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Monday, July 31, 2006

Hillside or Bust


This past weekend was our annual trip to Guelph Lake's Hillside Music Festival. We don't miss a year these days, so i guess this is a real tradition for us. And, since we just had a celebration (i promise to stop talking about it!), we got a Bed and Breakfast and had an amazing weekend!

Hillside is a 3-day festival in a conservation park and is unique for several reasons; sure it's a music festival with roots in folk and bluegrass, but it more diverse these days with indie rock performers, hip hop, international music from India, Iran, Bulgaria, Australia, Wales (this year alone), great workshops between different artists, there is a strong community focus with workshops (anything from how to make milk, couple's yoga, belly dancing, and even how to make your own glass beads. Did i mention it's an OUTDOOR festival on the park? There is no better experience than to listen to your favourite artist (Sarah Harmer) while under the stars and seeing a lightning storm in the distance.

(at the women's tent: different languages word for 'woman')

But, one of the biggest highlights is the food: all the vendors are local small businesses (no Pizza Pizza here!) and about half are soley vegetarian or even vegan. That means i can eat quality and healthy food all weekend! Also, just to add to all this wonderfulness, Hillside people are also really conscious of the environment - the main stage (of 4!!!) is a permanent stage with grass growing on the roof, we all use reusable plates and cups for our meals that Hillside volunteers clean, and i can relive my university hippy days like everyone else there!

Oh, and since it was about 35 degrees each day, a dip in the lake was of most importance! Unfortunately, as is the norm these days, my digital camera's battery died so i only got a few pictures. Go to the Hillside site for more!

Now, let me share with you some of the highlights - both the artists we saw and my meals for the weekend:

(Amy Milan and Jason Collett at their workshop)

The Music
Friday
Great Lake Swimmers
Workshop with 3 artists from India and 2 bluegrass artists
Kathleen Edwards
The Stills

Saturday
"This Country is going to the Dogs" Workshop with Jason Collett, Amy Milan and friends
J went to a workshop with The Sadies and Constantines while i went to a healing arts workshop on detox, hosted by Jae of Domestic Affair - what good luck, we finally meet!
The Hootenanny Revue - Ken Whiteley, Jenny Whiteley, Oh Susanna and others
"Set your Controls for the Heart of the Sun" Workshop with Final Fantasy, The Blow and Torngat
Jason Collett
Hidden Cameras workshop
Amy Milan!!!!
Cuff the Duke
"Love is a 4-letter Word" Workshop with Jason Collett, Liz Powell and others
Final Fantasy
Matt Mays
Sarah Harmer!!!!

Sunday
Gospel Hour 1/2 - an annual highlight - with Ken and Jenny Whiteley, Sarah Harmer, Mia Dyson, Oh Susanna, and friends
The Hylozoists - cool instrumental group
No Borders workshop - Hem (bluegrass folk) and Niyaz (Iranian and Indian music)
Jill Barber
Republic of Safety
"Faith, Trust and Hope" workshop with Sarah Harmer, Feist, Oh Susanna, and friends
Torngat
Peoples Republic - a good taste of political hip hop
The Hidden Cameras
Cadence Weapon - definitely showing me that hip hop can be fantastic!
Feist!!!

** for more info on the artists, go to this Hillside link

The Food
Feng's Dumplings - with mushrooms and tofu
Anansi's Veggie Roti
Vegan Dark Side Brownies from Cafe Aquairus
Millbank Foods Amora Bar - Lotus Burger - yum yum
Meals that Heal Watermelon Gazpacho
J had a Crispy Fried Tofu Wrap from a Guelph vegan institution - Cafe Aquarius
Meals that Heal Tofu Kebabs with pineapple and rice
Diana's pakoras as a snack
Wild Organic Way - Almond Cheeze Burger wrapped in Collard leaf (raw food cafe)
Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate ice cream bar from Aroma Cafe
Diana's veggy curry with naan
and yea - they had soy milk at the coffee bars so i had a great soy vanilla cappuccino!

I'm glad i don't work Mondays because i'm exhausted and need a day to recup from my busy weekend!

8 Comments:

Blogger mishka said...

The weekend sounds so wonderful! And makes me sad that I didn't make apoint of getting tickets. Perhaps next year. So glad you had such a great time!

1:12 PM  
Blogger krissy said...

ok, that post made me sooooo jealous! sarah harmer, amy milan, free workshops AND crispy fried tofu from cafe aquarious?! gah, you're killing me here, girl! glad you had a super time!

now i miss guelph....

1:41 PM  
Blogger Harmonia said...

Sounds like a a fab line-up. :) And FUN! Great pics!

Looks like I need to catch up...sorry about that!

LOVE the "woman" craft in the different languages!!!

2:04 PM  
Blogger jae said...

i`m glad you blogged about hillside, because i certainly didn`t have the energy to do so.
i`m also glad we got a chance to meet at my workshop - i really enjoyed putting it on!
the musical highlight of the weekend for me was holy fuck. less-than-ideal band name, but amazing show (and candence weapon did a song or two with them). it was something particular about the hillside crowd that helped to make it so amazing - the band`s energy with the uniqueness of an appreciative hillside audience was just like - bam! - stunning. final fantasy had some of that going on too, but i`ve seen owen play a number of times now, so it wasn`t *as* powerful.
now, what did you think of amy millan`s set? i wasn`t really feelin` it. her album`s amazing, but the show didn`t grab me.

5:34 PM  
Blogger vania said...

Jae, yeah i LOVE Amy Milan, but it wasn't the best show for her. I have a bias because i love her so much, but the energy of the crowd didn't match her music. I thought she should have gone before Jason Collett, and then they could have just did 2 hours together (they share the same band after all) and that would have flowed better with The Hidden Cameras - i think the crowd expected a high energy set like HC - boy were they shocked!

12:10 AM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

That sounds amazing! I was so jealous reading about the food and the music and workshops. Sounds so perfect!!

7:27 AM  
Blogger jen said...

sounds like fun!!

10:27 AM  
Blogger chanadaal said...

I agree - it was a terrific weekend! I've got my fingers crossed that we can get tickets for next year ... they sell out so fast these days!

10:40 AM  

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