I just heard some news that has ruined my night (thanks a lot, Alison, for pointing this out). I’ll let Fargo Forum reporter Dave Olson explain it:
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – A principal partner in the 10,000 Lakes Festival announced today that the event that has been held annually at Detroit Lakes, Minn., will be on hiatus until further notice.
Rose Presents, a Minneapolis-based promotional firm, said in a written statement that the festival could not grow to financial success.
“We want you to know we have heard your voices … and the 10,000 Lakes Festival wants to deeply thank all of our fans, artists and attendees for seven amazing years at Soo Pass Ranch,” festival promoter Rand Levy said in a written statement.
“While 10,000 Lakes will be on hiatus for 2010, we believe that the music never stops. It can’t. You make it possible,” Levy added.
Rose Presents said the festival Web site at www.10KLF.com will remain online to “relive memories, photos, etc.”
Covering that festival was an awesome assignment – I got free tickets and camping permits, plus I was literally being paid to watch music and hang out with friends – and I was really looking forward to it again next summer. I attended the last two years and had a great time. What drew me there was the music, obviously, and the music was great both times (I caught the Flaming Lips, Wilco, Mason Jennings, the Honeydogs, Cloud Cult and a ton of other amazing bands and had a lot of fun in the process). So I am saddened that this assignment won’t be possible again next summer, and bummed out that my favorite local music event is no more. But I am hopeful something will help replace the void because everyone had such a good time and there has got to be another festival someone else can create… maybe that’s just wishful thinking though.
During my coverage this summer, I wrote tons of Valley Sound updates and wrote about the music. But in my overall review of the festival, I felt the best part was when I talked about the culture of 10KLF:
A friend of mine made a sage observation while walking from the campsite Friday afternoon-the thing she liked the most was being able to dance down the street and get away with it. If she does that at work, people look at her like she’s crazy.
But almost anything goes during the 10,000 Lakes Festival. It’s definitely a party atmosphere, and people are having a great time while they’re there. It’s more than just four nights of partying, though.
The festival is one of the few chances for Midwestern folks to get a sense of what Woodstock was like back in 1969 just by being around thousands of free-spirits who roamed the ranch. People walking around in costumes that would be considered ridiculous in the "outside world" barely get noticed.
The campgrounds turn into makeshift villages almost right away. The conditions are fairly primitive – no electrical hookups, Port-a-Potties for bathrooms and tanks for drinking water since there are few places with running water.
But the loss of the luxuries of modern living only makes the festival more relaxing. People don’t sit mindlessly around a TV at night-they gather up firewood and sit around a campfire, talking until the early morning.
Spontaneous drum circles form, providing the distant sound of people making their own music long after the actual concerts are done for the night. And the campers are generally the nicest group of people imaginable, freely offering strangers some food or a drink along withsome conversation.
I love live music, and a killer lineup was my main reason to attend the festival. But the thing that stuck with me was the culture of it all.
This festival provides a relatively cheap vacation that is almost a guaranteed good time for everyone, and attendees will walk away with a much richer experience than they probably ever thought possible from just a few days of music.
Thanks to Melinda, Dustin, Swenson, Will, Amber and everyone else I had great times with during the festival these last two years. Let’s figure out another summer festival to attend – maybe I’ll just have to be willing to drive a little further this time around.