when Rock Lobster came out (late seventies) to the COsmic thing Groupies (90s) to the teenagers who were reintroduced with the release of “FUNPLEX”.

I ended up driving back home and drove back the next day with my brother to check out the festivities again. We went shopping at the farmer’s market in the space that is the farmer’s market at the River Market. Yes that is a lot of “market”s for one sentence. He ended up buying a sterling silver ring.

We walked around the entire thing once for a look see. Immediately, he noticed the crawdad cart.

Crawfish/alligator tent

Of course, this was 3 in the afternoon and he did wait until suppertime.

My happy Brother's hand

I have no Riverfest food stories. I think Riverfest bucks are a ripoff and had a good ole gyro from Layla’s.

We walked and talked about things. We usually don’t hang out that much. We’re older and everything. Our lives are in quite opposing paths and as a result, our paths probably wouldn’t cross if we weren’t family. It was a nice time.

We went to see Hinder while we waited for Heart. I discovered that I am not really a Hinder fan and got bored about thirty minutes into the set. Of course, we discovered that the Riverfest bathroom logic is “hey I might need to go pee thirty minutes from now, let me go stand in line” so that worked out A-OK. The upside of the bathroom waiting is that we ran into this man who lived across the street from us when we were ten or so.

Apparently, a lot of other people didn’t like Hinder either.

The exodus leaving Hinder

See this picture. This is the mass exodus of people leaving DURING the Hinder concert.

Hinder ended their set around 8 o’clock. Heart wasn’t set to play until 9:30. This was a LONG excruciating wait. No really. It felt like forever.

Finally Heart came on stage and gave a good show. By this point, I was tired and my feet hurt. My brother was tired and his feet hurt. We ended up admitting we were older than dirt and left early. Yeah we’re losers. Oh and it was raining, too.

Tidbit: Saw Ned Perme. Of course, me being a total dork says “HEY NED PERME” Because people like being called out by their entire name. He waved. har har har…. Celebrity starfucker moment #205.

I’m a total goofball.

I kept seeing people I knew and having little chit chat. It’s amazing for a place that was supposed to have some 200,000 in attendance over the course of three days how small that number really is. It also surprises me how many people remember me. In my mind, I don’t see myself as that memorable. (oh the irony of this blog’s existence) so when someone I haven’t seen in a while says “hello” I’m surprised, especially if it was an acquaintance from years ago.

These festivals are as much about community as anything. Going out as a town or a state really and doing the same thing. It’s one of those rituals. Go out for the weekend to listen to music and eat carnival style food and then get serious about remembering the troops and spending time with your family. So even if you were too cool for Riverfest (you probably weren’t, you just thought you were), I hope you had fun.

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