Words & Images by: Andrew Quist
Hipnic IV :: 05.04.12-05.06.12 :: Fernwood Campground :: Big Sur, CA
Photo gallery below review!
Deep in the woods of primordial redwood forest in the heart of Big Sur which itself is the very heart of Central California and some of the most impressive coastline in the entire nation, some of my best friends make the trek from all over the country to congregate in front of a stage upon which plays our favorite band. It is a festival where if you arrive without friends, you will leave with twenty new pals. It is the kind of festival where you might stumble down the stairs from a tavern set in the pre-dawn hours and suddenly find yourself grabbing fistfuls of fresh grilled salmon and potatoes in the camp of some happy chef. You simply want for nothing.
|The Mother Hips by Andrew Quist|
The fourth annual Mother Hips festival, the Hipnic, took place May 4-6, 2012. The festival is presented by (((folkYEAH!))), and each year this little festival seems to get better. A lot of credit has to be given to the production crew. They do an outstanding job at keeping the festival intimate while still attracting great talent. It is never a big festival (numbers remain well under 1,000) and this is absolutely a family event. The bands that play are largely California-based and come from the north, south, and all places in-between. The music tends towards dreamy, pedal steel dappled folk-psychedelia that you would expect from a stage set beneath a mountain and surrounded on all sides by towering coastal redwoods. But when The Mother Hips take the stage something changes. The gentle, floating notes of the day surrender to the force of the Hips’ own brand of rock. It gets loud and punchy, and so does the previously mellow crowd. Amidst the assault, fist pumps are thrown and backs are slapped as we rail through the music that soundtracks our lives on a daily basis.
Tim Bluhm (guitar/vox), Greg Loiacono (guitar/vox), John Hofer (drums) and Scott Thunes (bass) sliced through two headlining Hips sets on Friday and Saturday night. I’m sure everyone had their opinions as to which night was better but no one ever walks away from a Hips show thinking it lacked. That is the thing about this band, and it is the thing about the festival, too - no matter what happens it is always an experience. You can’t quantify something as beautiful as knowing in your bones that you’re just going to have the time of your life with a group of friends big enough to be anonymous if necessary but small enough to be able to hug someone you know every 50 feet or so. And when night turned to day, this year we were blessed with some of the finest weather I think I have ever experienced in Big Sur. I know that in my three year run with this festival I have never considered sitting in a camping chair in the middle of Big Sur River. Not only did I do that this year, the cool water helped to keep the beer cold, too. Heavenly
|The Mother Hips by Andrew Quist|
When we began the long drive home, the mood in our car was contemplative (as it is every year) and quiet as we looked back over our memories from the weekend. Again, it is because this thing is more than a music festival that it resonates so deeply. It is as much about a coming together of family and friends as it is a musical production. It is unique to our scene and when you experience it, well, you change a little. There is affirmation in that.
It is a great honor for me to photograph this festival every year and I hope that I continue to capture the experience in a way that conveys this special vibe.
The Mother Hips Tour Dates :: The Mother Hips News
JamBase | Amongst Tall Trees
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