img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-35031″ src=”” alt=”” width=”1600″ height=”900″ />

When:July 22nd-25th

Where:Detroit Lakes, MI

Who:Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, Umphrey’s McGee, Atmosphere, Mason Jennings, Ozomatli, Tea Leaf Green, Wookiefoot, Trampled by Turtles, Boombox, Kinetix, The Hue, Gomez, Wilco, Barefoot Truth Everyone Orchestra, Garaj Mahal, Pretty Lights, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Steez, Mifune, and many more!

The Scene: What a weekend. Late nights at the Saloon Barn, campsite blowouts, and music ranging from trippy to face melting guitar licks all made my four days at 10KLF a festival to remember. Although the festival grounds are small, there’s much more going on at 10000 Lakes than meets the eye.

I’ve learned from years of festivals that besides checking out your favorite bands, it’s important to pay attention to what other people are talking about. Engage in a conversation with your campground neighbors and you might get a tip to check out a great new-to-you artist. This is how I discovered progressive rock band, The Hue. I’m calling this my favorite show of the weekend which earns them the title of 10KLF Most Valuable Band (MVB). Unfortunately I had to leave Dave Matthews to catch the last half of The Hue, and then spent the walk back to the campsite wishing I had left Dave earlier.

During slow times, I ventured to the campgrounds where people were getting into all kinds of shenanigans. You would be surprised how many folks didn’t make it into the festival. Between late night psychedelic playgrounds and impromptu jam sessions, I quickly discovered why certain campgrounds fill up early. If you plan on attending 10KLF next year, do some research, and book early if you don’t want to be stuck in the quiet family friendly site. It’s a good thing I’m a heavy sleeper. Even at 4am in the VIP campround (yeah, that’s right), I could still hear the mayhem that is the Lake Sallie party.

Between all that good music and killer parties, I often forgot I was sharing facilities with thousands of other people. The grounds were kept clean as a whistle and every toilet could have been a VIP potty. Hats off to the organizers for maintaining the beauty of the area. Like other festivals, 10KLF had a thorough recycling program, including composting items like beer cups made out of corn.

Because I don’t have what many would consider a “normal” job, the fact that 10KLF started on Wednesday and ended on Saturday didn’t bother me. But I did hear complaints from fellow festival junkies that it’s a bit of a challenge to get three days off from work. At least 10KLF had a clue when scheduling Widespread Panic for 2 shows (Wed and Fri). Most people could at least make one of those shows, either the more intimate midweek one or the full blown rocker on the weekend.

Peace out fellow festival wizards!See you at All Points West.