Barn Jam Weekend Equation

09.14.2009If I had to write an equation to describe my weekend, this is what it would look like:

2(barns) + 4(bands) + 4(solo acts) + drum circle + tents + bonfire + friends + BillÆs Donut Shop = Barn Jam #23

I can almost picture the look of confusion on your face as you try to decipher whatever that mess is. Allow me to explain.

This past Saturday I spent working at a music festival of sorts. The show, Barn Jam, is a twice-yearly occurrence held at Audio Production teacher Eric SuttmanÆs house. SaturdayÆs event was #23, the first of the Æ09-Æ10 school year. What, you may ask, is the purpose of this ôBarn Jamö? Well, attendees pay a $10 fee to get in (includes hotdogs and sÆmores) and the profits go to UDSAP, a program on campus that takes UD students to Appalachia to do service during the summer. Pretty cool, huh? And did I mention that most of the acts that perform are UD students? Also way awesome.

This was my second Barn JamùI worked the April event last semester as well. Basically, I helped set-up all of the sound equipment (read: plugged in cords, set-up microphones, moved speakers, etc.) and helped with the sound checks before the bands played on the smaller stage. Music just strikes a certain chord (forgive the pun, please) inside me, so being able to be a part of an event like this is phenomenal. I think I would liken it to the feeling an athlete gets when he/she steps on his/her respective field, court, etc.

Anyway, more about the event itself.

The Suttmans have a bunch of land with room for tents and mini bonfires, which many people took advantage of, and of course the big open sky full of stars to look atùtalk about awesome. As if that wasnÆt enough, there are two stages for performances, one in each barn. The big barn/stage is reserved for full bands with lots of equipment and this year it featured a professionally run light show. The guy who ran lights even had a black light attached to his light board, which reflected off the white lab coat he wore. Stellar? Oh yes. The smaller stage was equally awesome because it was a more intimate show that showcased solo or two-person acts, generally acoustic sessions. This year also featured a live drum circle led by an Africa-native, drum-maker/player extraordinaire and his dancer-wife. Acoustic, rock, jam-bands, and traditional African music meshed together to form an awesome night of music and cultures where tons of people could kick back and enjoy the music with friends.

Lights flashed every color imaginable in time with the beat of the kick drum, soaring with the guitar melodies and bass solos, flickering at the touch of the keyboard. People of all ages danced in appreciation, roasted marshmallows and told stories, then slept in tents under the stars and woke with the sun.

As for my group of friends, last year we started a tradition that when we leave Barn Jam the Sunday morning after, we stop for donuts at BillÆs Donut Shop. Let me just say that if you havenÆt been to BillÆs, youÆre missing out. Cheap prices, expensive quality. I got two donuts and a small carton of milk for $2.00, no joke.

As you can hopefully see, I had an awesome time at Barn Jam and will definitely be waiting impatiently for Barn Jam #24 in April. Music, bonfires, and friendsùwhat could be better?