Cúpla sister and I have always wanted to attend an outdoor music festival together. Beth Ann received a notice from her alma mater, Wartburg College, concerning the Mumford and Sons’ Gentlemen of the Road (GOTR) tour stopover in Waverly, Iowa. Because we are both fans of the Grammy winning Mumford and Sons band and because the festival location was close-by, we jumped at the opportunity. If we waited until the stars were aligned and our work was all done, fun would never happen.
As soon as we arrived at the farm field parking, it was obvious that many of our neighbors in ‘tent city’ were seasoned festival goers. We envied the wagons they used to haul camping equipment up hill and hollow. It was a bit of an effort for a couple of ladies who could have used a vacation to rest up before they went on vacation.
In spite of cheek-to-cheek tents and port-a-potty facilities, camping went quite well until Saturday morning when we awoke to a pretty intense storm. At first I thought a fellow camper was beating drums, but soon the wind and megaphone evacuation warnings made me realize the sound was continuous thunder. We dropped our tents to prevent damage and joined other wet campers in the Wartburg Sports and Wellness Center. As was the case in every other aspect of the event, Wartburg did a marvelous job of anticipating and meeting the needs of the festival attendees during the storm. The Zesty Orange, located in the fabulous Wartburg Sports Center, opened early to provide food, beverages and comfortable seating. For their part, the campers were all courteous and well-mannered despite the rude early morning storm reveille.
As soon as the worst of the storm passed, Beth Ann waded a pretty far distance through dirty water to retrieve her vehicle before the farm field turned into quick sand. Due to her four wheel drive, she was able to get to terra-firma, unlike some other campers. Wellington boots soon became the footwear that coordinated with any attire.
We were both impressed with the changes and improvements in Wartburg buildings and grounds since we attended. If the education provided has kept pace with facility improvements, our contributions have been well spent. We enjoyed walking through the campus and buildings and talking about good times when we called the place home.
The highlight of the weekend was, of course, the concerts. Some of our favorite performers were Blake Mills, The Maccabees, and Jenny Lewis. Just after sundown on Summer Solstice Eve, Mumford and Sons finished out the festival. Their performance was everything for which we could have hoped. I think we both went to sleep replaying their melodies and will always replay the weekend when we hear their music.