I bet you’re wondering, “How good could a blues festival in Mexico be”? Of course you are. I wondered the same thing. And I’ll tell you right off the bat that although it wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad either. What was great about it was the venue…right in front of the El Dorado restaurant on a large grassy area that fronts the place and is between the restaurant and the golf course. The golf course is by necessity a dry desert course with the only grass being on the tees and the greens. Cacti here and there dotting the landscape. Because of the fancy restaurant, clubhouse, and large bar being right there, the food booths were supplied and staffed by the restaurant so they were eclectic and original. In addition there were two full service bars in tents on the grass, and regular bathrooms over in the restaurant. Nice.
What wasn’t so great was the talent. About a 6 on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the best. Ya gotta expect that clear down here in San Felipe though. Pretty sure the organizers didn’t have the funds for any spectacular bands. And it is a fundraiser after all. The other thing that wasn’t that great was the blistering sun. We had a hell of a time trying to find shade. Eventually ended up scrunched up behind a VIP tent which afforded some shade. Didn’t find out for sure until we got there that you can bring your own umbrella. Someone at the RV park had told me they don’t allow bringing your own, but that was probably in past years. This year there was an area specifically for folks with umbrellas. I think they were previously outlawed to sell more space in the VIP tents, with their higher priced tickets and such. Along with shade…those tents had their own waiters or waitresses. Probably other goodies I’m not aware of too. Also, the walk from the parking lot to the venue was rather long if you’re carrying a large lounge chair. I was. And that’s basically all that was wrong. Now, on with the event…
But first some shots of the flora while I was waiting for Dawn to pick me up a few miles from the venue.
And we arrived and settled in, first out in the sun, then a short time later behind this VIP tent. About the only shade we could find. And it was hot, and getting hotter as this was a daytime event. We got our wires crossed yesterday when I thought Dawn understood we were going Friday night for the late show, not Saturday for the day show. As a result, I sat waiting for her at our rendezvous spot on Friday afternoon and she never showed. Had her phone turned off too. Couldn’t get into her gated community to check for her either. I wanted to be at the night show for the coolish weather. She thought we were going on Saturday. Lucky our pre purchased tickets ($25, and it’s for a good cause, hosted by the Lion’s Club) were good for either day.
Over there is the bring-your-own-umbrella section. We could see the umbrella forest growing as the day wore on.Did not bring my large umbrella…I could not find that sucker. I’ve had it for years. It’s a large golfers umbrella I won for ‘closest to the hole’ during a golf tournament back in the ’80’s. Could not find it. I think I sold it at my yard sale after I bought this RV since I wasn’t golfing anymore. It might be in one of my basement compartments though. Dawn had been told it’s allowed so she’d brought hers. Looking back at the restaurant and club house. The VIP tent we settled behind is just to my left, and the beer tent is just a couple steps away. Yippee. The band was pretty good. Not great, but good. You can rent chairs here, we did rent one, can’t remember why. Dawn might have gone back to the car to pick up her chair and umbrella after we’d scoped out the venue and found you could. Yeah, I think that was it. I’d rented it for her because I’d brought mine, and she didn’t have one for a while.
There were several tents set up to sell the regular garbage you find at these events. I didn’t find anything I couldn’t live without. We had been sitting right over there where that woman in the foreground is standing, in the sun, but it was just too hot. Only advantage to that spot was that you could see the stage. Where we’re sitting now has shade, but you can’t see over the fence while sitting. Took this shot holding the camera over my head while I’m sitting in my folding lounge chair (with foot rest!). So I can hear the tunes well enough, just couldn’t see anything on stage. I’m fine with it. The shade was more important. Across the way was this giant skillet filled with a fish stew of some kind when we first arrived. It seemed to be very popular because they sold the entire tub full in just a few hours. We got up to dance. This band seemed very familiar, especially because the gal had a washboard, and the lead singer was an old guy with accordion. Eventually I came to believe they were the band I saw up in the Columbia Gorge during the Gorge Blues Festival. But they didn’t sound as good. Couldn’t figure out why they didn’t sound as good until much later…that’s not the same band. More of a copycat band of that bluegrass style, they were only missing the fiddle player. It’s probably a schtick for Bluegrass performers all over the country. Some of the premium VIP tents that offer shade shown here. Can’t remember the price, think it was like $49/person. Here’s the cheap seats. I was happy I brought my woven straw hat because the sun got to be brutal around 3pm. Oh, yeah, there’s the ocean over there. To the right near that tree line is Pete’s Camp. It’s been there like 50 years or so. We think El Dorado is trying to buy it up. Dawn did get up and dance, and I did too for a couple minutes. Music wasn’t good enough (my own opinion) for me to really get my butt moving. And then there’s this guy. Must have seen 20 people take a picture of his pants. Homemade hippie style. Very cool. Oh, we got a new band. Not bad…
I even came up to dance a bit…
I kept checking for an opening in the shady area that had a view of the stage but it never worked out. I’ll remember next time that I need to score the side of the VIP tent early in the day.
You can see the fiesta ends at 5pm. Would have been better for us cool weather lovers if it started at 5. And another band.
And that was the end of it. Just as it’s cooling off, it ends. The hot sun is why I wanted to come Friday afternoon. Well, next time I’ll know. We left a bit early, maybe 15 minutes. Went to a nearby bar for dinner and to play some cribbage. And after sitting for 45 minutes I stand up to stretch my legs, and this guy grabs my chair and sits down. WTF? So I tell him, he gets up and gets all huffy like. Threatening. Hah! So I just treat him like normal, not worried at all about him. He stands there not getting the attention he thinks he deserves. And I can’t hear most of what he’s saying, but I act like his threats are no big deal. You could see doubt cross his face because I guess I wasn’t kowtowing enough, plus he’d asked me all stern like where I wanted him to sit and I just quickly pointed to an empty chair at the end of the bar, like it was the most natural thing. It was time to leave anyway, he’s just standing there looking like an idiot, we’d already paid, and everyone that was in the bar left, all at the same time, 5 people. The guy got his chair, and no company. That tickled me.
So, that was the Blues Festival. Nice way to spend the day.