This past weekend was WXPN’s annual music festival, XPNFest. Would you believe I’ve never been to a music festival before? They always seemed too hot and busy and is there camping?What’s going on? etc? But this festival seemed a-ok. The past two summers we’ve gone to the headline nighttime concerts (getting tickets to those shows because we wanted to see them and then finding out they were part of the festival, sort of) and last summer we could sort of see what the festival looked and decided this year to get tickets, even before the lineups were announced. As members of XPN the price was right, and if you got a three day pass even better, plus kids tickets were something like $15 so we decided we’d all go. If you have any interest in this festival I highly recommend you support WXPN and be a member (you should anyway-it’s the best radio station and we love it!) and enjoy the member benefits at the fest: access to the Camden Children’s Garden, access to the member area which included meet & greet with the artists, water refill, and a big tent of Turkey Hill lemonades, punches, and iced teas, all filled with as much ice and as much as you wanted, all day long. For that alone perhaps it was worth it! Because it was about a million degrees this weekend. A million! And even the beautiful breezes off the Delaware River couldn’t take away the fact that it was hot.
So, the festival is in Camden, Wiggins Park, on the waterfront. A beautiful view of Philadelphia and the waterway, and nestled in with the marina, the Camden Children’s Garden, and the Aquarium. There were lots of vendors giving out free stuff, lots of free drinks and Turkey Hill gelato, and nice places to walk. And anywhere you walked you could still hear the music even if you weren’t in front of the stage.
But if you wanted to be close to a stage, you probably could. There were two stages-Marina and River-and with the smaller Marina stage we sometime went and stood right behind it for an interesting up close view. The bands we wanted to hear were good and we were very pleased with hearing the other ones, too. We broke up the days (in the future I would like more time watching the bands) with a short visit to the aquarium each day. On the first day we were shocked when we tried to leave the aquarium to find it torrentially raining. So much so that when we were finally able to leave we found out the band we wanted to see was cancelled and things were up in the air and so we left. The streets of Camden had flash flooded!
The next day we were happy to find out that the cancelled band was rescheduled. They were David Wax Museum and they were a lot of fun. And when we met them afterward, super nice. We weren’t especially interested in Mavis Staples, but ended up hearing her (who couldn’t? Her voice was powerful!) and were pretty impressed. And another exciting meet and greet was meeting Kathy O’Connell, the host of Kids’ Corner, a show we’ve been listening to for many years. She’s a great host, always so good with the kids, and we were delighted to meet her in person. Tabby has been on air 4 times and when she said her name Kathy remembered who she was!!
Now that we’ve done this festival I’d definitely go again next year, and maybe see if some friends want to come. Pretty sure Clark would not like to come again, though Tabby had a good enough time. Doesn’t she look like a cool festival chick? One cool thing they did was that any picture on Instagram that was #xpnfest was automatically printed and you could just go take your little picture. Neat!
See you next year XPN!
(For Paul’s overall write up, check it out here )