Planning outdoor events is stressful, especially in a place like Memphis where you never know what the weather will do. With the foreboding weather and the uncertainty of whether it would last, we found ourselves in almost the same exact position we were in on June 17th. But this time, we had a plan.
After staring out the window, checking the radar, and stressing for almost 36 hours, we decided 15 minutes prior to the start time to move the show indoors. We were incredibly lucky that our beloved board member and Sept 23 hostess, Wendy Trenthem, not only knows, but is related to, people in high places. Her dad, who happens to be part owner of the Strings & Things building, graciously offered to let us hold the show in the atrium should the weather turn bad. (Even though we rocked and romped for a bit despite the rain on June 17th, this time we really wanted to be able to do a full blown show regardless of the weather.)
Up until the very last second, I was arguing for holding the show outdoors. I just refused to accept the fact that the rain was coming. Wendy and her husband had spent months cleaning up their backyard (they even built a deck!) and I could just picture it full of sundrenched kids armed with slide whistles. I couldn't let go of the dream.
Chip, who had been studying the radar all morning, finally said to me, "The radar doesn't lie. It isn't magic; It's science." I was really disappointed that it was raining on my parade two times in a row, but my disappointment quickly dissipated once I walked into Strings & Things. It was big and airy, clean, free, covered, and all ours for the day. Moments after we started rearranging tables, rain started pounding on the roof. It was exactly 2:00pm.
By 2:30pm, we had everything cleared out and baby-proofed. Families started trickling in, and Jeffrey James and the Haul took the stage. The kids started gravitating to the instruments...and the tattoos...and all of the other fun stuff we had around.
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Before we knew it, there were 45 families in attendance, and kids were happily running all over the place. Unfortunately we couldn't serve beer at S&T, but it didn't seem to affect the mood at all thanks to Two Way Radio (Formerly known as Walkie Talkie and briefly as Side Walk Talk.) They had hula hoops...fancy instruments...and even a llama! (Their CD is titled "Residential Llama)
By the time Cory Branan was set to go on, the kids were amped up beyond belief. I saw him sweating a bit and he told one of the RnR organizers that he "hadn't been this nervous since David Letterman." (Or something like that.) But clearly the kids quickly accepted Cory as one of their own, and banded around him for the duration.
It was the perfect ending to a perfect (except for the weather!) day. We were all thrilled.
Mark your calendars for October 28th. It will be our last show of the season. We hope to have the bands finalized this week. Stay tuned for more details.