Outrunning Rain at the Greenfield Festival

One of the scariest things about going so far away to an outdoor festival is the possibility of rain. We could have camped right there on the festival grounds, it was included in the price of our tickets but we opted out. Just in case. It was difficult to pass, the scenery and all.

Good thing we did pass on it. Here’s the view from our balcony the day before the festival began (yep, those are the alps).

Here is what we woke up to on the first day of the festival.

Uh huh. Rain. I told everyone to wake up quick, that we had to get rubber boots. I’d seen some in town the day before while we were walking around and made a mental note of where to get them. A couple of years earlier there was a magazine photo of Kate Moss leaving a rock festival and she was wearing ugly (and muddy) rubber boots. Thanks, Miss Moss (oh, and your Top Shop in London rocks).

We bought the last of the boots and although it did stop raining by the time we got there, the festival grounds were sloppy and muddy near the stage areas. Here’s Spanky and Sweetpea styling in their fancy new boots.

It didn’t rain again until the minute the very last band finished playing that night. We couldn’t believe our luck.

That’s Marilyn Manson, Friday night’s headliner. He put on a spectacular show, even though I don’t care for too much of his music. Some people I spoke with there who had seen him before said it was not a great show, that he usually has a lot more energy.

It is difficult to capture the beauty of this place in a photo. It is an old airfield that the military uses. Three sixty degrees of stunning scenery. (I’m pretty sure they mine chocolate in those alps, they have way too much of that stuff.) Here’s the main stage.

And here is opposite the main stage where people buy lots of beer and sausages.

Sometimes a little too much beer.

But no bottling. Not much crowd surfing, and not much moshing either. We got squeezed pretty tight while listening to Juliette and the Licks. That is Juliette Lewis’ band. Odd huh? Yes, the actress. She’s a good performer, she’s amazing to watch on stage. Listening to her is a different thing. She can’t sing. And she is a bit crappy to her bandmates, giving them a thumbs down when she thinks they aren’t playing so well.

Between every song she stopped to bitch at someone in her band or behind the curtain working her sound equipment. I imagined her telling them, “Make me sing better!”

No such problem with Jared Leto’s voice of 30 Seconds to Mars. I’ve seen him perform three times now and the dude always keeps in tune. He’s a very considerate performer, taking special attention to those near the sides of the stage, playing for them too. He goes out into the audience, the crazy thing. This time he climbed a tent pole about three stories high and sang from there for a while. After the show they did an autograph signing, and Sweetpea, a devoted Jared Leto fan just had to go see him.

So we are waiting behind the barricade in line and Leto sees my camera, looks right at me in the crowd and smiles.

Yes he is looking at me, look closer.

Once I got past the barriers and security, they made me put my camera away. Sweetpea really wanted me to get a photo of her talking to him. I guess it just takes too much time for them to take photos with fans. They run people in and out of signings really fast. But this band talked to us for longer than usual. We were the last ones, maybe that’s why. It made Sweetpea’s day. No week. No. It made the entire trip for her.

That is why I took them to this festival. For years they have travelled with me and it has been really boring at times for them. Little kids do not enjoy travel as much as adults do. Why not do something fun for them? It used to be Disneyland Paris and children’s museums. Now that they are teens it is rock concerts, a great way to meet people from different cultures, not so much as tourists, but visitors. To see them enjoying music as we do, but just a little differently.

We all agreed at the end of the three days that Smashing Pumpkins put on the best show. They were the very last band to play on the closing night.

Check out Billy Corgan with his head shaved and wearing a robe. Not too many bands do encores these days but the Pumpkins came back and played two songs in an encore that lasted about 15 minutes. And as soon as they finished, it began to rain.

It rained every single night in Switzerland and every single morning, but it never did rain in the afternoons and evenings when the bands were playing. I felt really sorry for those poor bastards in those tents though.

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16 thoughts on “Outrunning Rain at the Greenfield Festival

  1. The view on the day before the festival was stunning. Don’t you do rubber boots in the US? Come to think of it, I don’t recall seeing any there. Here just about everybody has them. I have 2 pairs and a pair of rubber shoes.
    Wow, Sweetpea is really lucky in meeting her “idols”. And you got a great picture of Leto. Sounds like you’ve been having a brilliant time on your travels, and you really needed that. Wish you could have been here and been with me at the Diana concert. I’m trying to do a list of all the people that either preformed or just turned up to say a few words and introduced the next act. 39 so far, all really big names like David Beckham, Donny Osmond, Rod Stewart, Anastacia etc. I can’t belive you drove in Paris without having a crash or mental melt down. Very impressive.

  2. Sylvied, Glastonbury does look fun and I’ve seen some photos of the mud and rain out there. Wow.

    Liv, it’s so dry here in Texas we don’t even own rubber boots. I wish I could have been at that Diana concert with you too. NBC only showed and hour of highlights here. Had no idea it lasted 6 hours. Glad you had a great time.

    Hey Liv, if you would like to write a guest post about that concert, let me know.

  3. I am so thankful Leto has dropped the beard.

    Sylvied, I can assure you Glastonbury is not fun in that rain. They had more than 100 sprained ankles and 8 broken ankles from the mud alone this year.

  4. The mudfights have got to be fun to watch.
    We didn’t have that much mud at Greenfield, fortunately. But there were a few mud divers and a couple of mud fights. Crazy.

  5. Wow, what a great time!
    I’m from Seattle…so rain, you know we get nervous when it’s NOT wet.

    Sorry Lewis is such a snit, but at least if she couldn’t sing she put on a show all the same- she should call it Bitch-A-PaLOSER.

    Loved the shadow pics of the Mohawk person- that was cool

    anita marie

  6. Anita, I’ll have to share some photos with you one day. I love photographing punks, goths, anything out of the ordinary. There was one guy who was dragging a rubber chicken chained to his ankle. I didn’t get a photo of it (we were waiting in a crowded line and I couldn’t get an angle on it.)
    I know you used to be in a band. Do you still play?

  7. Not as much, but my niece who just turned 14 does…and she’s this six foot tall beautiful Filipina Goth Girl- she’s not hardcore but gosh she’s exotic.

    Anyway, she thinks I’m neat so she’s doing the music thing and she’s been asking about Funeral Work.

    I’m just flattered to heck by that.

    Ps I’d have paid money for the chicken around the ankle shot.

  8. I now desperately want to see a picture of that rubber chicken… Next time you see a guy with a rubber chicken attached to his leg you’d better snap a shot pretty lady!

    May I say at this time that you appear to be the coolest mom ever. Teen girls travelling with their mother whose company they enjoy! Wow. My mom and I get along and can share a lot but, man, neither of us are as hip as you and your girls [smile].

    I hope they know how lucky they are to have you.

    I am always amazed by Juliette Lewis as an actress so I’m not surprised her performance was good – sorry to hear she was snippy and couldn’t sing though. You’d think being lead vocals would necessitate singing at that level, no?

    Jared Leto looks yummy. That’s all I have to say about that.

  9. Anita Marie, goth can be very beautiful and exotic if done right.
    My father-in-law got his wife, his son, his nephew, his son-in-law, and God knows who else into the funeral business. It runs in families doesn’t it?
    I think it’s cool that your niece looks up to you like that.

    Sulya, my girls don’t think I’m so cool. They say I don’t dance or sing loud enough out there. I’d have to crowd surf and mosh to get that designation from them.

    I knew when I saw that guy with the rubber chicken I’d regret not getting that. The guy was all by himself and looked so shy. He kept looking down at his feet as he slowly dragged that chicken through that mud.

  10. Sounds like you had a great time….Wish I could of been there – Some great bands played.

    Im so pleased for your friend that she got to meet Jared and I see in the main pic that Shannon is also on camera!!!

  11. Hi Vix. You have a good eye. That is Shannon Leto (drummer) signing autographs at the other end of the table. He’s wearing a hat here, but you know he shaved his head? He’s a really nice guy. He asked me if I was Sweetpea’s mother and when I told him yes he said, “Thanks for taking her to the concert.” As we were leaving they were all saying “Bye, Mom!” I wasn’t too crazy about that as I am not that much older than they are. LOL.

  12. Hey, mom!! LOL!!! I’m laughing my ass here ’cause I could call you numerous things but “mom” wouldn’t be one of them. If only all moms in this world were as cool as you. Leto is gorgeous there. You know what? Thinking about it, when they said “Bye, Mom” you should have told him “Come to mama” LOL!! I’m so laughing my butt here.

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