Welcome to the WANDERLUST Festival in Beautiful SQUAW VALLEY USA!
So we all heard about this great weekend festival at the top of Squaw Valley a long time ago, but no one wants to buy tickets to a place they get a free pass to in the winter. So here were the list of options to see the shows:
1. Write a haiku online and win tickets
2. Call into a radio station and win tickets
3. Pass out flyers on the streets and get free tickets
4. Hike up to the top and poach the fence or know the person patrolling and beg him to let you through
5. Somehow find a festival wristband on the ground and claim it
Well I went with option 2. That's right! I won tickets from a local radio station. Funny story actually. I had to work later in the day and so I woke up and laid in bed for a while. While dozing I decided to turn on the radio to see if I could win some tickets. I heard a Spoon song playing, which is one of the bands in the festival, and I thought maybe I would call in just to see if they were giving away tickets when an artist from the festival is on air. I called in when the song was over and as it started ringing I almost hung up thinking I was an idiot for trying. Howie, the host, picked up and I asked if I could win tickets. He said,
"Are you serious, did you realize you were already calling in to win tickets? Did you even realize you heard a Spoon song? You've won tickets to Wanderlust!"
Kim: "What the heck? Really??!! I will be right there. Where are you guys located?"
Howie: "South Lake Tahoe."
Kim: "On my way!"
It took an hour to get there and Howie stuck around to meet me. He even recorded my voice telling everyone to listen to his radio station. Everyone in the station was laughing when they heard I came all the way down from Tahoe City. I was PUMPED!
We collected a bike gang and rode up to Squaw to see The Mutaytor and Sharon Stone and the Dap Kings. That woman is sassy! Then we saw a decent DJ and yes, actually closed the festival down. We were the last gang in the Village and scored free pizza out of it! Our bike gang rode home and got back at 4am.
We took the gondola up to the top of Squaw Valley where an immense stage was set up. We enjoyed Rebecca Welsch and her folksy banjo and guitar and then were entertained by Jenny Lewis and her band. If you haven't checked her music out, do it soon! It then got a little hot and we all jumped in the mountain lake under the chair lift. Weird seeing all those little wonders that are normally covered by snow! And of course the place was full of locals and I knew all the beer pourers. This concert was pretty much free the whole weekend!
Michael Franti and Spearhead were supposed to play, but he got apendicides and so the rapper Common replaced them. Not the same, but still a good show. Then we headed down the gondola to see the other shows: The Mutaytor again and the awesome DJ Girl Talk. He mixes old hits like Bruce Hornsby and Michael Jackson to newer songs. It was incredible!
Matt and I were going to ride our bikes home, but we were lazy and stuck out our thumbs when a Jeep pulled over to pick us up. It happened to be a Squaw Kids instructor and we were grateful for the ride!
Well I had to work the close shift on Sunday, but Spoon was playing at the top of the gondola and I really wanted to go! I made a deal with my co-worker. He let me ditch out of work for 2 hours to see the show and I promised to stay extra long to finish up all the work. I hurried over across the valley and met up with some friends at the top, watched the show, and rushed back to work to close up.
What an amazing FREE fun weekend!!! I hope they do it again next year!